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A cautionary tale from 1891...

Wells Journal, Thursday, October 1, 1891

“Sudden death of an infant”

An inquest touching the death of Thomas Hippisley Curtis, aged 11 week, was held before S. Craddock, Esq., coroner, at the Lamb inn, St. Thomas-street, on Monday afternoon. – Mr. E. Middle was chosen foreman of the jury. – Elizabeth Curtis, wife of A. J. Curtis, a tinplate worker, of 32, St. Thomas-street, said the deceased was her son and was 11 weeks old last Saturday. On Sunday morning she awoke about 7 o’clock, and picked the child up as usual. She noticed that it looked rather strange and was very quiet, and then found that it was dead. The child was lying between her and her husband. She fed it with a bottle at 11.30 the preceding night, and it took it all. She awoke between two and three o’clock, and the child was then alive. The child, ever since it was six weeks old, had been fed with a bottle, as her milk was not nourishing enough. – The Coroner briefly reviewed the evidence, and remarked that the placing of babies between the father and mother was a very dangerous practice; should the child turn over on its face it would surely die. He would recommend the jury to return an open verdict of “Found dead in bed.” – The jury returned a verdict accordingly.

Thomas was the child of Albert John Curtis and Elizabeth Price, Albert being the older brother of my gg-grandfather Frank Curtis.

Thanks to David Bromwich at the Somerset Studies Library for finding this extract.

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