Carter, John 1882 March 18th
An inquest was held at the Council Chamber yesterday (Friday) afternoon, by Mr G Smith (city coroner) and a jury (of whom Mr Wyatt was foreman), on the body of Mr John Carter, an old man of upwards of 80 years, who for many years had been an inmate of Frowde’s almshouses in Bedwin-street.
At half-past seven, his son, Mr Joseph Carter, of Catherine-street, called upon him, and found him already up – indeed he was invariably an early riser, and seated in his arm-chair. In reply to a question – “How are you?”, he said that he was rather poorly, but his son had certainly seen him look much worse. At half-past nine, when a woman named Elizabeth Dyer, the wife of Thomas Dyer, of the Friary, and who usually attended to his wants, entered the apartment, he was still occupying the same position his son observed him in, but quite dead – though it was apparent the end could not have happened but a few minutes previously, the body being quite warm.
Mrs Dyer at first thought him asleep – no unusual thing even so early in the morning as he could not sleep well at night; but she was immediately undeceived on shaking him. On the fire – which had been lighted by him but was almost out – was a saucepan containing water, which he had evidently placed there in anticipation of her coming. Dr Gordon was at once sent for; but he was unable to give any distinct reason for death, though he now believed it was from failure of the heart’s action, possibly induced by a fit of coughing. The deceased, who had often called upon him, suffered from chronic bronchitis and occasionally from asthma.
The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony – “Death from natural causes.”