Dredge, infant

Dredge, infant     1888 July 7th

On Monday morning an inquest was held by Mr W C Powning (Deputy Coroner) in the Judges Room at the Council House, touching the death of the infant male child of James Dredge, laborer, of 55, Culver Street, aged three weeks, who died early on Sunday morning. Mr John Else was chosen foreman of the jury.

James Henry Gordon, medical practitioner, was the first witness. He said that he was called to see the child before six o’clock, he thought, on Sunday morning. On his arrival he found the boy dead. It was lying on the bed. The mother took it out and let him see it. He examined it. The body was hardly cold. It had a perfectly natural appearance. There were no signs of its having been overlaid. It appeared to have been a rather weakly child. There was no direct evidence as to the cause of death. In witness’s opinion death was due to natural causes.

Ellen Dredge, mother of the deceased, said that the child was born three weeks ago last Saturday. It was quite well up to Saturday night last. She put it to bed at ten o’clock after feeding it. It slept between witness and her husband, and it had always slept there since its birth. Witness and her husband went to bed about half past ten, and the child was then sleeping. It woke about half past twelve, and witness fed and nursed it. Witness did not notice anything the matter with it, except that it was fretful. It lay on witness’s arm, and went to sleep again, almost immediately. About a quarter to six witness woke up and found the child lying on her arm, dead. Witness aroused her husband and said she thought the baby was dead, and he said, “Yes, it is quite dead.” The body was quite warm. Witness then sent for a doctor. The face of the deceased was quite exposed, and the child appeared to have died in its sleep. Witness had four other children, the eldest of which was three years.

The jury returned a verdict of “Death from natural causes.”


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