Smith, Campanello

Smith, Campanello           1883 January 20th

An inquest was held at the “New Inn,” St Ann-street, on Monday afternoon, by Mr George Smith (city coroner) and a jury (of whom Mr H Hicks was foreman), on the body of a child named Campanello Smith, the infant daughter of Albert Smith, who was put to bed in a satisfactory state of health on Sunday, but was found dead on the following morning by the side of its parents.

Mr William Martin Coates, surgeon, said that that morning at about nine o’clock he was called in to see the child, at No 2, St Martin’s-crescent, and found it quite dead, the body, however, being still warm. The child – which was one of his son’s patients, and which he had not previously attended – had died in the night, presumably from convulsions. It might have been overlain; and that have produced the convulsions. Convulsions would be the result of various causes. He was aware that a sucking bottle was by its side, but he should not say that suffocation was caused by it being in the mouth. The bed was certainly a very small one; and it was possible that convulsion might have resulted from the child being overlain. It was indeed, a most dangerous practise to follow to have children between two people.

Albert Smith, tailor, the father of the child, said that the child was in good health when put to bed, and at half past twelve was laughing. The child slept between his wife and himself. When he awoke, at about 7.45 in the morning, he thought the child was asleep, but on kissing it he found it cold, and on putting his ear to her lips he found no sign of breathing. He at once ran for the nurse, by whose advice he went for a doctor. He did not think that the child was overlain.

The jury returned a verdict of “Death from natural causes.”

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