Lambert, Milly

Lambert, Milly               1883 December 22nd           Ford

An inquest was held at the Salisbury Infirmary on Tuesday morning, on the body of an infant named Milly Lambert, aged 11 months, the daughter of George Lambert, of Ford, who died at the Infirmary on the previous day. Mr W Wells was foreman of the jury.

Mrs E Griffin was the first witness called. She stated that she is a neighbour of Lambert’s; and on Saturday evening whilst she was upstairs a boy in their employ named Canning rushed into the house exclaiming that “Lambert’s children was on fire.” She immediately ran across the road to Lambert’s. When she got to the door a boy was trying to open the door from the outside. On going into the room she saw the deceased lying under the table, being tied to a chair. Her clothes were on fire. Her husband – who had closely followed her – helped her take the burning clothes off the deceased. After the clothes had been removed and the flames put out, she noticed that the deceased’s sister, a child of 11, who had evidently been in charge of it, was seated by the side of the fire, asleep – and it was with some trouble that she woke her. At once she wrapped the child up in a blanket; and had it sent to the Infirmary. How the accident occurred she could not say, but there was a lamp burning on the ground at the time, and she thought that probably one of the children coming downstairs had kicked the lamp over, and that igniting a sack which was being used as a hearthrug the child’s clothes were caught. The father and mother were away at the time, having gone to Salisbury – she believed – to make some purchases.

Mr Supt Mathews : The child’s clothes might have been caught by the fire. It is a large open fire-place and the child was seated in a chair close to it without any protection whatever.

George Lambert, the father, a labourer who had been in the employ of the late Mr Good, stated that on Friday night he went to the farmhouse to be paid, but he was then told that he would not be paid till Saturday. He went on Saturday to be paid, at 5; and then he was told he must come again at 7.30. His wife after he had been paid accompanied him to Salisbury, where they went to obtain the necessaries for the ensuing week. As they were going back they heard of the accident and at once went back to the Infirmary, where he remained till three o’clock.

The Coroner : Did you think it safe to leave the child? Well, her little sister had always before looked after her. And we don’t get paid but once a fortnight and then we’ve always come to Salisbury to buy our provisions. The “missus” would have come in in the morning had we been paid then.

Incidentally the man mentioned that he earned 10s a week, and had six children besides his wife and himself to keep. He said that he was in no club, and had no means wherewith to bury the child.

Mr Mervyn S Wilson, the house surgeon of the Infirmary, said he saw the deceased when she was brought to the institution on Saturday night, and found superficial burns over both legs, over a great part of the abdomen, over the back – especially on the left side, and over both arms. She died about four hours after admission. Death he attributed to shock occasioned by the injuries.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.” They gave their fees to the parents and subscribed among themselves 13s 6d.

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