[Reynoldsʼs Newspaper, 23. August und 1. November 1868]

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 951, 1. November 1868. S. 6.
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SOUTHWARK.

PAUPERS IN CANVAS.—

In the course of Monday two hearty-looking young girls, 15 and 16 years of age, dressed in rough canvas, marked all over, in large black letters, Bermondsey Workhouse, attended before Mr. Partridge, and complained of the master of Bermondsey Workhouse sending them out in such a state. They were the derision of all the boys in the streets, and were so ashamed of the dresses that they asked his worship to assist them in having them removed. The elder girl said that on the previous night they had wandered about until wet to the skin, and sought refuge in the casual ward. Their clothes were in rags and filthy and in the morning they could not put them on again. When they asked for others the dresses they now wore were given to them, and they were turned out of the workhouse. Mr. Partridge directed Walton, one of the warrant officers of the court, to take them to the workhouse, and ask the master to give them other clothes that ware not so conspicuous and disgraceful. Walton took the girls, as desired, and in a short time returned with them accompanied by Dr. Higgins, certified surgeon to factories, who met him in the street. Walton informed his worship that he had seen the master of the workhouse, who told him that the girls had torn up their clothing, and the dresses they wore were the only ones the parish gave to such persons, to prevent them from pawning or disposing of them. Dr. Higgins stigmatised the conduct of the authorities of Bermondsey parish to be disgraceful in the extreme—sending out two young women in such a plight. He would willingly attend before the guardians with the poor girls to ascertain whether they approved of such conduct on the part of their officers. Mr. Partridge directed Walton to take the girls before the board of guardians on their first meeting, and to take care of the girls in the meantime. Dr. Higgins would attend with them. The poor girls thanked his worship and Dr. Higgins for their kindness.

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Reynoldsʼs Newspaper. Nr. 941, 23. August 1868. S. 3.
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SUICIDE THROUGH ALLEGED PAROCHIAL ILL-TREATMENT.

On Monday, Dr. Lankester held an inquest at the College Arms, Crowndale-road, St. Pancras, on the body of George Franklin, aged seventy-one. The deceased, it was alleged, had cut his throat through ill treatment on the part of a parish medical officer, and starvation, in the St. Pancras Workhouse.

Mary Ann Franklin, 25, Oxford-terrace, King’s road, said: Deceased was my husband. He was seventy-one years of age. He was a commercial traveller. He died last Thursday evening in St. Pancras Workhouse. He cut his throat last Tuesday evening. When I went home that evening he had been taken to the workhouse. I am positive he cut his throat through the cruelties of the parish doctor. He had been ill for twelve months. He received great cruelty from Dr. Harley, who would not give him any nurishment. Dr. Harley is the parish doctor, and all he would give my husband was a bottle of medicine and two shilling’s worth of meat and a little brandy all the time. A fortnight ago my husband went to the house with an order for order for the infirmary; but he was put into the able-bodied part of the house. He had no proper nourishment, and could not eat the food that was given him. He came home last Saturday week because he could not put up with the treatment in the house any longer. The doctor at the house refused to put him in the infirmary. My husband said he was starved at the house, and he might just as well starve at home or cut his throat. The treatment drove him mad. Last Monday I sent for two doctors, and they came, but he was delirious; and although I gave him enough to eat at home, he kept crying out to me not to send him back to the workhouse. His flannel shirt was taken from him at the house, and he caught a fresh cold through it. He had to ask for another shirt from the doctor, and he came out with one with the parish mark on it. A gentleman is in court that he wrote to, complaining of the treatment.

Dr. Gibson, of the workhouse infirmary, said he knew nothing of the deceased’s first stay in the house. Deceased was admitted on the 11th of August, with his throat cut. I asked him how it happened, and he said he was shaving, and his wife jobbed his elbow. He was delirious. He died on the 13th inst. I made a post mortem examination. There was an effusion of blood on the brain, and that might have caused the delirium. The lungs were diseased. The liver was cancerous, and the right kidney as well. The immediate cause of his death was the bleeding from the wound in the throat. The delirium, which was the result of the clot on the brain, could not have been caused by the alleged cruelty.

Dr. Harley said this was the first time he had heard of the charge of cruelty, and he was not prepared to say what he prescribed for deceased last winter. He (witness) ordered medicine and nourishment.

Mrs. Franklin: My husband refused to see Dr. Harvey any more, and went to University College Hospital, and the surgeons there said they never saw a man so reduced by starvation before, and they ordered him six hot dinners a week. Dr. Harley only saw my husband three times—once for each order, and if he denies that he is a false man. I call him a perfect brute.

Dr. Harley, continuing, said that prior to deceased entering the workhouse, he (witness) went to see him, and was met with a volley of abuse from the wife, who threatened to pitch him down stairs. Deceased said, “Do not talk to that vile woman any more, but come and sit down and hear what I have got to say.” Witness gave an order for the infirmary. After deceased came out of the workhouse witness saw him again, and gave an order for nourishment. The relieving-officer having said that Mrs. Franklin was not satisfied with this, witness gave a fresh order for the infirmary, which was not used.

Mr. Evans, medical officer to the male portion of the inmates of the house, said deceased was sent to the old men’s ward, because witness did not think it a case for the infirmary. It was the rule of the establishment to take the men’s shirts away when they came in and give them fresh ones. Witness could not say whether he went two days without a shirt. Witness did not order any deviation from the ordinary diet.

In answer to the coroner, Mrs. Franklin said it was not true that she jobbed her husband’s elbow and caused him to out his throat. It could be proved that she was out of the house at the time he did it.

The Coroner remarked that this would go to show that deceased in his delirium did not tell the truth on other points.

Mr. Main, who lived in the same house as deceased, said that deceased called witness’s wife, who went to the stairs, and said, “Do you want to speak to me, Mr. Franklin?” Deceased answered, “Yes, Mrs. Main; I’ve cut my throat.” Mrs. Main fell backward down the stairs. Witness sent for a doctor. Deceased said he had cut his throat because of the bad treatment in the workhouse. Witness ran to the workhouse for assistance, but they told him there they could do nothing—he must fetch a policeman. Witness went to the station-house, and two policemen took deceased to the workhouse on a stretcher. At the workhouse, deceased said he cut his throat for three reasons—two of which were, “That he was sorry for his wife working for him so,” and “because he was not treated well in the house.” Deceased and his wife had lived very comfortably together.

The Coroner said the delirium which resulted in deceased’s cutting his throat was caused by a clot of blood on the brain. If the jury thought this had been brought on by any ill-treatment to which deceased had been subjected, it would be best for them to adjourn for further inquiry. For his part he did not think such a case had been established.

Upon Mr. Watson (a guardian) undertaking to draw the attention of the board of guardian to the charges made against their officers,

The jury returned a verdict that deceased committed suicide whilst in an unsound state of mind.|

Inhalt:

  • Social cases. 1869