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Dr. Mickle

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Dr. Mickle

Post by Karen on Tue 23 Aug 2011 - 17:38

Dr. Mickle was the doctor who was treating Jacob Isenschmid in the asylum, and refused to allow Isenschmid to be identified. I found a couple of metions of this Dr. Mickle:

STORIES FROM REAL LIFE.

OLD, BLIND, AND STARVED.

At the Seamen's Chapel, Ratcliff, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter held an inquest on Julia McNartney, 68, the wife of a dock labourer, of 14, Brunswick-place, Ratcliff. - Patrick McNartney, the husband, said that the deceased had been blind for the last sixteen years, and latterly had been suffering from a cough. She asked witness to get up between seven and eight o'clock and light the fire, but he went off to sleep again, and did not awake until about mid-day, when he found his wife was dead. The Coroner: Why did you not get up until mid-day?
Witness: Because I had no dinner to cook, and I have had none today.
The Coroner: Are you out of work?
Witness: I have been eight weeks out of work, with the exception of earning four shillings.
The Coroner: How has she lived?
Witness: She had a bit of bread and butter and a cup of water with no milk in it.
The Coroner: Why not apply for relief?
Witness: I could not get a halfpenny loaf.
The Coroner's officer: There is no outdoor relief in this parish, sir.
A Juror: Have you applied to the parish authorities for relief?
Witness: I have, many times, and I got nothing.
A Juror: And your wife was starving?
Witness: Well, she had a bit of bread and butter.
A Juror: Did you apply for a doctor?
Witness: No; what was the use? I applied twelve months ago to Dr. Beattie, and he could, he said, do nothing except send her to the Sick Asylum, and she would not go there.
The Coroner: Did you see the priest?
Witness: Yes.
The Coroner: Has he done anything for you?
Witness: No; he has enough to do to look after himself.
The Coroner: Now, I cannot understand that, bearing in mind she was a blind woman. It seems very unusual for Catholics not to assist one another in a case of this sort, and I am surprised to hear you say so.
Norah Black, landlady of the house, stated that deceased was apparently suffering from poverty and old age. The husband had only done two days' work in seven weeks, and had been unable to pay the rent.
The Coroner: Has the husband applied to the parish priest for assistance?
Witness: Not that I know. If you apply they tell you they are poorer than yourself.
The Coroner: I do not believe it.
Witness added that no one had ever been to see the deceased at the house since they had been there.
Dr. Mickle, of 549, Commercial-road, stated that he found the woman lying dead in bed. Death was probably due to heart disease, bronchitis, and debility. The surroundings showed a condition of great destitution; in fact, it was the most destitute place he had ever been in.
A Juror remarked that it seemed extraordinary that a blind woman should be allowed to lie there and die of starvation.
Another Juror: Yes, starving for years.
The doctor added that the body was very much emaciated, and there was no doubt the poor woman had not had proper food and nursing.
The Coroner: If the statements are correct, I wonder the Catholics themselves have not looked after her.
A verdict of death from heart disease and bronchitis, accelerated by want of sufficient food and proper nursing, was returned.
A representative of THE WESTMINSTER BUDGET saw Patrick McNartney just as he was starting to look for work at Limehouse, in order that he might get some money to carry him over his wife's funeral (which has since taken place). He returned to the squalid kitchen of 14, Brunswick-place, a little side street off Commercial-road, E. There were Black, the man who rents the house, and his wife. McNartney seemed very depressed, and admitted when questioned that not only was he entirely destitute, but also that, with the exception of a cup of tea and a bit of bread, he had not broken his fast for three days. Absolutely all that he had earned for eight weeks had been four shillings. "God only knows," he said, "what I shall do."
McNartney is a strong, decent-looking Irishman, well fitted, one would think, for riverside labour. He by no means looks his age, which is nearer sixty than fifty. The neighbours give the poor man a very good character. "I have never heard him use an angry word," said Mrs. Black, "and every halfpenny he earned," added her husband, "he brought home. He spent his evenings with his blind wife, never at the public-house."
What have the McNartney's been living on?" I asked.
"Bread and water mostly. I made them some broth for last Sunday week's dinner. I last saw the old woman on Thursday, and asked her how she did. "Fine," was the answer. I have only been able to do very little for them. McNartney owes me eight weeks' rent, and I was unable to pay my own yesterday. My husband can do no work. Look at his hands."
I did so, and noticed that Black was crippled with rheumatism.
"He has only just left the hospital, where he has been ever since August last," Mrs. Black continued. "I have him and four children to support, and I cannot get regular work. If you doubt me, sir, look at these pawn-tickets."
There was a boxful, and the last ticket represented ten shillings for Mrs. Black's wedding-ring. Chemises, boots, and all sorts of necessaries had also been pawned.
"It is abominable," exclaimed Black, a prematurely aged man who used to be a boiler-maker. "A man has either to die in the gutter or his home, or else go into the workhouse."
"And you will not do that?" - "Never. Is my home, such as it is, to be broken up? Am I to be parted from my wife? And what is to become of my children? We have nothing left now, and this food on the table is all we'll get today."
The food consisted of bread and dripping, and the supply of each was small.
"But, Black, what about outdoor relief?" - "They don't give any in Ratcliff. It's no good asking, and what is more, I know men who would rather die than ask for it."
"You are all Catholics - have not the priests helped you?" - "No," chimed in Mrs. Black; "I did go the other day, but was told that it was too late to get anything. We have not been to the chapel lately, and they have not come to us.
From Brunswick-place I went to the Catholic Church of St. Mary and St. Michael, and saw the head priest, Father O'Callan. He knew nothing of the case.
"We can do nothing," he said. "There are four priests, and from the poor-box each gets only one shilling a week to distribute. Of course we give our own money when we can. The church is in debt, and I am personally in debt because of it. We prefer to give money for providing food for school children and clothing than in any other way, because the charity cannot be abused. If anyone is ill and the priest is sent for, he goes as a matter of course to the person and gives such relief as he can. We have more destitution among people that we know than we can deal with, and if we were to help tramps and people we don't know, we should be inundated. For the last five or six years the distress among the Catholics in the neighbourhood - and the neighbourhood is very large - has been chronic. If anyone wants to help the poor in this neighbourhood, I can mention fifty or sixty deserving cases."

Source: The Westminster Budget, April 21, 1893, Page 26

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