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Strange Death in a Workhouse

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Strange Death in a Workhouse

Post by Karen on Mon 1 Aug 2011 - 5:59


Mr. Wynne E. Baxter held an inquiry yesterday, at the Bethnal-green workhouse respecting the death of Henry Martin, aged 85, who at that time was an inmate of the union. Elizabeth Martin, the widow, said that she and her husband had been inmates of the union for 11 years. On the 5th inst. her husband told her that he had fallen out of bed and injured himself. He said, "The wardsman picked me up and squeezed me so hard that I thought my inside would come out, and then he threw me on the bed like a dog." Witness saw how ill he looked, and spoke to the wardsman to get him into the hospital; but the latter said he was going out, and could not do it, but said he would speak to the superintendent. Notwithstanding this, nothing was done till Sunday night, when she complained again. He was then put into the hospital, and died on Friday from fractured ribs. Samuel Marchant, a wardsman, deposed that he did not lift the deceased off the floor, but that that was done by two of the inmates. He admitted going to the deceased when he was on the bed, but said he was not at all rough to him. This evidence was partly contradicted by the wife, and an inmate named Anderson, who stated that Marchant did assist to lift the deceased into bed. Medical evidence showed that death was due to pneumonia, set up by a fractured rib having penetrated the lung. The deceased was suffering from softening of the brain. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, May 20, 1888, Page 12

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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