Ottoway, infant

Ottoway, infant        1879 January 18th            Fisherton

An inquest was held at the “London” inn, at Fisherton, on Tuesday afternoon, by Mr George Smith, city coroner, on the body of a newly born child of Mrs Ottoway, of 9, Railway-terrace, which died at an early hour this morning. Mr Lucas was foreman of the jury. The particulars will be found in the annexed full report of the evidence adduced at the inquiry.

Mrs Ruth Greenwood stated : I live at the Dispensary and am one of the certificated midwives. At about half past seven on the previous evening I was sent for to attend Mrs Ottoway, who, I believe, is a married woman. During the night Mrs Ottoway was delivered of a male child. No medical man was present and there was none sent for at the time, nor afterwards during the time I was there. The confinement took place at about half past one. The child was born alive, and to all appearances was a healthy child; and continued healthy as long as I was in the house. I left at about half past three, and so far as I could judge the child was then in a healthy state. At about eight o’clock this morning I was sent for and informed that the child was dead. I immediately advised them to send for Mr Darke, and then went and saw the child. I found it dead. I was present when Mr Darke arrived.

A juror : Who did you leave the child with? With the mother, but a Mrs Turnbowl and Mrs Ottoway’s mother I believe were in attendance when I went downstairs and when I left.

Dr F P Darke said : I am a medical practitioner of Salisbury. This morning between eight and nine I was called upon to visit the child of Ellen Ottoway; and on my arrival I found the child dead. I have since seen and examined he child. There are no marks of violence upon it, and I think death was caused by suffocation, from some portion of the bed clothes having fallen over the child’s mouth. From the appearance of the body I should not judge that suffocation had been caused by unfair means.

A juror : Is this the first child? Yes; or at least so I have been told. All arrangements seemed to have been made.

Mrs Elizabeth Turnbowl, of 10, Railway-terrace, said Mrs Ottoway was a married woman, and was the wife of Edward Ottoway, railway porter. On the previous afternoon Mrs Ottoway, the mother of the deceased, called upon her to render assistance. She was present with the midwife at about half past one. The child was born alive and appeared to be perfectly healthy. At about half past three the midwife left; and witness saw Mrs Ottoway several times after. On those occasions the child was in bed with its mother. There was a little flannel around the child’s head; and it was covered over with a portion of the bed-clothes. Witness was not present when the child was discovered to be dead. Mrs Ottoway first discovered the fact and then immediately called to witness, and she at once went up. Mrs Ottoway asked her to look at the child, and she did so, and found it was dead. She then took the child and rubbed it by the fire, but to no purpose. She then went for the midwife, and subsequently for Mr Darke.

By a juror : The child was first discovered to be dead a little after five. When I first saw it, it was not quite cold.

The Coroner said he could quite understand that the mother being over-careful, tried to keep the child warm, and put probably too much clothes over it. The jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of “Accidentally suffocated.”


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