16

[The Daily News, 1. und 2. Januar 1869]

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7074, 1. Januar 1869. S. 2.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE POOR OF ST. MARY’S THE LESS, LAMBETH.

Jan 1. Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—There is at present a very great amount of distress existing in this parish, owing to sickness and the great number of men out of employment, the sickness arising in a great measure from the state of the dwellings of the poor and their very great privations. I noticed with surprise, as it happened to be in direct contradiction to the evidence of one’s own daily experience, Dr. Puckle’s late report at the vestry meeting, a few days ago, on the health of Lambeth. I have only to say, in reference to his curious statement, the report supplied to the guardians by the parish doctor tells a very different tale. Dr. Puckle extracts, it seems, for the public edification only the fevers that are designated by name, not always in the power of the medical attendant to supply for the first day or two—it may turn out to be the most virulent—but reported by the parish doctor as simply “fever,” it is, if there are many of such cases, I can quite understand the wherefore, more convenient to ignore the presence of disease altogether. Several families have suffered in my district from typhoid fever lately, and four members of one poor family have had it one after the other, owing to the gross neglect of the vestry in allowing the pigsties to remain, in spite of every warning, in a perfectly uninhabitable condition for months, and the result is the death of one of the children. In one court the fever not long since went from one house to another. A poor widow lost her daughter, aged 16, on whom the support of the family partly depended, and yet here the common sanitary precaution of whitewashing walls and ceilings to prevent infection has not been taken by the medical officer, Dr. Puckle, whose duty it is to inspect such places, and insist on this being done. The fever arose from the horrible foulness of the cesspools and the consequent impurity of the water in uncovered mutilated casks in close proximity to the insufferable stench. To judge by the state of the hundreds of houses I have visited, situations in the Lambeth Board of Health are complete sinecures. This delightful and salubrious locality is situated through an archway facing the work-house, and contains 22 pigsties. The vestry may be certain of one thing, I am only biding my time. As to threats of personal violence, I smile at them as I do at the vestry man who lately said he would kick me. Poor people shall have what their hard earned money pays for. I appeal to your readers to lend a helping hand, not only to those who are suffering from poverty and sickness, but also to such poor people who may require a little assistance when turned out of their houses, as many of them fully expect to be when they tender their tax receipts for rent. To give an idea of the profits arising from the Lambeth interiors, eight of them in George’s-street were bought for 130l. and the rents vary from 1l. for a shop, 12s. 6d. for three rooms and a coal-shed (the tenant pays the rates) and 8s. for the others (all four roomed). The Rev. Canon Gregory, A. M., St. Mary’s-vicarage, Lambeth, S. E., will thankfully receive any contributions of money, wine, or clothing for the poor.—I am, &c.,

A DISTRICT VISITOR.
St. Mary’s-the-Less, Lambeth, S. E.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7074, 2. Januar 1869. S. 6.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

THE DEATH AT THE HACKNEY POLICE STATION.

Jan. 2 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

TO THE EDITOR OF THE DAILY NEWS.

SIR,—The conduct of the police at the Hackney police-station to the poor woman who died there on Sunday evening, as narrated in your report of the inquest, is a matter of grand public importance. Private, sergeant, and inspector, all showed want of promptitude in dealing with an emergency; want of knowledge of the extent of their duty, and want of the commonest feelings of humanity.

A policeman heard a splash at 9 o’clock on Saturday night, got the drags, and fished out an old woman nearly sixty years of age, very nearly drowned, and who had been in the water seven minutes on a winter’s night. He took her to a neighbouring tavern, but, beyond taking off all her clothes but her chemise, which was left on wet, does not appear to have done anything to dry, or warm, or restore the poor creature. She was then, nearly naked, laid upon a stretcher, and the police were proceeding to carry her in that state through the streets, on a cold night in December, and nobody interfered but a fruiterer named Jones, whose small act of kindness stands out conspicuously from the cruel narrative, and he, seeing her lying on the stretcher with nothing on but a wet chemise, lent a sack to cover her, for decency’s and humanity’s sake. The police carried her, not to the hospital, but the station-house, and the policeman Robson, who admitted at the inquest that he did not know how she came into the water, charged her with attempting to commit suicide. It does not appear who took the charge, or whether any one at the station took the trouble to ascertain whether there were any grounds for taking her into custody. A policeman at the station sent to the workhouse for some clothing, and the female searcher put it upon the sick woman, who, in the meantime, was lying in front of the fire at the station covered with the sack, and then the police put a woman, who had just been saved from a watery grave, who was old and insensible, into a cell with a stone floor, with no bed in it, no light in it, and a drunken woman, and in this dark cell the half-drowned woman first returned to consciousness, and here she was left without bed, food, refreshment, or attention till the following morning. Up to this time the police had been ignorant of the woman’s name, but on the Sunday morning it was found she was the wife of a cab proprietor, and as she had lived in the same house for sixteen years, might have been presumed to have been a respectable person. There were officers at the station who had probably been selected for promotion on account of their knowledge of criminal law and their consideration for the feelings of others; a Sergeant Keenon and an Inspector Gibbons, whose duty it was to decide whether the charge should be taken, and, if they thought it should be, to see that in the manner of their confinement of the accused they did not take upon themselves to inflict upon her the extreme penalty of the law in the shape of a lingering death. Sergeant Keenon was bold enough to avow his belief that the cell was a fit place to put a woman in under the circumstances, and Inspector Gibbons justified his refusal to take bail, on the ground that attempted suicide was not a bailable offence; but the public will be curious to know whether he took any trouble to ascertain if there was any ground for the charge. He said the police had no regulations with regard to the treatment of half-drowned people; it was left to what he facetiously called their “judgment”; but added, the woman would have been sent to the hospital if she had been insensible. I trust that if you, Mr. Editor, are ever unlucky enough to fall into a canal on a night in December, and are taken up for it, you may be insensible, or, if not, may have sense enough to pretend to be. The police cannot plead ignorance. Mrs. Burdett told the inspector on Sunday the cell was dreadfully cold and the woman so ill that additional clothing could not be got on to her, and the drunken woman asked the police for an old coat to put over the woman’s feet, and they refused to lend it. Her husband and friends on Sunday begged the police to let her out, and, failing this, begged that, considering her state of health, she might have a bed, and this also was refused; and, cold and dying, this respectable woman, who had lived in the same house for 16 years, who, so far as the police knew, had committed no crime, was locked up in the cold and damp to spend another night with the now sober companion, who in the darkness heard a fall and a groan, and 504 N came and turned his lamp on the pale face, and finding his prisoner dead sent for the doctor!

And all this happened in a country where there are many active and wealthy agencies for saving life and easing woe, and where there is a Royal Humane Society, with drags in constant readiness, which in this instance were used to drag a woman from a speedy death from drowning to a lingering death on a wooden bench in a dismal cell in a police station.

It is not long since a gentleman was found insensible in the street, and taken to the police station, put in a cell, and left to die, and it is high time the public knew more of what goes on in the various polices stations, how far confinement in them is harsh beyond the need for safe custody of the prisoner, and under what circumstances prisoners are locked up in the dark with drunken people. The disgusting cruelty of the Hackney police must make all persons who are liable to sudden attacks of illness pray that, if attacked in the street, it may not be in the district where Inspector Gibbons acts upon his “judgment.”—I am, &c.,

J. S.

Eingeklebter Zeitungsausschnitt
Schließen
Icon dass Zeitungsausschnitt symbolisiert
Aus:
The Daily News. Nr. 7074, 2. Januar 1869. S. 3.
Schließen
Icon dass Zitate symbolisiert

AN AGED PAUPER SCALDED TO DEATH.

Jan. 2 Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

An inquiry, which has excited much public interest, has been held this week, in the board-room of the Newbury Union Workhouse, before Dr. Bunny, coroner, touching the death of an imbecile inmate of the infirmary, named Ann Kempster, caused by most severe scalds, produced by being placed in a bath of far too high a temperature. Several members of the board of guardians and also relatives of the unfortunate woman were present throughout the investigation. The nurse, Elizabeth Allen, an imbecile pauper named Elizabeth Bird, who acted as assistant nurse, and a girl, Mary Ann Harmsworth, were the parties connected with the matter, and the coroner cautioned them that they were not required to say anything that would implicate themselves; and he also stated that he could not examine either of them. Mr. F. E. Ryott, medical officer of the union, and Mr. and Mrs. Ward, the master and matron, were examined at considerable length, and from their evidence it appeared that the deceased was admitted to the infirmary in April last, and since that time had been bedridden and dangerously ill. The medical officer had certified her as a person of unsound mind, and she rarely spoke to anyone, but had at times expressed herself satisfied with the attention paid her. Her habits were very filthy, and it was necessary that her whole body should be washed every morning. To accomplish this it was customary to place her in a bath fitted up in a small room adjoining the ward. Attached to the bath was a hot water tap, but not a corresponding means of obtaining cold water; the cold water tap being fixed over a sink some yards distant. It did not appear that any thermometer was kept in the bath-room; but it was stated by the master that, generally speaking, the water was too cold. On Monday morning last the nurse, Mrs. Allen, was attending a case of confinement in the lying-in ward, and whilst taking some linen to the laundry Bird and Harmsworth placed the deceased in the bath, and the water was so hot that it scalded the poor creature on the right leg, up her right side and arm, and also a portion of the buttock. She was allowed to remain in the bath for several minutes, and immediately she was taken out the nurse applied the remedies ordered by the medical officer in such cases. An additional supply of oil was required, and the matron immediately sent a note to the medical officer, requesting him to send some, but making no mention of what had occurred. The master was absent from the house at the time on business, and as soon as he returned the matron told him what had happened. He consulted with the nurse, and thinking all had been done that could be, and knowing it was the usual day for the medical officer to attend, did not send for him. Mr. Ryott’s assistant afterwards came up, and on his return reported the case, and Mr. Ryott without delay proceeded to the workhouse, when he found the poor women gnashing her teeth and pulseless. He saw at once that she could not recover from the scalds which she had sustained. Her age was 71 years. Death took place on Tuesday morning, the nurse being the only person present, having scarcely left her from the |17 time she was taken out of the bath. Mr. Ryott immediately instituted inquiries, and both Bird and Harmsworth told him that what they had done was without the nurse’s knowledge or order, and that they did it from a good motive, namely, to get their work over quickly. An able-bodied inmate named Clark told the coroner she had assisted in the infirmary for months, and it was the practice of the nurse to test the temperature of the water immersed, and to remain in attendance until they were taken out. Mr. Ryott said that deceased was bathed without his knowledge; that the bath would not hurt her; and that, in fact, it was the best means of washing her. The master accounted for the high temperature of the water by the circumstance that little hot water was drawn out of the different taps in the workhouse on the preceding day. It was customary to add buckets of cold water to the bath when the water was too hot for bath purposes. The woman Bird had been a most useful assistant nurse for 10 years, but was not quite sound in her intellect. The direction given her was that she should invariably act under the instructions of the nurse. The coroner told the master that neither he nor the nurse were judges of the case, and ought to have sent immediately to the medical officer, requiring his prompt attendance. The nurse volunteered to state what she knew of the matter, and seemed much affected at what had occurred, but, acting under the coroner’s advice, she withheld her statement. The jury, after half an hour’s deliberation, returned a verdict that deceased died from scalding. They exonerated the nurse from blame, but considered that responsible persons should be employed to assist the nurse, which had not been the case in this instance.

Inhalt:

  • Social cases. 1869