Johnson, Rosa

Johnson, Rosa                     1904 January 1st

The City Coroner (Mr S Buchanan Smith) held an inquest at the Council Chamber, Salisbury, on Tuesday evening, on the body of Rosa May Johnson, the infant child of Charles Johnson, a labourer, of 4, Herbert Court, Culver Street, Salisbury, who died under circumstances detailed by the following witnesses. Mr Thomas Baker was chosen foreman of the jury.

The father said that on Sunday at about eleven o’clock he went to bed in company with his wife and the deceased, his child, who was not very well. She was lying by the side of his wife. About five o’clock in the morning he was awakened by his wife who said that she could not see the baby breathing. Witness looked and said, “The baby is dead.” He went for a doctor. The baby was lying between its mother and the wall on the left hand side.

Rhoda Johnson, wife of the last witness, stated that when she went to bed she gave the baby some milk in a bottle. About five o’clock the next morning she awoke, and looking at the baby, found it dead. The child was lying on its back between witness and the wall. The child was last ill in October, when it had a very heavy cold. It was nine months old.

In answer to the foreman, witness did not find the child stir or move in the night.

Dr Ellis said that early on Monday morning he was called to see the child, whom he found dead. He examined the body and found no marks of any kind. The mother told him that the child was lying in exactly the same position as she saw it before going to sleep, with its head on the pillow and the clothes not covering the face. He attended the child in October for bronchitis, but it rapidly got better. From the appearance he did not think it had been over-lain. Death probably occurred through convulsions before the child was able to struggle enough to wake the mother, but it was very difficult to say. However, he was certain that death ensued from natural causes.

The jury returned a verdict of “Death from Natural Causes, probably caused by convulsions.”

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