Death at Colvin Street.

At the Hammersmith Coroner's Court on Tuesday Mr C Luxmore Drew held an inquest with reference to the death of the male child of Henry Jones aged 29 hours. The father is a tailor living at 6 Colvin Street and the child was found dead in bed at the side of the mother, the medical evidence showing this to be due to want of fresh air.

Two interesting side lights are thrown on the inquiry. In the course of his evidence the father stated that he was smoking in the room in which his sick wife and newly born babe were lying and when questioned said it was done as a disinfectant. Dr Alderson's opinion of this was that it was a dirty, disagreeable and unhealthy thing to do. It might be an antiseptic, his opinion was that it did more harm than good.

Then as regards the treatment of newly born babies the unqualified midwife said she gave the baby a little butter and sugar. Asked why she did it the reply was that it was a doctor's orders. Dr Alderson's reply was that it was no good. He was surprised at the witness. He thought she was an intelligent woman and although it might have been the advice 40 years ago, doctors certainly did not advise it.

Mr Drew remarked that it could hardly be said that the child had a sweet tooth. He pointed out to the doctor that it was very strange that it was only in Hammersmith that he found the nurses were in the habit of giving delicacies to babies. Would Dr Alderson try and educate some of the midwives as to their error. Dr Alderson promised to consider the suggestion and the inquiry closed by the jury returning a verdict of accidental death.

West London Observer, July 22, 1898, page 6.

Singular fatality. At the Hammersmith Coroner's Court on Wednesday Mr H R Oswald deputy Coroner held an inquest on the body of the newly born female child of Winifred Catherine Ryan a laundry woman of 15 Colvin Street, Hammersmith. On Thursday last whilst at work at 67 Askew Crescent the mother was suddenly confined prematurely of a child. The medical evidence showed the death to be due to concussion of the brain by a fall at birth. A verdict of accidental death was returned.

West London Observer, August 13, 1897, page 6.

Dangerous stairs at Hammersmith.

On the Friday last at the Hammersmith Coroner's Court Mr C L Drew held an inquest on the body of Thomas Albert Wakeman aged 35 years a slater of 5 Colvin Street, Hammersmith. Mary Ann Farmer stated that she had lived with the deceased as his wife for 17 years.

He had not been in good health lately and had attended the West London Hospital for debility. In fact he had not been well since 1889. He was not a sober man. On Saturday September 11 they went out to go to the Lyric (Theatre) but the place being crowded they visited several public houses instead. Deceased was drunk and witness was not sober but they were on friendly terms. When they arrived home they went to go upstairs the deceased in front. There was no hand rail and the deceased stumbled knocking her down and falling on her. When picked up witness found that she had a cut on her head and had been unconscious for some time. A neighbour came in and helped to get the deceased to bed. He was unable to speak and next day he had eight fits in the morning. The doctor was called and he attended till death.

By the jury: There was no hand rail or light to the staircase.

Alfred Taylor living in the same house deposed that on Saturday night he found both the deceased and his wife lying at the foot of the stairs unconscious. He assisted to get the deceased to bed.

By the jury: The stairs were dangerous and had no hand rail?

They were steep and unlighted and if anyone stumbled there was nothing to save them.

Mary Ann Walters of 15 Colvin Street stated that on Saturday night she saw both the deceased and the woman lying in the gutter in Glenthorne Road. Both had been drinking but the first witness said she could get him home all right so witness left them.

Dr J Reid of 31 Bridge Avenue said the man had epileptic fits and there was evidently some compression of the brain although there was no fracture or apparent injury to the head. There was an effusion of blood on the brain from the rupture of a vessel set up by the fall. The organs showed signs of alcoholism. Death was due to coma following the injury sustained in the fall. The fits would be caused by the effusion.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death while under the influence of drink. They added a rider calling the attention of the landlord to the dangerous condition of the stairs owing to the absence of a hand rail.

West London Observer, September 24, 1897, page 6.

A dishonest dressmaker.

Martha Heard a dressmaker of Colvin Street, Hammersmith, was re-examined on the charge of stealing two dresses which she had received from Fanny Taylor a servant of Baron's Court Road, to repair- three cases having been proved against the prisoner, Sergeant West said he found 20 duplicates (pawnbroker's certificates) upon her relating to stolen property. She was in the habit of getting material and pledging it. Mr Rose committed the prisoner for 14 days in each case.

West London Observer, February 1, 1896.