Russell, James 1877 October 6th
An inquest was held at the Council Chamber on Saturday evening, by Mr G Smith, City Coroner, respecting the death of a man named James Russell, who died suddenly at his home in Love-lane, on the morning of the same day.
Dr Blackmore, medical practitioner, of Salisbury, said about 6.15 that morning, he was called upon to go and see the deceased. He went, and found him lying on the floor, quite dead. There were no indications of any convulsions. The pupils of the eyes were equally dilated, the appearance of the face being much the same as if he had fainted. He probably had disease of the heart. He might have attended him some three or four years since, but had no recollection of what he attended him for. There was no blood or froth about the mouth, or any indication that he had met his death by foul means. His opinion was that death resulted from failure of the heart’s action.
Fanny Russell stated that she was the widow of deceased, and resided at 120, Love-lane, in this city. Deceased was 49 years of age last birthday. That morning about a quarter past 6, she was standing behind her husband, when he suddenly fell backwards, and if she had not caught him, he would have fallen to the ground. She immediately called for assistance, and when someone arrived, she went for Dr Blackmore, who attended him some five years since. He (deceased) was at work the previous night until 10 o’clock, and after complained of being bad in his back, which was the result of his work – drawing a wheel-barrow. He had also complained of pain in his head, which was split open at one time. Her husband had never had a fit, nor anything like this before.
Henry Rambridge, residing at 180, Love-lane, said that on that morning early he was called by the last witness to her assistance. He went into the house and found her husband lying on the floor. He believed him to be dead, while the wife went for Dr Blackmore, he and another man applied brandy restoratives but to no avail. He had heard deceased complain of being unwell for some time.
Ultimately a verdict of “Death from natural causes” was returned.