Buried Stories 2
Suicide by Drunkenness and Insanity
An inquest, into the death of David Mallinson, a shoemaker, was held at the Boar’s Head, Withy Grove on Wednesday, 1st
May 1850. He was 56 years old and since the death of his wife the preceding July had been despondent. Usually he was teetotal but at Easter he had gotten drunk and up until his death had been in a continual state of intoxication. He went to his lodgings on Tuesday, 30th April and said he was going to get some sleep and that by the next day he would be teetotal again. He was found later that afternoon with a “comfortable” (possibly something like what we would know as a duvet) tied tightly around his neck with the other end being tied to the balustrade on the stairs. When the “comfortable” was
removed he showed small signs of life but was too far gone for recovery to take place. The jury returned a verdict of “temporary insanity”. David Mallinson was buried on 5th May 1850 in a public grave at Manchester General Cemetery, grave number Non Conformist 949,50.
Death by Paregoric
Jane Hibbert, an infant aged two months, died on Saturday, 16th November 1850 having been given paregoric “for being very cross”. Paregoric is also known a camphorated tincture of opium and was used for the treatment of diarrhoea. Her mother bought a farthing’s worth and administered it at around 12.00 noon. The dose proved to be too powerful and Jane Hibbert died the same night. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death and Mr Herford, the coroner, severely reprimanded the child’s mother not only for want of care but also for having denied giving anything to her daughter.
Jane Hibbert was buried on 23rd November 1850 in a Non Conformist public grave at Manchester General Cemetery, grave number Unknown 12389.
Death from Lack of Proper Medical Care
Catherine Berry, a married woman aged 32 years, died on Wednesday, 16th October 1850. Her inquest was held at the King’s Arms, Bloom Street, Salford and Mr Rutter was the coroner. Two weeks prior to her death Catherine had given birth to her first child and for two days appeared to be doing very well. She then thought she was getting a cold and at her request her husband approached a druggist who was very highly recommended by her mother. Medicine was sent several times but Catherine got worse and eventually Mr Edge, a surgeon, was summoned but despite his efforts she died. Edge testified that if professional medical advice had been sought at the early stage of the fever which caused her death, she would have recovered. The jury returned a verdict of death from puerperal fever and from the want of
proper medical treatment. Catherine Berry was interred on 26th October 1850 in a Non Conformist public grave at Manchester General Cemetery, grave number Unknown 53.
Death After Falling from a Window at Manchester Royal Infirmary
John McCann, a 27 year old hawker, died from fatal injuries after falling from a window on the top storey fronting Portland Street at Manchester Royal Infirmary on Friday, 18th April 1851. His injuries were fatal and his death was caused by a puncture to the heart following a broken sternum. He was being treated for inflammation and upon getting out of bed had caused enough disturbance to warrant the use of a straight jacket. As this seemed to settle him, it was deemed unnecessary to restrain him further. At around 2.00 a.m. on the Friday morning the nurse had prepared his medicine but he spilled it instead of drinking it. Whilst the nurse was preparing a second dose, he left the ward and entered another and then forced himself through the window. Following a search his dead body was found near the parapet of a cellar window. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. John McCann was interred in a Non Conformist
public grave at Manchester General Cemetery on 20th April 1851, grave number Unknown 49.
Suffocated after being Buried Alive
Patrick Gunn, a blacksmith, was working with Thomas Oldknow together with their employer, Isaac Gradwell when he met with his death at about 11.00 a.m. on Saturday, 3rd August 1850. The men were excavating the foundations for a new smithy to be built in Liverpool Road opposite the old passenger railway station of the London and North Western Company. The earth at one side of the excavation which was shored up and deemed to be safe suddenly fell upon and buried Patrick Gunn. He was suffocated before his colleagues could find him. Isaac Gradwell was also caught by the falling earth which left him stunned for a few moments but he escaped further injury. The inquest was led by Mr Herford at Manchester Royal Infirmary and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death having satisfied themselves that the deceased and his workmates were sober. Patrick Gunn was buried on 7th August 1850 in a Non Conformist public grave at Manchester General Cemetery, grave number Unknown 56.
Died from Severe Burns
On Wednesday, 14th August 1850, 14 year old Mary Ward, the daughter of a shopkeeper in Long Street was lighting a naphtha lamp. Naphthalene is a fuel made from crude oil or coal tar and today we know it is extremely dangerous when inhaled or ingested through the skin. The lamp Mary Ward was lighting fell and ignited her clothing causing severe burns to her chest, arms and neck. She lingered for more than a week and eventually succumbed on the morning of Friday, 23rd August 1850. The jury at her inquest led by Mr Herford returned a verdict of accidental death. Mary Ward was buried on 24th August 1850 in a Non Conformist public grave at Manchester General Cemetery, grave number Unknown 10934.
Death following a Severe Compound Leg Fracture
On the evening on Monday, 6th May 1850, George Wain, a labourer, of 14 Garden Street, Manchester was carrying coals for his employer who was Mr Cox, at the White Horse in Hanging Ditch. He had only just started carrying the coals to the brewery pan when the accident which led to his death occurred. He was found by Thomas Scott at the bottom of a flight of stairs with the basket of coals. None of the coals were disturbed however George Wain’s leg appeared to be broken. He was taken by cab to Manchester Royal Infirmary and explained that he was on the first landing carrying the basket in front of him when it caught on the side of the staircase causing him to fall. His injury was severe and he soon became delirious and died on Saturday, 11th May 1850. He was buried on 14th May 1850 in a Non Conformist public grave at Manchester General Cemetery, grave number Unknown 56. The jury at his inquest decided upon a verdict of accidental death.
Scalded to Death
Mary Louisa Rowarth was only 13 months only when she died after being severely scalded. She was the daughter of pipe maker living in Collyhurst Road. At breakfast time on Friday, 28th February 1851 she pulled a cup of hot tea upon herself which scalded her face and neck. Despite being treated at Manchester Royal Infirmary and with every assistance being given, she died of her injuries. She died on 5th March 1851 and was buried on 9th March 1851 in a Non Conformist public grave at Manchester General Cemetery, grave number Unknown 14578. The jury at the inquest led by Mr Herford decided upon a verdict of accidental death.
Fell through a Teagle Hole
Michael Slavin was buried at Manchester General Cemetery on 3rd June 1851 after he succumbed to the injuries he received five weeks previously. He was buried in a Non Conformist public grave, grave number Unknown 134. Michael Slavin was 13 years old when he died and had been employed as a factory hand at the premises of Mr John Carr, a cotton spinner in Newton. His job was to convey bobbins from the card room to the spinning room by using a hoist. He fell the depth of five storeys, landing at the bottom of the teagle hole. He died at Manchester General Infirmary where he had been being treated for five weeks.
Crushed to Death
On Thursday, 1st August 1850, Thomas Wright was working at Messrs R Charlton and Sons, Calenders (a calender is a machine which pressed cloth or paper between large rollers to make it smooth or glossy) when he was heard screaming in the room in which he was working. His workmates discovered he has slipped underneath the hydraulic press and was literally being crushed to death. He was rescued as soon as possible and conveyed speechless to Manchester Royal Infirmary. He died in great suffering the following day from rupture of the intestines. He was 15 years old. A verdict of accidental death was reached at an inquest led by Mr Herford. Thomas Wright was buried at Manchester General Cemetery on 4th August 1850 in grave number Unknown 10934, a Non Conformist public grave.
Death by Typhus Fever aggravated by Neglect
Thomas Edge, aged 40 years, died in the Manchester Workhouse on Friday, 1st August 1851. His occupation was overlooker and he lived at 5 Smith’s Court, Back Cotton Street. He first became ill on 23rd July when he complained for head and stomach aches. Mr Lees, a doctor from Jersey Street, was called and took a pint and a half of blood. He became worse and his condition weakened. Subsequently the wound opened and his daughter returned from work to find her father “swimming in blood”. Mr Lees was summoned again but did not come and his children were left to attend to the wound best they could. Mr Lees was called for again but he never paid a second visit to the patient. On Wednesday, 30th July, Mr Bennett, surgeon from the Ardwick Dispensary, attended Thomas Edge and got him admitted to the Manchester Workhouse where he died. Mr Bennett told the inquest that Thomas Edge had typhus fever and bleeding was not required and would be inappropriate for typhus fever. Mr Lees however said the deceased had all the indications of inflammation and needed to be bled. He was having an epileptic fit and had a pulse of 120. Mr Lees said he was certain he did not have typhus fever. The jury at the inquest presided over by Mr Herford returned a verdict of death by typhus fever aggravated by neglect. Thomas Edge was interred at Manchester General Cemetery in a Non Conformist public grave on 4th August 1851, grave number Unknown 3.
Another Death by Intoxication
The inquest into the death of Thomas Fearnett, aged 47 years, who lived at Naylor Street, off Oldham Road returned a verdict of death from apoplexy due to excessive drinking. The inquest was told that at around 4.00 p.m. on the day of his death Thomas Fearnett, already drunk, went to the Yorkshire House, Pinmill Brow and was served with spirits and ale. At 8.00 pm. in the evening he was found asleep in the tap room and it was impossible to wake him and so he remained asleep for another hour and a half. He was then found to have a rattle in his throat and started vomiting so was put outside in the street. He lay there until a policeman who was passing by discovered him and found him to be dead. Thomas Fearnett was buried in a Non Conformist public grave at Manchester General Cemetery, Unknown 12389 on Friday, 6th December 1850.
Horrible Workplace Death
William Buerdsell was 35 years old, single and lived with his sister at 40 Hannah Street, Collyhurst. He had worked for the Irkdale Calico Printing Company for five years. On the day of his death, Saturday, 26th February 1898, his duty was to superintend the pump which pumped dirty water out of a settling tank or culvert. William went into work at 6.00 a.m. and as part of his job he had to enter the culvert via manhole to stir up the mud.
The culvert was 30 yards long and he would have to walk 15-20 yards to do
this and it would have to be done twice a week. William was last seen alive at 6.40 a.m.
By 8.40 a.m. at breakfast John Mellor, the foreman, not seeing him, realised something
was wrong and went to pump and found William’s clogs. John Mellor had presumed
William had entered the culvert wearing wading boots and initiated a search.
A fellow workmate, William Drew found William Buerdsell’s body in the water and
brought it out. It was noted his hands and face were scalded. This was due to
the “kier” being blown off. The “kier” held 800 gallons of boiling waterand it was
blown off three times a day, at 7.00 a.m., 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. These times were
well known to the deceased. The culvertvaried in depth from six feet to four and
half feet and the “kier” was emptied into it about 35 yards from the bottom end
through a three inch pipe and William Buerdsell had to stir the mud with his feet.
The dirty water was pumped into the river. There were settling tanksbut the
water could not be pumped into these but it could be pumped directly into the
river. George Maxwell, a bleacher, testified at the inquest that he blew off the
“kier” at 7.00 a.m. and it contained boiling water and caustic soda. He said
William Buerdsell knew the times for blowing off and that he had never known
him to go into the culvert in the morning. William Drew told the inquest he
found William Buerdsell in the culvert at around 9.15 a.m. and he was lying on
his back dead. His face was not covered. A doctor examined the body. It was badly
scalded all over. William Buerdsell’s sister said he had a dangerous occupation however William Drew said there was no danger as he should not have gone into the culvert and he had had no difficulty breathing when he was recovering the body. John Bradshaw, the manager, said the orders were that he was never to go into the culvert before dinner and no reason could be given why the deceased had gone into the culvert early. The inquest returned a verdict of accidental death. William Buerdsell was interred at Manchester General Cemetery in grave Consecrated 1217 on 2nd March 1898.
Alleged Death of Neglect
An inquest was held, presided over by Mr Herford, into the death of Elizabeth Flaherty at Manchester Union Workhouse on Saturday, 1st February 1851. Elizabeth Flaherty was a married woman aged 39 years. She was married to a greengrocer and had been living at Queen Street, Deansgate. She had died in the Workhouse and it was alleged that her death was due to negligence from Mr Brownsworth, one of the receiving officers at the Manchester Union. Elizabeth’s husband was unable to support his family due to an affliction of the brain. Elizabeth had been in a distressed state for some time and was receiving parish relief. As her health was poor, she was attended at her home by Mr Scott, a surgeon, but refused to be admitted to the Workhouse as she feared she would be returned to Ireland. On the day of her death, she was removed from her home to the Workhouse. As complaints and allegations of neglect were lodged against Mr Brownsworth from Elizabeth’s married sister a post mortem was ordered which was conducted by Mr Dyson the result of which was death by natural disease as the examination of the body revealed a disease of long standing. Elizabeth Flaherty was buried at Manchester General Cemetery on Wednesday, 5th February 1851 in a Non Conformist public grave, Unknown 52.
Suspicion of Manslaughter
Agnes Mowbray was buried at Manchester General Cemetery on Wednesday,18th September 1850 in a Non Conformist public grave, Unknown 56. Agnes Mowbray was 30 years old and married to Robert Mowbray, a Glaswegian hand loom weaver but at the time of her death was living apart from him in Buxton Street, Manchester. The circumstances of her death had given rise to the suspicion that she had been the victim of manslaughter by Archibald Buchanan, a 35 year old cotton spinner, who lived in Briton Street, Manchester. At the inquest held at the Bull’s Head Inn, London Road, it was testified by Henry Pilkington, a tailor, that the deceased Agnes Mowbray (using the alias of Nancy Adams) had come to lodge with Archibald Buchanan’s wife at his house at Nun Square, Chapel Street. The accused, Archibald Buchanan, came to lodge at the premises some two weeks later. Archibald Buchanan, his wife and the deceased all shared the same double bedded room. On the 31st August 1850, Henry Pilkington hear quarrelling at around midnight and upon investigation found Archibald Buchanan and Agnes Mowbray fighting. Henry Pilkington and Mrs Buchanan tried to separate them and in doing so Henry Pilkington was injured. Further assistance was sought. Agnes Mowbray exclaimed “I’m near killed” and added that she would take herself and her baby to Mrs Taylor’s in Buxton Street. It was noted that Archibald Buchanan was drunk at this time. On arrival at Mrs Taylor’s Agnes told her that Archibald Buchanan had kicked her about the legs and other parts of her person and was complaining of being very sore. After a restless night she went to work but looked very ill. On Tuesday, 3rd September 1850 Mrs Taylor gave her a dose of “salts and senna” after Agnes told her she had a swelling. She continued feeling unwell until Thursday, 12th September when she was attended by Mr McKeane, a Poor Law Medical Officer. She told him she had sickness and constipation and that is what he treated her for. The following day she had constant vomiting and Mr McKeane attended her again when she made him aware of a swelling in her groin. At this point he realised she was “labouring under a strangulated hernia”. He operated but was unsuccessful and Agnes Mowbray died on Saturday, 14th September. An inspection of her body showed that the whole of the bowel was inflamed and that the viscus at the point of the strangulation had become gangrenous. The inquest returned a verdict of death by strangulated hernia.
Mary Hunter was 54 years old when she died at 5 Ludgate Street and it was alleged she had not received proper medical attention. Mary Hunter lodged with Catherine McDonough, whose occupation was selling herrings and keeping lodgers. Catherine had known Mary for about 12 months and she had been lodging with her for 14 weeks paying 8d per week. She provided her own food and went out everyday selling apples and oranges and seemed outwardly to be in good health although she was a large woman who became nervous when hurried. A few days before her death she complained of earache on her way out which she treated with an onion. The earache continued but she seemed in reasonable health otherwise. Then after having her tea a few nights later she said she had a pain from her left shoulder to her breast. Catherine made her two poultices but they didn’t provide any relief. The two woman stayed up all night with Catherine resolving to fetch the doctor the next morning. Catherine McDonagh attempted to find a doctor. She visited Mr McGill but was informed he wasn’t the town’s doctor, then she went to another doctor in Oldham Road but there was no reply when she knocked. Finally she went to Tib Street Workhouse but she was advised she needed to get an order from the overseer, a Mr Pierce at Red Back but when she went there he had moved. She returned home to Mary Hunter having been unable to find a doctor. She made Mary some tea and she went to sleep. Catherine went out again back to Mr McGill and she paid him for a draught he made and advised her to apply a poultice of mustard and porridge oatmeal. By this time Mary Hunter was dangerously ill and lying on the flags on the kitchen floor. Finally she found the town’s doctor, a Mr Noble, who told her to take Mary to the Manchester Infirmary but that was impossible because she was large and heavy. The doctor said he could not help. Mary Hunter gave her consent to Catherine McDonagh applying for her to go into the workhouse. She was given a note by Mr Pierce, the overseer at the Workhouse, to be delivered to Mr Noble and if he said she should be removed to the Workhouse then she would be removed. Mr Brown (who sees poor patients for Mr Noble) visited and again advised the mustard and porridge poultice and asked Catherine to collect some medicine. When she arrived she didn’t have a bottle and was told she would need to buy or borrow one. Eventually she got the medicine and when she gave it to Mary she said the pain was removed from her hips but she had no use in her right arm. Days were passing and Mary Hunter was still lying on the flags on the kitchen floor. Again Catherine went to Mr Pierce to ask that she be taken to the Workhouse but was told to go back to Mr Noble for some different medicine. He said Mr Brown would need to visit the following day before anymore medicine was prescribed. The following morning Mary Hunter was dead. She had no bed, blankets or sheets, just a some flocks and a piece of carpet. The only clothes she had were the ones she was wearing. She only ate bread with a little butter and tea, no meat. Mr Harrison, a surgeon from Oldham Street, said the cause of death was acute inflammation of the lung and its investing membrane on the left hand side. The illness would be produced by exposure to cold and then aggravated by lack of care. Such a condition would not normally be fatal when properly attended although possibly Mary Hunter might not have recovered. The disease had started before she felt the pain but was made worse by the cold and being left lying on the cold flags in the kitchen. The jury returned a verdict to this effect and added there had been neglect on the part of the doctors who had attended her. Mary Hunter was interred at Manchester General Cemetery on 29th December 1849 in grave number Non Conformist 58 public grave.
Mysterious Death and Mistaken Identity
A woman identified as Elizabeth Dean was buried in Manchester General Cemetery in grave number Unknown 230, a Non Conformist public grave, on 20th August 1895. Her body was found in suspicious circumstances. Fred Tomlinson was crossing one of his fields at Alms Hill Farm, Cheetham Hill when he discovered the body of a woman lying face down. She had a silk handkerchief tied tightly around her neck. Mr Tomlinson removed the handkerchief by cutting it and saw that the woman was dead. There were various shoe prints around the body and since the woman was not wearing any shoes this seemed to point towards foul play. The body was removed to Derby Street Mortuary. The police description was of a woman aged between 25-30 years, 5ft 3 in tall, light long hair and a fair complexion. She was wearing a black bodice and three skirts, a black straw hat trimmed with red feathers and blue flowers, black stockings but no boots. Two men and a woman identified the body as Sarah Bowler, a 19 year old single woman. However Sarah Bowler was subsequently apprehended by the police and brought before the justices. There was however a good likeness between Sarah Bowler and the deceased woman. Once it was proved that the woman definitely wasn’t Sarah Bowler and a number of witnesses thought she was a German woman who lived on Long Millgate. In the end the body had been seen by some 190 people and had been identified as four different women. Chief Detective Inspector Caminada was in charge of the case and presented evidence as to her identification. Although several witnesses had said she was the German woman who lived in Long Millgate, Mr Caminada presented evidence that she was in fact another German woman who had been in the employ of Sarah E Hampson. Mrs Hampson lived in Upper Brook Street and employed the dead woman for about three months. She went away about two weeks ago and returned after she had been away for a week and said she had been staying with a man who worked in Northwich. Sarah Hampson refused to take her in. She always gave the name Elizabeth Dean and she was originally from Germany but hadn’t lived there since she was a child. A letter found on the body written in German was received whilst she was in the employment of Sarah Hampson. It was from the dead woman’s parents. Sarah Hampson had found an insurance card with the name Joanna Fritz and confirmed it was her daughter who had given the woman the handkerchief found around her neck. It was very unusual for a German Jew to adopt an English name.
A receipt was found on the body and John Winkle, a draper and hosier, in Upper Brook Street testified that he had supplied the deceased and in fact some of the items were found on her body. Fanny Smithyman, another witness, said she had given the dead woman another document which was found on her person. It contained the address of Fanny’s sister. The witness said she had known the woman as Elizabeth Dean and that she was married to Abraham Beetham who lived in Manchester. Robert Robertson collaborated the evidence of her identity and stated that about six months earlier she was that he would cut her throat if she refused. Having now confirmed the woman’s identity, the police enquiries were continuing and Mr Caminada had several leads.
The Back Irwell Street Tragedy
Margaret Wheeldon was beaten to death in a cellar located at 17 Back Irwell Street on Monday, 21st July 1851. An inquest into her death was held at Manchester Infirmary presided over by Mr E Herford, the City Coroner. Thomas Moores, a policeman, testified that in the early hours of the Monday morning he was passing by the property and heard a commotion in the cellar as if people were fighting. He heard a man demanding money from a woman. Upon entering the cellar he found a man stood over a woman who was doubled up on the hearthstone groaning and covered in blood. On the bed there was another woman lying face down. The man told Thomas Moores that the women had taken four half crowns from him and he wanted them back. The woman who was bleeding on the hearthstone was very badly bruised about the face but the woman on the bed (Margaret Wheeldon) was dying and when the doctor arrived to examine her he pronounced her dead. The man was identified as James Wyche (Wick) and he had been taken to the Magistrates and remanded in custody. He had said he had come to the town to be the bail for a man who was in gaol for being drunk and disorderly. The jury at the inquest insisted that James Wyche be brought before them. The could tell Margaret Wheeldon had been murdered but not by whom and they were adamant they could not come to verdict without James Wyche being brought before them. The second woman involved was identified as Helen Farrand and she was unfit to give evidence at the inquest as she was in Manchester Royal Infirmary so she was interviewed at her bedside. The inquest was adjourned so James Wyche could be brought before the jury but when it was reconvened it was still not possible for him to be there. The Coroner instructed the jury to find a verdict in his absence stating the people who were keeping him from appearing could be doing him an injustice as he was not able to give an explanation or cross examine the evidence obtained from Helen Farrand. The jury returned a verdict that James Wyche had wilfully murdered Margaret Wheeldon and added they felt it would have been in his favour to attend the inquest but they had come to verdict based on the evidence they had in front of them.
Margaret Wheeldon was interred at Manchester General Cemetery on Thursday, 24th July 1851 in grave number Unknown Section 2, which is a public grave in the Non Conformist part of the cemetery.