Patience, Ambrose

Patience, Ambrose                 1882 July 1st

On Tuesday afternoon at about half past two o’clock, Mr Ambrose Patience, an independent gentleman, who occupied apartments at the house of Mr Carter, tailor, of Fisherton, was found dead in his bedroom. The deceased had gone to bed the previous evening, and, seized by a fit of apoplexy, had evidently fallen across the floor, where his body was discovered in the middle of the next day, his head resting on a box. The deceased was well known in Salisbury and the neighbourhood as an enthusiastic sportsman – the sound of the horn and the yelping of the hounds invariably attracted him; and his sitting-room was decorated with evidence of his success in the chase.

The inquest was held at the “Angel” hotel, Fisherton, on Wednesday afternoon, before Mr W H Gater, who acted in the absence of Mr George Smith, the city coroner. The following evidence was adduced:

Dr Frederick Coates, of Salisbury, stated that he was called to see the deceased at about four o’clock on Tuesday afternoon. He had then been dead apparently for some hours, the body being rigid. He was lying on his face – or rather, his face was on the box and the body on the floor evidently as he had fallen. His opinion was that he died from apoplexy – and he based that opinion upon the history of the case and the appearance of the body; indeed, this as the second attack. There was evidence in the position of deceased of one side being paralysed, which could be caused by apoplexy only. He had attended the deceased as his medical adviser for several years; he last attended him about two months ago.

Mr William Carter said the deceased had been lodging with him for about two and a half years. As to his age – though he spoke with no certainty he believed he was about sixty. At nine o’clock on the previous evening, the deceased rang his bell, and, on his replying, wished for drink – a desire not gratified. He appeared to be about as usual then – indeed, rather more cheerful than he had been for some time past. About nine o’clock the next morning, he knocked at his door and asked him if he would have breakfast, or if he desired anything. He believed he made some indistinct response, though he would not swear it. He should have gone into the bedroom had he not been called away to the shop. Being very busy during the day, he thought no more of him till half-past two, when he suddenly recollected the deceased, and going upstairs knocked at the door. Receiving no response he went in and found him lying on the floor. He spoke to him and receiving no reply felt him, and immediately found that life was extinct. He at once went for medical attendance.

The witness, in response to a juror, said that the deceased would often remain in bed all day; and, consequently he was not at first so much concerned about his remaining in his room as he might else have been.

Mr Supt Mathews stated that on receiving information of the death he went to Mr Carter’s house, and accompanied the last witness to the bedroom. He examined the clothing of the deceased with Mr Carter, from whom he received a purse, containing £3 in gold. He also found the keys.

Mr Gater said that there was no doubt that the deceased came by his death by apoplexy. The doctor’s evidence – which was their best guide – was distinct upon this point. The jury returned a verdict of “Died from apoplexy.”

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