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An inquest was held this afternoon at the Royal Hotel on the body of Louisa " Martha Barnes, a young girl, fifteen years of age, who died suddenly at the residence of her grandfather, Mr E. Rippengale, on Sunday morning. The inquest was held before Mr Hugo Friedlander, J.P., Acting-Coroner, and a jury of whom Mr R. Minnis was chosen foreman. The following evidence was called :— Edward Rippengale, farmer at Ashburton Forks, said that'the deceased was his grand daughter,, and that she had latterly, been living at his house. She went to bed about nine o'clock on Saturday evening apparently in. good health, save for slight «old _in the. feet. About midnight she got .up and got a drink of tea in the kitchen, then returning to bed. Between four and five o'clock on Sunday morning deceased's grandmother went into her room to see if she was all right, and ' returning a minute or so later told witness that the girl was complaining of cold feet and that she would heafc some water in order that she might bathe. them. . Deceased's grandmother lit a fire and got the hot water ready, but when she went into the girl's room she' found that she ; was dead.; Witness got up at once in order to get a horse to ride into town and bring Dr Tweed, but it was so dark that he could not find his horse in the paddock. He theu went to the house of his, son-in-law, who rode into town. Elizabeth Ann Rippengale, wife of the • last witness, said that deceased was her grand-daughter, and had resided with her for the last seven years. On Saturday evening deceased appeared to be in good health. She assisted, her grandfather to carry in the goods which he had purchased in Ashburton, and afterwards made a hearty meal. Subsequently she read the paper to her grandfather, after which she went to bed, apparently in the best of health. About midnight she got up,and got a drink in the kitchen. Witness thought something' might be wrong and going. into 'deceased's room asked what' was 1 the Deceased replied that she couldjnot 1 sleep.' Witness advised he.r \p tjirn^ tiii' her side and >■ covering her up leffr her.' Witness' again went in between 4 and 5 and^ found 'that deceased was perspiring profusely, andshe complained of pains in her legs up to her knees. - Witness told her to cover herself up well, and she (witness) would heat some water to - bathe her legs. Witness went out to get some .hot water, and returning five, or ten minutes afterwards found that the girl was dead, ' -lying in exactly the .same position as when wit- . ness left her. Dr. Tweed said that he had made a post mortem examination of the body of the deceased. Death resulted from syncope, the result of effusion into the pericardium. This was all the evidence. The Jury, without retiring, returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

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Bibliographic details

SUDDEN DEATH., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2442, 16 June 1890

Word Count

SUDDEN DEATH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2442, 16 June 1890