Horroll, Eliza 1884 January 5th Frome
On Monday an inquest was held at the “Ship Inn,” before Mr W Muller, coroner, and a jury, of whom Mr T Parfitt was foreman, on the body of Eliza Horroll, of Loaf Row, who died suddenly on the previous Wednesday evening.
The death was reported to the deputy coroner (Mr J Trevor Davies) during the absence of Mr Muller from home. After making personal inquiries into the matter on Friday last, Mr Davies concluded at first that it was not necessary to hold an inquest, but in consequence of remarks made by several jury men in another case he decided to withhold his certificate until Mr Muller’s return.
On Monday Mr Muller held an inquiry, which occupied 2¼ hours. From the evidence of her husband it would seem that the deceased had been an invalid for nine years, and several weeks ago suffered from a bronchial cold, profuse bleeding at the nose, and a weak heart. On Saturday week she became worse, and she continued to get weaker until her death. He did not go for a doctor nor send for one because his wife told him she had repeatedly sent for Dr Pearse, the parish doctor, and he had not been to see her. He wished to send again, but she would not let him.
On Wednesday, about 9pm, he was helping her upstairs to bed and she died just before she got to the top. He carried her the rest of the way, put her on the bed, and propped her up. He then went to call a neighbour, Mrs White, and although she was from home until 10.30 he did not ask anyone else to go in nor send for a doctor. When Mrs White called at the house, and asked how his wife was he said, “Better. Go upstairs and see her.” She went upstairs and was startled to find deceased dead, propped up in bed, with eyes and mouth wide open. Her husband did not want any other woman to help Mrs White lay out deceased. From Saturday afternoon he was at home the whole of the time, except on Sunday morning, when he went to chapel, and never went for Dr Pearse or any other medical man.
Other witnesses were called. One of these, a little girl named Hares, said she was sent by the deceased to Dr Pearse for medicine on Thursday week, and with a message to the effect that if he was passing she would like him to call. This she delivered personally to Dr Pearse. Dr Pearse denied having received the message. Another witness spoke of the unkind manner in which Horroll had treated his wife.
After a long and searching inquiry Dr Pearse made an external examination of the body but found no marks of violence.
Ultimately the jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased died from syncope, produced by general debility. The coroner and jury agreed that there was not the slightest ground for imputing neglect to Dr Pearse; but they strongly animadverted on the great indifference shown by Horroll towards his wife.