Wells, Mary

Wells, Mary               1899 March 10th


Sudden Death of an Old Lady

The city coroner (Mr S Buchanan Smith) held an inquest on Wednesday, at the Angel Hotel, on the body of Mary Ann Wells, aged 60, wife of Mr Benjamin Wells, a labourer, of Salisbury, who was found dead in her bedroom on the previous (Tuesday) evening. Mr T Scammell was elected foreman of the jury.

The first witness called was Benjamin Wells, who said he was husband of deceased, and was living at Lawrence Court, Water Lane, Fisherton, and was a labourer. On Tuesday morning between seven and eight o’clock, he went to his daughter’s house, in Wyndham Road. When he left home, his wife was in her usual health. She complained of giddiness in her head, as she had done for several weeks. Witness returned home again at about twenty minutes to six in the evening. On reaching his house he went upstairs, but did not enter the bedroom. A few minutes later he went up again, and stepped into the bedroom. He found his wife lying across the foot of the bed with her face downward, and her legs on the floor. He spoke to her and touched her, and found her quite cold. The bed was not made, but shaken up. He concluded that she was dead, and went into his neighbour’s house and fetched Mrs Massey.

Mary Massey, of Lawrence Court, also gave evidence.

James E Gordon said he was a medical practitioner in Salisbury. At about six o’clock on Tuesday evening he was called to deceased’s house. He found her quite dead, she undoubtedly having died several hours previously. He examined the body and found no signs of violence on it. Judging from the deceased’s past history, he should say was the result of an apoplectic seizure. There were no signs of poison.

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


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