Doughty, infant

Doughty infant        1889 August 31st       Wardour

Inquest on a Child at Wardour

In the banqueting hall of Wardour Old Castle on Monday morning, Mr Wilson (Coroner) held an inquiry touching the death of the illegitimate daughter of Annie Doughty, 24, single woman, lately in the employ of Mrs Jeffrey, Old Wardour. The girl’s parents reside at Alvediston, and the father is a laborer.

It seems that the birth took place on Wednesday, and the body of the child was not found till Friday, it having been uncovered by Mr J A Ensor, MRCS, of Tisbury. The following were the jurymen: Messrs H Charlton (Foreman), H Cadley, W Ford, J H Ingram, A J Jukes, J Gurd, F Ford, J F King, S Hewell, J Bealing, J Smith and J Parham.

Mr J A Ensor said he was a registered medical practitioner, residing at Tisbury. On Friday he went to Old Wardour to see a servant in the employ of Mr Jeffreys, by name Annie Doughty, who he had heard had had a mis-carriage. He found her in bed. On making inquiries he was informed that the mis-carriage had taken place in a closet attached to the house. He then went to the place and made an examination. The girl told him that she had had a mis-carriage and that it was in the closet. He went to the place indicated, and there found the body. Later in the day he made an external examination. It was a full-grown female infant. There were no marks of violence on the body. It was lying face downwards, slightly inclining to one side. He had an opinion that the child had breathed, but had been immediately suffocated by the matter in which it was found. There were no injuries. When he saw the girl in the first instance she stated that she had been suffering from diarrhoea. When she came from the closet her mistress ordered her to go to bed and immediately sent for the doctor.

In answer to Police Inspector Cowdrey witness stated that he thought the position of the body was quite consistent with what the girl had stated. He had noticed all those things and his evidence was founded on all those facts.

Mrs Jeffrey deposed she was the wife of Mr John Jeffrey. The girl Annie Doughty was in her employ. The last week she had suspicions of the girl’s state. The girl had a fellow servant who slept in the same room. On Wednesday morning she had not got the breakfast ready. That was about 8. When she came into the kitchen witness saw she looked very ill. She sent her to bed and sent at once for the doctor. She went upstairs with her, and the girl did not deny what had happened. She went into no particulars. She had been with her about two years. Mr Ensor’s assistant came on Wednesday morning.

Emily Mullings, widow, living at Ansty Water, corroborated.

C G Jackson stated that at present he resided at Tisbury. He was a registered medical practitioner, and assistant to Mr Ensor. He was taking care of Mr Ensor’s practise during his absence. On Wednesday morning he was sent for about 9.30. He received a note from Mrs Jeffrey to go and see her servant who was ill. He got there about 11.30 and was shown to the bedroom, where he saw the girl, Annie Doughty, who was in bed. He did not know what had taken place. The nurse came into the room, and from what she said he gathered there had been a mis-carriage. He examined her and she seemed very faint from loss of blood, and could hardly reply to his questions. He saw her again the same night. As the result of his examination he considered she had not been more than four or five months pregnant, and was rather misled in thinking that the mis-carriage had taken place then, consequently he did not think it necessary to search.

Mr Ensor said it was practically an accident his going to the closet to look; it was simply a matter of routine.

Emily Mullings, recalled, said that on Friday morning she went to the outhouse and saw a part of the body of the child. She told the nurse. Mr Ensor came shortly afterwards and he made a search and took out the body.

Naomi Lush said she was a fellow servant and occupied the same bedroom. She had not heard anything from Annie Doughty, except that she had complained of diarrhoea. She had been about 12 months in her present situation.

The Coroner said there was no evidence to show that the child had come to its death by any wilful means, and the jury returned a verdict to the effect that the child came to its death by suffocation.

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