Foster, Elizabeth

Foster, Elizabeth     1889 February 16th        Quidhampton

On Monday afternoon an inquest was held at the White Horse Inn by Mr R A Wilson, touching the death of Elizabeth Foster, a baby. Mr Charles Holly was foreman of the jury.

Christiana Foster, mother of the child, was the first witness. She stated that she was a single woman. The child was a month old on Saturday. It was born in the Wilton Union. Witness left last Thursday. She discharged herself and came home, bringing the child with her. She left the workhouse about ten o’clock. On that day she gave the child some fresh milk and she had given it some every day. The child died at two o’clock on Saturday. It had been weakly from its birth. It was not strong enough to take much milk. She fed it with the bottle. Witness did not notice it getting weaker until Sunday morning. Witness had quite sufficient milk for the child but the latter could not take much. She did not think that it took a half-penny’s worth of milk from Thursday to the time of its death.

Elizabeth Foster, wife of William Foster, a platelayer on the line, said that when her daughter came home she (witness) was hanging out clothes. On entering the house she saw her daughter. She had not previously seen the baby. Witness thought that the baby would not live when she saw it, because it was so thin and did not seem able to swallow anything. Witness and her daughter gave all the attention to it that they could. The baby could not seem to get on with its food. It died very quietly.

Arthur Thomson said that he attended the mother of the deceased in her confinement and frequently saw the child afterwards. At first he considered the child prematurely born. It was very weakly and it was not until the fifth day that it could be got to take any nourishment at all, and that was by putting it in a spoon. For two weeks after its birth it was under observation. It was very unhealthy. For the next two weeks it received the ordinary routine of visiting as it did require special treatment. He had examined the child that (Monday) afternoon. He saw no marks of violence and the child showed every appearance of having died from inanition.

The jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.

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