Lowe, Emily

Lowe, Emily            1881 October 23rd                Fisherton/Westminster

An inquest was held at the Fisherton House Asylum, on Monday afternoon, before Mr G Smith (city coroner) and a jury, relative to the sudden death of Emily Lowe, a pauper inmate of the institution. Mr W G Knight was foreman of the jury.

According to the coroner, the deceased, whose age was 31, and whose husband is a cab-driver residing at Wood-street, Westminster, and who had been an inmate of the asylum but a short time, had been subjected to epileptic fits; and on Saturday evening, after recovering from an attack, she complained to one of the attendants (Bessie Truckle) of pains in her head and asked to be allowed to go into an adjoining closet. After she had been in there about a minute the attendant heard a noise, and on going in fund her on her side in a second fit; Mr Hine, the medical assistant, was fetched, but on his arrival it was found that she had expired.

The fit however was not sufficient to account for death; and a post mortem examination – at the instigation of Dr Finch, the principal – was made. It was then discovered that the immediate cause of death was syncope: there was a large fibrinous clot of blood on the right side of the heart, whilst the other side was entirely empty.

Mr Hine, who was first called, said that the deceased was subject to the frequent recurrence of fits – occasionally suffering from two a day. Apart from the fibrinous gathering, the lungs and liver were considerably congested.

Truckle, in her examination, said that the deceased usually complained of pains in her head after a fit. The first fit occurred at about six and the other at eight. The medical attendant was immediately in request.

The jury returned a verdict of “Death from Natural Causes.”


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