Of the 50 cases in 1887, unfortunately a good number are covered with a mere paragraph, in several cases reports consisted of two or more cases bundled together. Necessarily there is a lack of detail in some of the cases.

A typical case of A not knowing what B and C were doing is seen in the death of William Hill, a labourer at the Salisbury Great Western station, who happened to be sweeping out a truck at the same time as a goods train was being shunted together on the same siding. The real shock is at finding out the deceased man’s age. Witnesses in the case of Mary Durnin, a patient of Fisherton Asylum, differed in their description of the place of death, nurse calling it a shed, doctor calling it a summerhouse. I wonder which it was more like?

We have all heard of a husband and wife dying within a few days of each other – Sarah Safe‘s death was just such a one (and so was that of Jane Farley), with a witness who went by the wonderful name of Zipporah Rawkins, a washer-woman. Baby John Coghlan‘s death seems overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the mother, who the father seems to wish put in an asylum – and, of course, women were in those days sectioned into the Lunatic Asylum for problems attendant on child-birth.

Poverty and drugs seem to be behind the systematic deprivation of food enacted by mother and son upon William Pearce, and the case has echoes of the Dinah Hibberd case of 1888. John Ilsley suffered from what he and his wife thought was indigestion – it was clearly something more serious than that – and she was in the habit of rubbing him with a ‘flesh brush’ as he thought his circulation was poor.

Hill, William

Gilbert, Louisa                                            Winterbourne Stoke

Yates, William

Redman, William                                         Romsey

Blanchard Herbert                                       Chippenham

Boher, John                                                Chippenham

Safe, Sarah

Rudge, James                                             Treribble/Salisbury

Candy, George                                            King Somborne

Strugnell, John

Mussell, Ezekial                                          Alderbury

Reynolds, Elizabeth                                    Corsley

Smith, Ann                                                 Westbury

Jefferis, George                                          Fordingbridge

Phillips, Ada

Pearce, William                                          Winterslow

Ilsley, John

Hillier, Charlotte

Harding, Jane                                             Winterbourne Gunner

Coghlan, John                                            Devizes

Scott, Emily                                               Dilton Marsh

Snelgrove infant                                        Bishopstrow

Skull, David                                               Chippenham

Perrett, Mary                                              Warminster

Vizard, William                                          Chippenham

Isley, Margaret                                           Trowbridge

Dagger, Albert                                           Bradford-on-Avon

Newman, Harry

Smart, Frederick                                        Bradford-on-Avon

Herring, Rose                                            Bradford-in-Avon

Barnes, Fred                                              Dinton

Durnin, Mary

Farley, Jane                                               Heytesbury

Gibbs, Henry                                             Wilton

James, Anna

Bunsell, William

Stokes, George                                         Trowbridge

Dixon, Nellie                                            Michelmersh

Wells, Anna                                              Andover

Shurmer, Anna

Milsom, Lilian, and Alexander, Alfred          Bradford-on-Avon

Silcocks, Mary                                          Trowbridge

Barnett, Joseph

Smith, Alice                                             Warminster

Kite, Elizabeth                                         Harnham

Hilton, Florence

Guile, George                                          Whiteparish

Eyles, William                                          Trowbridge

Barnes, Cornelius                                     No-Man’s-Land

Alsford, Ann

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