Wapshare, William

Wapshare, William             1877 May 26th

Yesterday afternoon an inquest was held at the Council Chamber before the City Coroner, Mr G Smith, on the body of William Wapshare, who died suddenly the previous evening in Dr Gordon’s consulting room. The following were sworn on the jury : Mr G Fullford (foreman), Mr G Bowering, Mr F Abel, Mr S Parker, Mr J Naish, Mr W Snook, Mr F Highman, Mr A Cox, Mr E Dixon, Mr W H Blanchett, Mr H Perris, and Mr W Millard.

The Coroner, in addressing them, said they were assembled to enquire into the cause of death of William Wapshire, whom no doubt most of them knew whilst living. He was an old inhabitant of this city, and he was informed that on Thursday he complained of illness and was advised to go to his medical man. He went to Dr Gordon, and while the doctor was in the act of prescribing something for him he fell forward and died there and then, he believed, without explaining to Dr Gordon the cause of his illness.

They would hear what Dr Gordon had to say, and also if they thought it necessary, the statement of his sister, who knew more of his antecedents than anyone else. If they thought it necessary to examine her as to his illness previous to his going to Dr Gordon she would be there to tender her evidence. He didn’t think it necessary for him to make any remarks, and they would at once proceed to view the body, and then take evidence.

After the body had been viewed, James Henry Gordon was sworn, and said he was a medical practitioner residing in Salisbury, and the deceased called on him at about 8 o’clock on Tuesday evening for medical advice. Witness’s servant told him someone wanted to see him, and he heard a great noise as if someone was groaning. He entered the surgery and found the deceased sitting there apparently in great pain, with his hands resting on his loins. Deceased made an attempt to tell him what was the matter but could not do so. He seemed to indicate that the pain from which he suffered was on the right side, where he had his hand. When he attempted to speak he fell forward and would have fallen to the ground if witness had not caught him. He then sank on the ground, but witness replaced him on the form and sent for some water to bathe his face, but finding he didn’t recover he put him on the floor and applied sal-volatile to his nostrils, which seemed to revive him a little. He also gave him two spoonsful of brandy which he could not swallow, and he died very shortly afterwards. Deceased had suffered from gravel, and witness was of opinion that the passage of stone caused severe pain which acted upon the heart, and that, combined with old age, caused death.

The jury didn’t think it necessary to call deceased’s sister who is ill, and returned a verdict of “death from natural causes.” They gave their fees to the deceased’s sister.


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