Crook, James

Crook, James    1899 May 5th

Sudden Death of a Salisbury Man

A PECULIAR CASE

Mr S Buchanan-Smith (City Coroner) held an inquest at the White Hart Hotel, on Tuesday evening, on the body of James Crook, aged 36, assistant lodging house keeper, living at 65, Brown Street, who died from hemorrhage of the brain possibly the result of a blow on Monday. Mr Edward Judd was Foreman of the jury.

Frederick Henstridge, a barman, of 65, Brown Street, stated that about 7.20 on Monday evening, he went up the lodging house yard and saw Crook come out of the woodhouse with a cap over his eye. He said, “I’ve done it now,” and, removing his cap, showed witness a cut over his eye. Witness advised him to get some clean rag and bind it up, which he did. Witness then left him. When he said “I’ve done it now” he told him he had met with the accident by chopping the wood, a piece of stick having hit him in the eye. About a quarter to eight Mrs Kean asked witness to help her lift him on the bed. He then sent his brother for the doctor.

Alicia Jane Kean, lodging house keeper, of 65 and 67 Brown Street, said deceased was in her employ. He was her assistant. About 7.30 on Monday deceased asked her for a bit of rag. He said “I have nearly cut my eye out.” She offered to tie it up for him, but he refused her offer, and went to the tap with the rag, and bathed the wound with cold water. A few minutes afterwards she asked him if he was better, and he said “It will be better now the blood is off.” She advised him to come in and have some whisky, but he did not come, and going out again she found him sitting on the step with his head hanging forward. She bathed his face with vinegar and water. He made a peculiar noise. Witness got assistance, and had him placed on the bed, and sent for Dr Ellis. Mr Ward, his assistant, came and stopped with him till he died, which was, she believed, about 9 o’clock. She thought he was about 35 years of age, but she knew nothing of him except that he was a native of Bodenham.

Mr Sidney Ellis, surgeon, practising in Salisbury, said he was sent for a little after eight to go to 65 Brown Street. He sent his assistant, Mr Ward. Witness went down about 8.20, having been sent for by the assistant. Deceased was alive then, but in a comatose condition. He had an abrasion of the right eye. The eyelid was much swollen. The probable caise of death was hemorrhage on the brain, but it was difficult to say what the primary cause was. He died at ten minutes to nine.

By the Foreman: I do not think the blow from the piece of stick was sufficient to cause death. He might have had brain or kidney disease and the shock might have hastened death. At the same time it might have been merely a coincidence that he had the wound then.

The jury returned a verdict of ‘death from natural causes.’

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