Hawkins Genealogy Site
The Somerset County Gazette, Bristol Express, and Devonshire News Saturday 19 May 1877
Page 6 Column 6
An inquest was held at Gadd's Bottom, in this parish, on Saturday by Mr. W. W. MUNCKTON, coroner, on the body of Annie CRIDLAND, aged two years and two months, who died somewhat suddenly on the previous Wednesday. - From the evidence of the parents and a neighbour it appears the deceased was taken ill the previous night, and continuing to grow worse the father left home about half-past four o'clock to get an order from the overseer for the attendance of the parish doctor, Mr. BENDELL, of Creech St. Michael. This the overseer refused to grant, and the doctor declined to attend, and on the father's return the child had just died of convulsions. - The Coroner remarked that no one could blame the overseer for refusing to grant the order as the present state of the law is that orders for medical relief can be granted by the relieving-officer for the district, the overseers and church wardens, but should either of the latter grant such an order, and the medical officer on attending finds the case not to be an urgent one, the person giving such order is liable to pay the expenses of the medical officer. In the present case no blame could really be laid against either overseer or doctor, the former having no proof of the case being urgent and the latter not being compelled to attend without an order, besides, the relieving-officer resided at Bishop's Lydeard, a distance of six miles, and it would have been unreasonable for the father to have applied to him before going to the overseer. He (the Coroner) was glad to have an opportunity of making these remarks as it had frequently come under his notice that in parishes situated a long distance from the relieving-officer or parish doctor the poorer classes often suffered a great hardship in having to go so many miles to get an order for a medical man. In the present case had the father, on his return home, found the child still alive and requiring medical aid, he must have walked at least 24 miles before arriving at Mr. BENDELL's house with the order. - The jury returned a verdict that deceased died from natural causes, and added “That the present system of granting an order for medical relief is most unsatisfactory, and that on the overseer being applied to he should grant an order, and at the same time be free from any responsibility as to any expense that might be incurred.” The jury also requested the Coroner to lay the particulars of the verdict before the Board of Guardians and the Local Government Board.
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<NOTES: Hannah Louisa or Annie CRIDLAND daughter of Thomas CRIDLAND and Jane DYER>