This years cases include the le Page case which shows the inherent dangers of the railway sidings, while the Scriven case shows how many railwaymen actually walked up and down the line in going to and from home. The Green case gives a vivid desciption of a navvy’s hut and basic sleeping arrangements. The Broadbere case gives some idea of the reluctance some people had to go ‘cap in hand’ to the relieving officer in order to obtain a medical order for the medical treatment so obviously needed, whilst the Stares case shows how potentially divisive can be the will of a deceased relative.
The Clarke case and Taylor case give us another common cause of death among the elderly, falling down the tight, narrow, slightly worn wooden stairway which many poor houses had. The Butler case reminds us of the obvious advise about not standing under a tree during a thunder storm.
The Davis case gives us somewhat of a mystery, and one wishes one could be a fly on the wall. The main interest is quickly diverted from the ‘horrible’ whelks the deceased had just eaten and not digested, to the other main witness in the case. Mrs Barford apparently has little to do with the death, and yet a crowd of the public harry her every step to the courtroom with boos and hisses. With regard to letting people lodge at their house Mr and Mrs Barford seem to give slightly different evidence. Perhaps it depends what is meant by ‘lodging’? I could not find this couple on the 1901 census at all.
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