Shirlock, Sophia 1883 December 15th Broughton
An inquest was held here on Saturday, by Mr Bernard Harfield, acting as deputy for the county coroner, concerning the death of Sophia Shirlock, aged 59, cook in the service of Mr Henry Townsend, of Buckholt Farm, who died from injuries sustained in an accidental fall downstairs.
From the evidence of Mary Birks, housekeeper, and Annie Pragnell, a domestic servant, it appeared that on Monday afternoon, about four o’clock, deceased had been in the kitchen to get some water to take upstairs, and was going up the back stairs, when she called out to the latter, “Annie, I nearly fell.” She however, continued her ascent, but presently was heard to fall, evidently to the bottom of the staircase, for she was found lying in the passage at the foot of the stairs, with her feet on the stairs, her back in the passage, and her head hanging forward.
The housekeeper, calling to her aid one of the servants, took hold of deceased’s arm, saying, “Oh, Mrs Shirlock, what have you done?” but she did not answer, and a gurgling noise was heard in her throat. She was lifted up and got into the kitchen, when a little blood was seen coming from the back of her head. All was done that could be thought of, but she did not recover consciousness nor open her eyes.
Dr Clapperton stated that upon his arrival deceased was lying upon the kitchen floor quite unconscious, with a wound over the right temple, about two inches in length down to the bone. He attributed death to compression of the brain occasioned by the fall.
The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”