There were 23 cases for 1877.
James Ward died on election night, but how and why is seemingly uncertain – perhaps he had been drinking, certainly he carried enough bruises to show he had fallen over a number of times, and he was clearly being manhandled in the midst of the crowd by boys.
Frederick Young was 48 and died from heart disease, and Dr Gordon said his work contributed to this – when you read that he started work in Hales’ saw-pit probably at 6 or 7am, and probably ended at 6 in the evening, and his wife brought his breakfast at 8.30, you begin to understand why.
The infant daughter of Emma Eldridge died partly from lack of nutrition – it had been healthy though weakly, though we also hear from the mother that, “ her father had said that if the child died she should come home again, but if it lived he would not have it back.”
What was a GP capable of doing for a patient in 1877, should the patient – William Wapshare – collapse conveniently in his consulting room? Not a huge amount, it seems.
Shepherds treated their sheep for maggots using ‘stone mercury,’ a violent poison sold as a marble-shaped ball. When a toddler – Florence Thorne – died of violent sickness and this poison was discovered to be the agent, a whodunnit ensued as to how the child was fed it. Only at the magistrates trial does the truth emerge.
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