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A TEMUKA SENSATION., Otago Daily Times, Issue 9190, 10 August 1891
A TEMUKA SENSATION.
AN EXHUMATION ORDERED. A case which has for some time past excited considerable interest in South Canterbury citne prominently before the public on the 21st ult., when an inquest was htld on the body of .-. wellknown resident who died some years agoThe facts of the case, briefly stated, are as follows :—Some time ago the gentleman in question went home to England on a trip, leaving his wif v and family in Temuka. Whilst at Home hi; formed a connection with another lady, vvh:; alleges that a marriage took place, and remained in England for eorao years, during which two children were born. During his absence hiestate was managed by his son in New Zealand. Subsequently he returned to the colony, and after some time speub in Tdmuka announce;! his intention of returning to England. Some two or three days before the time fixed tor bis leaving the colony he was taken ill, aaO despite the skill of his medical attendam he died. At the time of his death ho was possessed of very considerable property, whicb by a will dated some years prior to his death, was bequeathed to his wife aud eon i;> Temuka. A communication was sent Home to the lady in England by a lady in Temuka, who shortly afterwards came out to the colony. From some alleged circumstances attendant upon the decease the lady from England made representations to the Government with a vie« to an inquiry being held, which has been granted, and the exhumation of the body has been ordered. John Hayhurst, whose body was exhumerwas a Manchester man, and was born in 1828. his father being a farmer. When about 16 years old his energetic nature led him to seek tU fortune in Australia. Ho was poor but plucky, and it ia said that ho reached the land of hio desire by stowing away on a ship bound for Sydney. On arriving ia New South Wales he was soon at work —he took tha first work offered him —but after a few months decided to como to Ntw Zealand. He did bo, ana spent some years working in the bush in the North Island. What he did he did with his might, and ha kept his eyes very widely open for any chance of improving himself. He thought he saw on< ; ia Canterbury when the fir&t four ships arrived at Lytfcelton. To Canterbury he came, and took a contract to cut timber from the bush and in»ke wheelbarrows for the contractors for the Sumner road. After this he took to bush work on Banks Peninsula, and while there he met the lady who, on the death of her first, husband, became his wife. From the Peninsula he went to Christchuroh, where, with Mr W. Gosling, now a resident of Timaru, he worked in the old Market Place smithy. His mechanical talents, it may bo said, were equal to his energy and forasight, and this happy combination of characteristics rendered him admirably fitted to fight the battle of life ia a now country. While in Christchurch there happened an event which marked the turning point in his life. Sir Thomas Taucred engaged Mr and Mrs Hayhurst as married couple on his station at Ashburton. Here his ensrgy and ability asserted themselves in a congenial fitld; r>3 proved "the right man in the right place," and rose so rapidly in the estimation of his employer and in wealth that Sir Thomas, on leaving Canterbury for a trip Home, sold him the station on terms. His affaira now prospered exceedingly; he became sole owner of the station on which he had been employed; and he obtained land in tbe.Mackenzie Country and about Temuka. After many successful ventures he settled dowu at the latter piaca, added to his possessions there, aud formed the well-known Greenhayes estate, whicb, it has bsen said, ha 3an annual rent roll of some £5000. Early in 1859 Mr and Mrs Hayhurst paid a visit to the old country. Up to this time, it may be remarked, none of their children had lived longer than a few months. In September 1860 they left England on their return voyage in the Chile, Captain Turnbull, Mrs Hayhuvst bringing a Miss Murray with her as a companion. During the voyage, on November 16, Mrs Hayhurst bore a son. He was christened John Turnbull Murray Hayhurst, and is the present owner of the Greenbayes estate. For several years Mr Hayhurst worked hard on his property at Greenhayes. He then, with his wife and son, paid a short visit to England. A few yeurs later they made another trip, and his son was left iii tha old country to ba educated, Mr Hayhurst, with a view of purchasing machinery, and with other objects, made frequent visits to the old country, and prior to one of these trips settled upon his son, Mr J. T. M. Hayhurst, who had just come of age, certain valuable sections in Temuka, and also a portion of the estate known as the " Leys Farm," and also handed over to him the management of the rest of the property. Mr J. T. M. Hayhurst married a daughter of Mr Job Brown, a merchant of Temuka, and settled down to his duties as a landlord and so forth very steadily, and with much of his father's ability, and practically held the reins of government for a number of years. In 1886 his father, who had been absent some four years, returned to the colony with some roller milling plant, and having superintended the erection of this returned to the old country, and did not come to New Zealand again until 1888, when ho brought additional plant. He was actively engaged in superintending additions to his mill, the making of dams, and the building of a large grain shed for some months, but purposing to visit England once more had all his luggage packed, when he was taken suddenly ill from a col j, contracted, it was thought, while making certain protective works in the Temnka river. At this time he woa living with Mrs Hayhurst in a house in the Temuka township, the family residence of Greenhayes having been surrendered to his sou. When ill he received medical attendance from Dr J. 8. Hayes, but after a few days' sickness he expired rather unexpectedly. When confined to his room, finding that he was likely to miss the boat by whicb he had intended to sail, he directed Mrs Copestake, an intimate friend of the family, and whom he had been instrumental in bringing from the old country, to writo to a certain lady, at an addrees in Kent, mentioning chat he would bo unable to arrive by the boat he had intended. The letter was duly despatched and a reply was received, but not until after his death. The medical man, having carefully gone into the matter, gave a certificate of death from urnaaia, a result likely to follow the disease from which Mr Hayhurst was suffering, and the symptoms of which might be mistaken for poisoning. The high standing in she medical world of the gentleman in question settled any doubts that there may have baen, and tha funeral took place on April 7, 1889. Nothing of interest in connectioo with the family transpired for some timo except that certain expectant beneficiaries under the. will were disappointed. In due course the reply before mentioned arrived, and in subsequent letters the writer claimed to be Mr Hayhurst's (awful wife. Mr J. T. M. Hayhurst made a visit to Eagland and interviewed the lady. Not long after his return to New Zealand the lady herself arrived with her two children, and no time was lost by her in placing herself iv commuoication with members of the family and others interested. Her statement was that she was lawfully married to Mr Hayhurst. The new claimant to the title of Mrs Hayburst was impressed with the gossip about the death, and bad several interviews with Dr Hayes upon the subject. He declined to alter the stand he had taken, and resolutely refused to answer the numerous queries put to him as regards symptoms, &c. Ultimately, on the representation of Sergeant-major Mason, and at the solicitation of Mr J. I. M. Hayhurst, he consented to reply to a number of questions put to him by Dr Coughtrey, and after many pages of foolscap had been expended upon the matter an opinion was given. It may ba mentioned that the late Mr Hayburst caused several members of his family to be brought out to tho colony wbeu ha found himself iv prosperous circumstances as well ns acreral persons with whom he was upon terms of intimacy. Among these are Mra Parke, his sister, who was a witness at tho inquest, and Mrs Copestake, formerly a Misn Murcay, who came out with Mr and 53r3 Hayhurst in a sailing ve3sel, commanded by Captain Turnbull. THE INQUEST. Tkmuka, July 21. An inquest was opened this morning before Coroner Beetham touching the death of John ! Hayhurßt, who died and was buried in April ! 1889. The work of exhuming the body was ' begun at 8 o'clock this morning, and by the time that the jury arrived (9.40) the coffin was
>ut and placed in a tent alongside the grave. L'ho lid of the coffin having been taken off, the jury viewed the body ; snd at tbe request of the >own pro ß ecutot (Mr Martin, of Otaetctaurch) Me Beethani, coroner, directed that Drs Ogstan md Guthrie should make the poat mortem, and iand any portions of the body they choose to Professor Black, of Dunedio, for analysis. The joroner and jury then returned to town, and tlie joroner eaid tbat he did not propose to call evidence that day. Circumstances had occurred ihichhad rendered a good inquiry necessary »na it would therefore be adjourned to August i.whentb.3 investigations of tne m^" 581 m«n ud other evidence would be laid before them The case is exciting immense interest in SjouiQ Canterbury, and further developments are mxiously looked for. A VERDICT OF "DEATH FROM NATURAL CAUSES." An inquiry into the circumstances attending, she death of the late John Hayhurst, of Greenaayes was held at the courthouse at Temuka on she 4th inst., before Mr Coroner Beetham and a jury consisting of the following gentlemen : — Messrs J. W. Miles (foreman), Charles Storey, John Sim, William Storey, Peter Coira, and F. Mr j. C. Martin (of Christchurch) appeared m behalf of the Crown, Mr Postlethwaite for Mrs Eatelle Hayhurat, and Inspector Pendtr watched the proceedings on behalf of the police. The son of the deceased wss also present, but neither Mra John Hayburst nor the lady who claims to have married the deceased in England put in an appearance in court. _ Mr Beetham pointed out to the jury before the inquiry commenced that they had nothing whatever to do with certain rumours that haa been going about, or with certain paragraphs that had appeared in the newspapers. The only question they were to inquire into was tha way and manner in which John Hayhurst came to bis death. Mr J. 0. Martin, Crown solicitor, said he avl not know that he need say very much to the jury, as the post-mortem examination oi the late Mr Hayhurst and the chemical analysis which had been made proved beyond a doubt, he thought, that Mr Hayhurst; died a purely natural death. The most careful post-mortem examination had been made by medical men of experience. A chemist, he thought, of tbe greatest experience in the colony had been retained to examine the internal organs of the late Mr Hayhurst, and he had tested for every known paison without being able to obtain any result. The medical gentleman who attended the late Mr Hayhnrst attended him for a good many years, and was able to form a very correct opinion as to what was his end. That opinion was corroborated by what other doctors saw after Mr Hayhurst's death. Certain statements were made to the Governmsnt by various persons much interested, and this caused the police authorities to bring the matter before ih) coroner with the view of this inquest being held. Free opportunity had been given to every person interested to communicate with the Government, and be present at the post-mortem and subsequent analysis, and, of course, it was competent for any person to tender evidence that day if they were not satisfied. Ho then called, J. E. Beckingham, undertaker, of Timara. who stated that he put the body of the late Johu Hayhurst, of Greenhiye?, in his coffin, and buried him. Ho was present at tha Tetauka Cemetery when the body was exhumed on the 21st of July. Catherine Oopeatake, who resided at Temuka, said she knew the Mo Mr John Hayhurst for many years. She generally considered him a hale, Btrong man before his death. Shortly before he was ill he complained of feeling a dead weight across his stomach. She never heard him complain before he went to England. It was about a month before his death that Bhe first heard him complain. He said that he had taken ill at the mill in the morning. He was a mau who had suffered great deprivation in his early days. On the Monday before his death she recollected his coming to her house in the afternoon. He said he had been taken ill that same morning. He stayed at her house about an hour, and then went sway apparently all right. She went to see him. the next day in the afternoon. She then found him in bed, and very ill indeed. He seemed quite prostrate, and was very sick. She asked him if he had been ill in the eight, and ha said he had not, but he became sick after breakfast. He said he had porridge for breakfast, and sha asked Mrs Hayhurst if she used different oatmeal, and the latter replied," No." Only Mrs Hayhurst and witness were in the house at that time. Dc Hayes was called in in the morning. She asked Mrs Hayhurst if deceased had had any medicine, and she replied that he did not or would not take any. "There was a bottle of medicine unopened in the house, and witness asked to be allowed to give him some; but he desired to be left alone till the doctor came. The doctor did not come till the evening. During the time that i witness wa3 in the house Mr Hayhurst was retching, aud complained of pain in the head and stomach. When Dr Hayes came he was very angry that tbe medicine had not been taken. He got Mr Hayhurst to take tha meiiicine. Deceased wont oa taking it during the night, and the sickness had ceased by morning. Witness remained up with him the whole night. She went over for the doctor at 7 o'clock in the morning, and he saii that Mr Hayhurst was better, but it was a thousand pities that he had not taken the rnedicino sooner. Witness did not remember Mr Hayhurst complain of any particular pain on the Wednesday. She remained with him ou the Wednesday night. He attempted to got out of bed, seemed to bo giddy, and fell. Ha 1 threw off the bedclothes, put his feet out of bsd, and then fell. He seemed to fall violently sad suddenly. Nothing further happened duricg the Wednesday night. Sha remained with him till Thursday morning. She then thought be was better, and did not see him again alive. Mr Hayhurst did not tell her anything, but she heard him tell Mrs John Hayhurst, when the asked him what was the matter with him, that the doctor thought it was like poison. On tbe Tuesday evening when witness went to the house there was some chicken broth ready for Mr Hayhurat. Mrs John Hayhurst, the wife of the late Mr Hayhuret's son, said that she would take care that the food was.freshly cooked, and they were all on the look-out to see that there wa? no poison. Witness knew the hand writing of Mr John Hayhurst. The letter produced was signed by the deceased. To Mr Postlethwaite: Witness thought tbat what Mr Hayhurst had taken for his breakfast produced the vomiting. The cooking was arranged between themselves. On Tuesday night the doctor said to witness not to let Mr Hayhurst take anything to eat, except what she gave him. He did not specify any particular person by whom the cooking was not to be done. She understood from the doctor's order that she was not to give Mr Hayhurat anything that Mrs Hayhurst had cooked. The food given consisted chiefly of chicken broth and beef tea. Deceased did not take a great quantity of liquid during his illness, nor did ho complain of much thirst. He, however, complained of great tbii'st for some time before he took ill. She saw the body after death, and there was some discolouration before the deceased was buried. Witness had often seen a corpse before, but it had not & similar discolouration. Deceased died on Friday, the sth of April, and was buried ou the Sunday following. To the Crown Solicitor: The discolouration was dark purple black about the neck. Sarah Parke, sister of the late Mr Hayhurst, stated that she went to deceased's house one Thursday morning, and remained there till he died. She took Mrs Copestake's place in the nursing room. When she went there Mr Hayhurst asked her not to go away, and said that he would be better with her than with Mrs Copestake. The deceased continued in the same state after Mrs Copestake left, but bo gradually got fainter and weaker until he died. On ThurEday at about 2 p.m. he said he wanted a drink, and young Mrs Hayhurst went to get some, but she said that there was only about two tablespoonsful left. Mrs Hayhurat told her that she bad made a lot, and that was all that was left. Witness asked her who had emptied it, and sho replied that she did not know. Witness gave the two tablespoonsful of broth to tho deceased, and immediately afterwards he bad a spasm. She noticed a twitching of the face and one hand. That was the only time she observed such a thing, and it waa very marked then. Dr Hayes came after 2 o'clock, and gave deceased some medicine. Ho came again on Thursday evening, and wanted another doctor called io. Witness wbs out when tho doctor came, and when she I returned she asked Mra Hayhurst what the doctor said, and she replied that he wanted another doctor called in, but Mr Hayhurst thought that it was unnecessary. About 10 years ago Mr Hayhurst went to see a doctor in Chriatcburcb, and from that time up to the day of hi« death he bad been ailing more or less. Dr Haynes stated that he had been medical attendant to the Hayhurst family for about nine or 10 years. Some eight years before deceased's death he met with an apoplectic attack. He was driving home and was found in a state of unconsciousness in his buggy. Witness was sent for subsequently, and he found that tho deceased waa paralysed in one arm and one leg. In attacks of tho kind the mind is often affected, and in this case witness thought that deceased's memory was impaired, and he was irritable in temper. With that exception he made almost a complete recovery from the paralytic attack. Witness did not acs him again except for trifliDg ailments until about four years before his death. He then consulted him for derangement of the genital organs, general ill-health, &c. Witness found that there was something wrong with his kidneys; and did not see him again till after he returned from England. He then 'asked him how he was, and he replied— " Ob, just pretty middling." Deceased also said that ho had been taking medicine at different timeß, and had consulted Dr Braney. Witness was under the imprestion that be had fallen into the hands of some advertising quacks. In December, 1888, deceased consulted witness, • and complained of general debility. He naid he was getting thinner and softer, and losing muscular power, and th*t he was breathless from the slightest exertion and subject to faintnees. Witness examine;! his heart, and came to tho • conclusion that be had n dilated and futty degenerntprt heart. Deceased said, " Well, is it a bad case ? " and witness t< M him tbat he would bftve to conserve his strength and take good euro of himself, na bo was old nnd his heart was not sound. Deceased did not follow witnPFs' advice, and he knew very well he would not. The next timo that witness saw him was on the
morning of the 2nd of April. Deceased was then vomiting. Witnesa asked him what was the matter, and he tola him that shortly after he had had his breakfast he commenced to vomit. Witness inquired what he had for breakfast, and he said that he had porridge. Witness prescribed some medicine for him. The prescription constated chiefly of subnitrateof bismuth,carbonate of potassium, and compound spirits of chloroform, mucilage, and water. The prescription was to be taken every one or two hours. The doao contained about half a drachm of bismuth. He saw him again in the afternoon, and Mrs Copestske was attending to him. There was nobody else in tha house but Mrs Hayhurst, the first wife. When witness went to see him the second time he was still vomitiog, and witness asked Mrs Oopestako if she thought he had got any poison in his porridge, or if it was likely that he had taken poison himself. She replied " No," and said she did not think that the deceased would take poison. He asked what sort of utensils were used for cookiug, and also went to the kitchen to look at them. He also a3ked if it wsb possible that there was any arsenic or other poison about that could get into the food. She replied that she did not know, but to satisfy himself he asked Mrs Hayhursi;, sen ;if she had any poison in the house. She said that there was none of any sort. Witness thought that possibly some arsenic had been luft csrelessly about and got in the food, but ho found no poißon about. He took some of the vomit away with him and analysed it. He tested for arsenic and autimony, but only got a negative result. He told Mrs Copestake to be particularly careful about the food deceased got and said while the vomiting continued the only thing she could give him was sodawater and milk. Witness also told young Mr Hayhurst that it looked like symptoms of irritant poisoning. He went to see deceased again, and after examining him again carefully he came to the conclusion that he was not suffering froM irritant poisoning, but that U was a case of urwmia. Mrs Copestake asked him if deceased was suffering from poisoning, and witness replied, "Well, yes; but not from anything he has taksn, but on account of the kidneys not performing their functions properly." He also explained to her, in a brief way, the natuce of the disease. Among the prominent symptoms were vomiting, intense dull pain over the forehead, debility, restlessness, quick pulse, muscular twitchings, somnolence, finally verging into coma. Those were all Bymptoms of urteinie poisoning. The advent of uramia was not a surprise to him, because men suffering from disease of the bladder for a considerable length of time, where pus is excreted, weie liable to uisamic seizure. In addition to the bismuth, witness used purgative medicines, which were sll vomited, antipyrin, digitalis, and chloral hydrate. He .gave a certificate of death. He was present at the post mortem examination of the deceased. Everything ha saw there confirmed the diagnosis he made during Mr Hayhurst's life. When he was called ia to attend the deceased in his last illness he asked him if be ever suffered in the same way before. Deceased said whan in Napier he was taken in a similar manner after tea. Witness suggested that another medical man should be called in, as he saw the deceased was really very ill. Dr Guthrie, of Christchurch, said ho had heard tho symptoms of the late Mr Hayhurst described by the previous witnesses. In conjunction with Dr Ogston he made a post-mortem examination of the body of Mr Hayhurst. He had formed an opinion as to the cause of deatb. " There was evidence at the post-mortem of disease of tha kidneys, enlargement of the heart, extensive fatty degeneration of the heart, and disease of the large blood vessel." The lungs also showed evidence of disease, especially the laft lung, which exhibited signs of recetit inflammatory action on the lining membrane of the lung—pleurisy. There was also a small cavity in this lung. The right lung showed evidence of old pleurisy, as there were adhesions binding the lung to the chest. The kidneys were both diseased, especially the left one, iv which there was a small cyst. In both kidneys the outer portion—the cortical substance—was shrunken and contracted. The inner portion was also diseased. .The Hning membrane of the kidoeys were adherent, not stripping off easily, as they do in health. Witness thought it probable that the ultimate cause of death was disease of tha urinary organs and kidneys, accelerated by pleurisy and a weak and dilated heart. To the Crown Prosecutor : There was nothing wrong in the death certificate that Dr Hayei gave. In his opinion tha treatment of the deceased by Dr Hayes was undoubtedly propti treatment. Thirty grains of bismuth in twe hours wa3 not a very large quantity. In some instances double that dose was given to children in one hour. Bismuth was a very impure drug, It was hardly ever got pure. One of its chid impurities was arsenic, but the quantity tht drug contained was usually very small. Witness had not seen anything in the body of deceasec or heard anything consistent with poisoning Many of the organs in the post-mortem were sufficiently preserved to enable him to form «a opinion. Tha intestines, Btomach, and othei organs generally were well preserved. To Mr Po3tlethwaite: Arsenic was not i Bubstanee that could be readily eliminated froir the body after death. He could not recall anj case of a person djing of arsenical poisoning and yet no arsenic poison existent in the bodj after death; arsenic might bo eliminated froa: the body before death. He could not understand arsenic being taken in sufficient quantities to cause death, and not being found after death Dr Black, professor of chemistry in the Otagc University, was present at the exhumation ol tbe body of the lato Mr Hayburst. He receivi c direct from the body various organs, which lit subsequently analysed. From the time the organs were taken from the body till he analysed taeoi he could say that nobody had tampered with them. He aualyeed tho organs for sll botanic poisons, and for all alkaloid poisons, These two categories included all known poisons. He made a very sptcial search for arsenic, because he had heard it mentioned in connection with the case. He fouud a very minute trace of arsenic in other material. He used about 2±lb of material to his arsenic testing. Those materials wero most likely to coutnin arsenic if any were present, and included large parts of the .intestinal canal, part of the brain, spinal cord, the liver, part of the kidneys, and the spleen, with tbe stomach, and the duodenum. He found a very minute trace of arsenic. It was less than a thousandth part of a grain. He found large quantities of bismuth—as much as would make 271 grains of aubnitrate. He had not any doubt that the trace of arsenic was in the bismuth Thesa were the only traces of poisoning he could find. About two grains of arsenic would be dangerous. In the whole body there might have boen the three hundredth part of a grain of arsenic. The Crown Solicitor: Supposing arsenia, or any poison, had been administered would you still be able to find it after death, if the body had decayed away ? Witness: I would expect to. At the same time there are cases recorded in which, I believe, arsenic has not been found after careful analysis, although the persona have actually died of arsenic. This concluded the evidence. The Coroner, in addressing the jury, said he did not think it necessary to make any lengthy comments on the evidence before them. There was no doubi that disquieting rumours had obtained with reference to the death of tho late Mr Hayhurst, and they had assumed such proportions that it was deemed desirable to set the matter at rest; and the only way it could possibly be set at rest waa by an exhumation of the body, by examination and analysis, and by the whole of the evidencs being placed before a jury for their final decision. How these reports, with reference to Mr Hayturßt's death came about ho did not think it necessary to inquire. Suffice it to say that they had uome about, and that it had been deemed necessary to make the investigation that had been made. Probably tho jury would Bgree with him that a fuller and more careful investigation could not have been made With reference to the evidence, he did not think the question of arsenic wanted any comment from him. It was perfectly plain that the arsenic Dr Black found iv the body was simply an impurity of the bismuth. The jury, after retiring for about seven minutes, returned a verdict to the effect that death resulted from uraemia.
A TEMUKA SENSATION., Otago Daily Times, Issue 9190, 10 August 1891
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