Grey, Charles

Grey, Charles        1878 January 12th

An inquest was held at the Infirmary on Thursday morning by Mr G Smith, city coroner, on the body of a child, named Charles Grey, aged 3 years.

The Coroner said it appeared that on the 27th of December, deceased was left, in the company of another child aged seven, at its house by the mother, who had occasion to come up into the city. During the time the mother was away, the elder child left the house, and the deceased by some means must have caught its clothes on fire.

Dr Kelland, medical officer of the Infirmary, stated that on the 27th of December deceased was admitted into the Infirmary. He examined deceased, and found the face and arms severely burnt. There were also symptoms of inflammation of the lungs. On Wednesday morning the child died from injuries that proceeded from the burns.

Fenella Grey, the mother of the deceased, deposed that she resided at 10, Guilder-lane. She saw the dead body of her child on the previous day. She last saw it alive on the 27th December. On that day she had occasion to go up into the city on an errand, and she left deceased in the house in the charge of another child, who was six years of age last November. She was away about half-an-hour and five minutes, and on her return, she discovered some burnt clothes on the table, and was informed that her child had met with an accident, and had been removed to the Infirmary. She then went there to see it. Her other child had told her that deceased put some paper in the fire, which flew out and caught her pinnafore on fire.

Ann Trimby stated that she resided at No 6, Guilder-lane. On the 27th December, her attention was attracted by screams from deceased, and then Mrs Grey’s little girl came running out into the street followed by deceased who was in flames. She immediately put the flames out, and on examining the child found that it was very badly burnt about the arms and face. She did nothing to relieve the pain, but her next door neighbour, Mrs Silverthorne, put some linseed oil on the burns. Mrs Bounsell carried the deceased to the Infirmary.

C Bounsell (Catherine Bunsell) said that she lived at Green-croft-street. She knew the mother and father of deceased. On the 27th ult., she was called to the assistance of deceased. She first saw it on a table in his mother’s house, and Mrs Silverthorne was putting treacle and flour to the burns to allay the pain. Dr Gordon saw the deceased after the accident and immediately ordered it to be taken to the Infirmary. Accordingly she took it there.

The Coroner remarked that the evidence of Mrs Trimby and Mrs Bounsall did not agree as to whether treacle and flour or linseed oil had been used; but he had no doubt that whichever was administered it was done with the best motive.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”


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