Sudden Death at Dromore.
■ -0 ■ THE INQUEST. Yesterday morning the Police received intimation that a woman had died suddenly at Dromore, under circumstances that de- ' uianded an inquest. Last evening an inquest was held m the Droraore school, before tho Actins: Coroner, Mr R. Alcorn, and a jury of six^ of whom Mr W. 0. Smith was chosen Foreman. The inquest for the Crown was conducted by Constable Brown. Having viewed the body of the deceased, an elderly wom?,n, of about four years' residence m the townshtp of Dromore, tho jury retired (o the sehoolhouse, Dr Boyd m m the meantime making an external e:cauiination of tho body. George Dell Henderson, sworn, deposed: He was a labourer resi Jing at Dr<jmora. Knew the deeea-ed. The body lying at the residence of Mrs Davidson he identified as being that of Annie Trethowen. In company with her son, the deceased had lived with witness at Dromore for abdut four years. Witness here positively refused to state m reply to a question by Constable Brown, whether he and deceased had lived aa man . and wife.
Continuing, Henderson said he was a labourer at Fajlrfield, and had last parted with deceased at 5 a.m. on Monday morning. She was then, or afe least she appeared to be, m her usual state of health; for, had she been otherwise, he would not have^ left her. Daring his acquaintance with deceased, she had complained frequently of ill-health, and so acute was her ailment at times that she was obliged to take to hor bed. Following his usual custom, he arrived at his home, on Monday evening at about 6.30, and shortly afterwards was asked by a daughter of Mrs Davidson's to go to her (Mrs Davidson's) residence a3 deceased was unwell. Being tired, witness refused to comply with the request. Some little time afterwards he received the following note:—"Please, George, would you oome down, as I do not know whether Mrs Henderson is alive or dead. The woman was half "shikker" when she came down. Come at once." The letter was not signed, but subsequent evidence proved that it had been written by Miss Davidson. Continuing, witness said thab he did nos pay much attention to the note, thinking that deceased would soon recover from what he thought was over indulgence m liquor, and would return home m the usual way. , By the Coroner—Deceased was not addicted to drink, but was easily upset by taking liquor even m small quantities. Henderson, continuing, he was awakened from his sleep at about 2.45 a.m. by, Mrs Davidson and her daughter, who appealed to him to accompany them back, as Mrs Henderson appeared to be m a bad way, and could not be roused. Witness then awakened George Trethowan, a eon of the deceased, and m company with Mrs Davidson they proceeded to her residence— about half a mile distant. Arriving at Mra Davidson's residence, witness saw deceeased lying on a bed, apparently lifeless. Talked the matter over with George Trothowan, and shortly afterwards despatched him to a Mrs Blackburo, a neighbour. That lady subsequently arrived, and on entering the room said: " Oh, my God! the woman is dead. You people ought to be ashamed ofi yourselves. What have you been doing with the woman ?" * Mrs Blackburn theo. declined to have anything further to say m the matter, and departed. Witness shortly afterwards rode to Ashburton, and called on Dr Boyd, to whom he related the full circnmsfcances. Dr Boyd referred him to the Police, remarking that "it was useless for him to go to Dromore to see a dead body." Witness then went to the Police station, and reported the full facta to Sergeant Fouhy. To the Coroner—He was not prepared to swear whether or not he and deceased were living as man and wife. If anyone called deceased" Mrs Henderson," it was not by his sanction or by marriage law, Constable Brown pressed that the question be answered satisfactorily, whereupon the Coroner, addcessing Henderson, said: "You will be called upon to answer th.Q question at isaue if I and the jury de9m it necessary." To the Foreman—Deceased although accustomed to drink intoxicating liquor m his home, was not an habitual drunkard.
To Dr lioyd—Deceased often complained v of pains m the region of the stomach and the left side, and was frequently attacked by fainting fits. Mary Davidson, sworn, deposed:—She was a widow residing at Dromore, and had known the deceased for about 3 years. Since her intimacy with the deceased the latter had always complained of pains m. her inside, and she (deceased) was always . suffering more or less. At 5.33 on Monday afternoon the deceased came to the residence of witness, when she complained of feeling unwell. Witness gave the deceased a sip of brandy m hot water that she happened to have m the house. As deceased did not appear to get any better, witness pub her to bed and gave her some hot milk. She did not move afterwards, and witness thought that she (deceased) had fainted. Witness sat alongside the bed for sometime and anally came to the conclusion at 2.30 a.ra that deceased was dead, as she had not moved m the meantime. Hendersoa was then informed of the condition of deceased. Mrs Blackburn, who was brought; by George Augustu3 Trethowen, said on j entering the room that|the woman was dead and that a doctor should have been sent for and further that she would not hay© any more to say or do m the matter. Witness never attempted to shift or touch the deceased after she had been put to bed. The note produced was. written by witneaa's daughter. : Re-called, Mra . Davidson m reply to questions by Dr Boyd, said deceased had vomited slightly and appeared to be choking early on Monday evening. Deceased was able to talk when she came to her place at the outset. Her face was flushed and her breathing light. Deceased did not snore while m bed and did not then speak. She never complained to witness of the exact nature of the complaint. Witness did not think deceased was m very great pain. She was put to bed shortly after 7 o'clock and opened her eyes about eleven, o'clock and closed them almost immediately. She did not speak on that occasion. Had seen deceased m several faints but was not sure whether they were apoplectic fits. Deceased appeared to take a seizure m tha middle of a sentence and m consequence she could not finish what she intended to say. Re-called, George Ti-elhowan said his mother had been treated for heart complaint by Dr Mortimer-Anderson, of Christohurch.
By a Juryman—Witness (Mrs Davidson) did liot dictate the note produced to her daughter. It was written on her own initiative. Deceased assigned no reason for paying witness a visit on Monday afternoon. She appeared m great pain, and was undoubtedly suffering acutely. Deceased did not appear to be under the influence o£ liquor, although witness thought she was when she first came to her place. Deceased usually spoke of her troubles when under the influence of liquor, and this fact led her (witness) to think that she had been drinkiutj on Monday afternoon. George Augustis Trethowen, sworn, deposed: He was a son of the deceased, and was a labourer living at Dromore. In the main, witness corroborated the evidence given by Henderson. Arrived home from work on Monday at about 10.45 p.m. His mother had been subject to fainting fits for years to his knowledge. She had been m the Christchurch HospitaJ for over two weeks some five years ago, and refused on that occasion to undergo an operation. She had never consulted a doctor since residing at,Dromore. Did not know the nature ot his mother's complaint. Lucy Ellen Blackburn gave evidence to pro\re that when she was called to Mrs Davidson's by Trethowen, the deoeased was then dead. Dr Boyd, sworn, deposed; He had made an external examination of the body lying at the house of Mrs Davidson. To 1 his knowledge he had. never seen the woman alive. The appearance of the'body indicated that death had occurred some eighteen hours prior to his examination. The only' abnormal condition he noticed was an organic displacement peculiar to the sex, which would m the ordinary result oauao chronic invalidism. He was not prepared to say from his outward examination what was really the direct causa of death. Ha had noted the evidence adduced, but without further examination he could not ! conclusively determine what wag the nature of the (sulminating disease, if such was m evidence. The deceased^ight have expired m an apopleptic lit or from direct syncboe, but the evidence did not prove, although it pointed m that direction. There were no marks of violence visible on the body, with the exoeption of an eruption that had the appearance of having, been healed for Borne time. .;. ,„ . In reply to a question put by the Coroner, witness said that the jury had ths
right on the evidence adduced to return a verdict that deceased died from cxtural causes. The Coroner briefly summed up the evidence, and intimated that if the jury .«o desired, a post mortem examination would be ordered. After a brief retirement, the jury returned a verdict that the deceased died from natural causes ns far as they had gathered from the evidence.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Issue 6584, 31 May 1905
Sudden Death at Dromore. Ashburton Guardian, Issue 6584, 31 May 1905
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