Clarke, Ann 1879 August 16th
An inquest was held at the Council Chamber on Tuesday morning, on the body of Ann Clarke, a widow, aged 64, who was found dead in bed on the previous day, by Mr George Smith and a jury of whom Mr Wells was foreman. The particulars of the sad event will be found in the annexed evidence.
Mr Darke, surgeon said he was summoned to see the deceased on Monday morning, and on proceeding to the house in High-street where she resided, he found her lying in the bed, quite dead. He should say the probable cause of death was a diseased heart. He had never attended her previously.
Miss Sarah Ann Chubb, dress-maker, of New-street, who last saw the deceased alive, said : I was a friend of Ann Blake (Clarke?), and I used to call upon her frequently in her house at High-street I saw her on Saturday last at about nine o’clock in the evening, and her state of health appeared better than what it had been a week before. I left her at about ten o’clock. The deceased had occasionally complained to me of pains in her left side, and about twelve months since she went to the Infirmary, as she suffered from dropsy. She had not, that I am aware of, seen a medical man since. She lived quite alone, and she always appeared to have sufficient means of support.
By a juror : She was never ill enough to require the attendance of a doctor.
Levi Brown, an assistant to Mr Hallet, pork butcher, of High-street, said that deceased lived next door to Mr Hallet, and since he had been employed by the latter, he had had frequent opportunities of seeing her. The last time he saw her alive was on the previous Friday; and on Monday when he resumed his work Miss Chubb came to him and told him that she had tried to get into deceased’s house on Sunday and found the door locked, that she had tried again to effect an entrance that morning and still was unable to; and she suggested that he should try to get in. Finding he could not get in at the door, he procured a ladder and mounting it looked in at the bedroom window and he saw the deceased lying in the bed on her right side apparently dead. He immediately went and informed Supt Mathews of what he had seen.
Supt Mathews stated that having been called upon by the last witness he went on Monday afternoon to the deceased’s house. On breaking open the door, he saw the deceased lying in the bed on her right side, with her face buried in the clothes, and on approaching her he saw that she was quite dead. He at once sent for Dr Darke.
William Henry Blanchett, hairdresser, residing in High-street, gave evidence to the effect that the deceased was his aunt, that she was a widow and that her age was about 65 years. She lived quite alone in a house belonging to Mr Hallet, but they (deceased and witness) frequently exchanged visits. To him she had often complained of suffering from a pain near the heart but as a rule her health was fair. She had not to his knowledge had medical assistance for a year. She procured ample means of subsistence as a tailoress and dressmaker. She unfortunately had of late suffered from dropsy.
The jury returned a verdict of “Death from Natural Causes.”