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Unbekannt. Ersatzquelle: The Times, 14. November 1868. S. 3.
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SHOCKING DEATH FROM STARVATION.

nov 18(?). Anmerkung von Jenny Marx

Mr. Humphreys, the coroner, held an inquest at the Black Dog Tavern, Church-street, Bethnal-green, on Friday, respecting the death of James Bridges, aged fifty-one years.

Cecilia Bridges, 5, Turville-buildings, Bethnal-green, said the deceased was a willow cutter. He had been badly off for some time. The witness and three children lived in one room, for which they paid 2s. a week. One of the deceased’s sons worked with him when he could get work. Witness tried to support the family by selling clothes in Petticoat-lane on Sundays, but she never made more than 3s. The whole family earned 5s. a week. On Monday week the deceased got a job in Dog-row, and he had to work in an open yard the whole of the day. In the evening he returned home, threw 6d. down on the table, and said, “Have pity on me; I am dying through weakness. What I have suffered this day no one knows. I have been shivering with cold. My heart pains me.” Witness said to him, “Why did you not go the workhouse as I asked you, and they would have given you relief?” He replied, “Nonsense, you know we applied there last winter, and they refused us relief.” Witness then went to the workhouse, and they said, “Go and work.” Witness replied, “We have neither food nor fire.” “We have plenty of those tales,” said the gentleman; “send your husband.” “He has been, and was refused.” The gentleman then spoke very loud, and said, “I shall not give you anything; there is the door,” “Give me a loaf of bread,” said the witness. “No,” said the gentleman, “I shall not give you anything; there is the door.” That was on Saturday, and witness then went home. She, her husband, and their three children all lay down on the floor. They remained lying there until the middle of Sunday, when William, their eldest boy, got up and went out. He returned in a short time with 3d., which he had borrowed from another boy. He bought one pound of bread and a little tea with the money. On Tuesday the deceased died. Before he died the deceased said, “I have been walking about in search of work for three days. I have had no food day or night during those three days, except half a half penny loaf and a little cold water.” On the Saturday before his death he walked to the workhouse, but the doors were closed, and he thought that he should never reach home again, he felt so weak. The family had had no meat for five months; they felt happy when they got a hering to divide among them. The night before the deceased died he said he would make another effort to walk to the workhouse. Witness believed that he died from want of food.

Dr. C. C. Richards, parish doctor, said that he attended the deceased for a few hours before his death. He died from effusion of serum on the brain and in the cavities of the chest, caused by want of food and other necessaries.

Mr. Robert Arnott, relieving officer, said that on Monday he gave a doctor’s order for the deceased, and in the afternoon his assistant visited the case, and reported that a family was in great poverty. They then got 2lb. of mutton, a loaf of bread, and a quart of milk. He was not the relieving officer who had last winter refused relief.

Mrs. Bridges, recalled, said that the relieving officer who refused to give the family relief was Mr. Pringle. Mr. Arnott had been kind to her.

The foreman: Are we to understand that the doors of the relieving office are closed during the absence of the relieving officers?

Mr. Arnott: Yes.

The foreman: During what hours are the doors open?

Mr. Arnott: The hours are given on the brass plate at the door. They are from nine to ten in the morning, and from five to six o’clock in the evening. But let it be understood that the office is generally open from nine to one o’clock. It is often closed before one o’clock. If we were to keep the doors open people would be coming in all day. While the office is closed we are visiting the applicants for relief at their own houses.

The foreman: When the office is closed, supposing a case of necessity should arise, say food or a doctor’s order is wanted, is there no way of getting assistance?|

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Mr. Arnott: The doors are closed from one to five o’clock and during that time no relief can be got.

A juror: Then someone ought to be left in the office during those hours.

The jury then deliberated for half an hour, and the foreman said: We find that the man died from starvation, and we think that the family ought to have gone to the workhouse sooner.

A juror: We do not wish to append that; there is blame attached to the workhouse people. The wife applied for relief, and she was rebuked, and told there was the door. The family had gone to the work house.

An animated discussion then ensued, and the following verdict was recorded:—“That the deceased died from effusion of serum on the brain and into the cavities of the chest caused by want and privation”

Inhalt:

  • Social cases. 1869