Payne, Anne 1884 October 25th Longbridge Deverill
Mr Coroner Sylvester held an inquest at the George Inn, Longbridge Deverill, on Tuesday, relative to the death of Anne Payne, wife of Edwin Payne, gardener, who died in her confinement early on the previous Sunday morning.
It appeared from the evidence that on Sunday morning deceased was taken ill. Her husband at once called Rebecca Ball, a neighbour, who went and saw deceased, and sent her husband for a midwife. Whilst the husband was gone, deceased was confined, and appeared to be going on very well, until nine o’clock, when she complained of feeling very weak; and Mr Wilcox, of Warminster, was sent for, but before he arrived deceased expired.
Mr Wilcox stated that he examined deceased’s body after death, and found her countenance pale, and the surface of the body balanced and overbalanced. He thought death was caused by the large quantity of blood deceased had lost at her confinement. He (witness) would not say that had an experienced accoucheur been present the life of deceased would have been spared.
The Coroner, in summing up, remarked that these deaths would continue so long as the law allowed unskilful persons to attend women in confinements. No woman should be allowed to attend any woman in labour, unless she held a certificate of efficiency, but the law allowed any ignorant woman to do so, and so long as it remained so, there would be a continuance of these deaths.
He questioned very much, however, if a doctor had been engaged whether he would have gone to the deceased in time to have saved her life. He thought it a great mistake for husbands to employ midwives; and the less it was done the better. The midwife appeared in this case not to have applied the proper remedies, but he must say that no blame attached to her as she had done all she possibly could.
After a consultation the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, the cause of death being put down as syncope.