DEATH – Inquest DICKENSON. Thomas, (Mr) of Redcar. Fatal Accident.

Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea 03/03/1871.


            On Saturday morning and last (05/03), an inquest was held at the Clarendon Hotel, before T. C. Sowerby, Esq., Deputy Coroner, touching the death of Thomas Dickenson, bricklayer, of Lynas Place.

Jane Sargent with whom the deceased lodged at the time of his death, was the first witness called. She said: On Tuesday night (28/02), between nine and ten o’clock, deceased came into the house, and brought to friends with him to sleep. He went upstairs with them, and I heard him come out of the room, bid them good night, and then fall down stairs. I should think he would fall from the top of the stairs to the bottom. I went to him, and found him laid at the foot of the stairs. I called the men, who helped put him in a chair. He was quite insensible, and never spoke afterwards. I washed his head, and put a plaster on it. His head was much court. We put him to bed about four o’clock the next morning. He walked upstairs, with a little help. On Wednesday (01/03), I went for Dr Bennett who promised to, in the afternoon but he did not so. He came the next morning about eleven o’clock. Deceased after that seemed to get worse, and I sent a game for Dr Bennett, who sent word back that he could not come and that we had better get another doctor. I then sent for Mr Locke, who came about five o’clock. Deceased died about seven o’clock the same night. He was worse for drink when the accident occurred, but I thought he was able to walk up and down stairs. Deceased was ill in December last, when Dr Bennett attended him. He then went it to the Infirmary at Middlesbrough, where he stayed a month. Since then he has been lodging with me.

Andrew Dickenson, brother of the deceased, said: I was in the house when the deceased came in on Tuesday night (28/02). Seeing he was drunk, I went to bed. While I was getting into bed he came upstairs with two men. He came in the room with them and bid them all good night, and then I heard him fall downstairs. I did not go down. I saw him about half past three o’clock. I lifted him up, as he could scarcely walk, and helped up the stairs. He lay down on the bed and went to sleep. When I left work at night I went to see him, and he asked him if he would have a cup of tea. He said he would. He seemed rather better then, but could only say yes and no. I was in the room when he died. I came home about a quarter of an hour before, when he was breathing very heavily. When I was helping you want stairs he spoke a little. He was a heavy man, and fell about 10 feet. The stairs are very steep.

Mr T. W. S. Locke, surgeon, said: I was called in on Thursday afternoon (02/03) to see the deceased. I saw him about a quarter to five. He was then in a dying state, and it was with great difficulty that he could breathe. The pupils of his eyes were quite dilate it, and insensible to light. He seemed to be suffering from compression of the brain. I bled him, and it relieved him slightly. I then left not thinking he was at all likely to recover, and shortly before seven o’clock this sent word that he was dead. I made postmortem examination this morning, and found extensive bruises on the right side of the head and face. There was a small wound on the right side of the head, and general extravasation of congealed blood between the scalp and the bone. On removing the skull bone I found the brain much congested. There was also extravasation of blood, and large clots, which had compressed the brain, and caused the death. The fall down the stairs would cause these injuries. There was very little chance of deceased recovering from the effects of the accident, unless active means had been taken at first.

In concluding his evidence, Mr Locke said he might state, injustice to Dr Bennett that that gentleman had a serious case of malaria fever under his care, which required his constant attention; and that would, no doubt, account for it not being able to attend to the deceased.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”


Lol Hansom March 16, 2013 Doctors & Health