Brown, Charles

Brown, Charles         1888 February 11Wilton

Mr G Smith, the City Coroner, held an inquiry at the Infirmary on Friday afternoon touching the death of a child named Charles Brown.

Frank Coombes, a laborer, living at South Street, Wilton, said that the deceased was his nephew, and the child’s father lived in North Street, Wilton. He had, however, been ill for the last two years, and did not do any work. On Sunday evening, January 22nd, about half past eight, witness was in the kitchen of the house in which the deceased’s parents lived. Deceased was sitting in a low chair before the fire. As witness was walking towards the door with his brother-in-law he heard the child fall. On turning in the direction of the fireplace, he saw the deceased lying on the fender, and the contents of the kettle pouring upon him. Linseed oil was applied to the scalds, and on the following morning, as the child appeared worse, Mr Straton was sent for, and recommended his removal to the Salisbury Infirmary. The deceased was three years old.

Elizabeth Brown, mother of the deceased, said her husband’s name was Henry Brown, a laborer, living at North Street, Wilton. On the evening of Sunday, Jan 22nd, she went upstairs to get a hot-water bottle for her husband who was ill. Deceased was not in the chair then, but could climb into a seat without assistance. The chair was liable to tip forward, and witness accounted for the accident by supposing that the chair had fallen forward when the deceased was climbing into it or getting down. Witness heard the noise caused by the fall, and on coming downstairs dressed the scalds with linseed oil and flour. Deceased did not cry at the time, and, as witness did not think that the scalds were serious, she did not send for a doctor until the following morning.

Levi Stephenson Luckham, house surgeon at the Infirmary, said the deceased, when admitted, was suffering from severe scalds on the head and arms and consequent shock to the system. The child rallied by the next day, but finally died from exhaustion that (Friday) morning, the exhaustion being due to the excessive discharge and pain. He did not think that if the child had been brought to the Infirmary directly after the accident his life would have been saved.

A verdict of “Death from exhaustion caused by accidental scalding” was returned.

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