Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
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The Daily News. Nr. 7347, 17. November 1869. S. 5.
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[The Daily News, 17. November 1869]

nov 17 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

A CASE which has just occurred at Braford will forcibly remind parochial officers of their responsibility in dealing with the poor. A coroner’s jury, after a long and careful inquiry into a case of death by exposure and want, has returned a verdict of manslaughter against the relieving officer, and that officer has been committed for trial on the charge. The deceased man, MCKENNA, being ill and in want, made several applications for relief to Mr. BURNISTON, the relieving officer for the south district of the Bradford Union. Mr. BURNISTON did not believe in the good faith of the application, gave the man sixpence and three pounds of oatmeal, and told him to go and break stones. The next day the man was worse, and as the lodging-house keeper feared he would die in her house, she got rid of him and of his wife and sent them to the workhouse. There admission to the house was refused him. The man persisted in desiring admission, and some high words passed between him and the relieving officer, and as the officer had failed to find him at the address he gave, his previous bad opinion of MCKENNA was confirmed. MCKENNA pleaded hard, and declared he should die in the street, but Mr. BURNISTON, still believing him to be a bad character, refused. That night MCKENNA and his wife got a lodging given them, and the next day they appeared again with the surgeon’s certificate that he was sick and destitute, and required admission to the workhouse. They then went to the workhouse in a cab, gave the note to the porter’s wife, who handed it to Mr. BURNISTON. He said, “It is naught,” gave Mrs. MCKENNA the note back, and the porter, having no direction to take them in, turned them out. The poor woman went away crying, leaving her husband, who was found late in the afternoon, on the front step of the workhouse, and being lifted to his feet, walked painfully away. At ten that night MCKENNA was heard of at a public-house where some persons had treated him to drink, and where he stayed till closing time. The landlord had tried in vain to get the man some shelter for the nights and at closing time MCKENNA turned out into the street. Shortly afterwards the police found him sitting in York-street, insensible, and took him to the police-office to die. He died of inflammation of the lungs, which had been going on for ten days, and which exposure rendered rapidly fatal. These are the facts as we gather them from evidence given at the inquest, and it is on them that the jury based their verdict. Of course that verdict is given without any statement from Mr. BURNISTON, and we have yet to hear his version of the story.


  • Social cases. 1869