Durnin, Mary

Durnin, Mary        1887 September 10th

On Monday morning an inquest was held at the Fisherton House Asylum, before Mr G Smith, city coroner, touching the death of Mary Durnin. Mr E Witt was foreman of the jury.

Elizabeth Grist, one of the nurses at the Asylum, was the first witness. She stated that on Saturday last she was with the deceased at dinner time about quarter to two. During dinner she appeared to be very strange. Before this she seemed to be in about the same state as she had been all the week previous. She had been very strange in her manner during the previous week, but had taken her food. She seemed less sensible than usual. On Saturday witness took her by the arm and she walked to the shed in the garden. Witness left her there and went back to see for her dinner, but looking back saw that her head had fallen. Witness directly went back for her and called for a nurse to bring a cushion. A nurse came and witness went for a doctor. Dr Finch arrived about two minutes afterwards.

Jane Baker, the nurse referred to by the last witness, gave corroborative testimony.

Dr Finch said that when he arrived the deceased was lying on the seat in the summer house in the ward garden. She was then dead. The deceased was admitted into the Asylum on the 18th May last. She was a pauper patient sent from Kensington. She was 39 years of age and was a dress maker. A post mortem examination was made and he was of opinion that death ensued from failure of the heart’s action consequent on brain disease. The deceased was previously in good bodily health and had not complained. She was very incoherent. The deceased was suffering from general paralysis when admitted to the Asylum. He personally conducted the post mortem examination assisted by two of the medical men of the establishment.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

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