Hardiman, infant

Hardiman infant    1891 March 21st





Death of a Baby from Overcrowding

The Deputy-Coroner (Mr S B Smith) held an inquest at the Council Chamber on Friday afternoon, touching the death of a male child, aged two months, of James and Emily Hardiman, of No6, Witt’s Court, Gigant Street.

The mother stated that on the previous night she went to bed with the child at nine o’clock and woke up again at three o’clock in the morning, when the deceased was in its usual health. At six o’clock, however, when she next awoke, she found the baby dead by her side.

In answer to the jury, the witness stated that she and her husband and three children, including the deceased, slept in one bed. Another child slept in a bassinet by the side of the bed. Immediately after the child was found dead, the father, who is a bus-driver, called in Dr Blackmore.

That gentleman gave it as his opinion that the child had been suffocated by the mother overlaying it. The right side, face and arm, bore marks of having been pressed. In cold weather, with five persons huddled together in a bed, an infant was easily suffocated in that manner.

The Deputy-Coroner pointed out that it was for the jury to decide whether the child had been accidentally or intentionally killed.

A Juryman thought the father and mother ought to be cautioned against overcrowding in the manner described.

A verdict of “accidental death” was returned.


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