Personal information about Septimus Fryers

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Septimus Fryers
21 December 1867
Consecrated - Common interment
Rev'd. H. Blagden



Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Baby Farming in Newbury inquest for Septimus Fryers
Article source:    Berkshire chronicle
Date of source:    28 December 1869
Copyright:    © 




The adjourned inquest. The inquiry into the death of the child Septimus Fryers was resumed at the Mansion House, on Friday evening, the 20th instant, before Joseph Bunny, Esq., M.D., borough i coroner, and the following additional evidence was taken, Esther Hamblin, re-examined, said : I have had four children to nurse during the last twelve months, namely, Harriett Knight, little Annie Newman, Ann Summers, and the deceased, Septimus Fryers. There is two of them dead besides the deceased ; they are Harriett Knight and Annie Newman. They were ain decline when I took them. All ! three of the children died in my mother's house ; they did I not die altogether, and I cannot tell the time exactly that intervened. The mothers came and had them, and buried them at the Cemetery. Harriett Knight was seen by Mr. Bursey, being the parish medical officer for that time. She came from London, and her mother sent the payments for her in letters. We had 4s. a week with her. Mr. Bursey gave a certificate to the cause of death, but I do not know what it was. The child Annie Newman came out of the Newbury Union, and was seen previous to her death by Dr. Ligertwood. She was buried at the Cemetery. A certificate was given as to the cause of her death. I know it. We used to take tbe children -to the medical men to be treated for their sickness. The Coroner : It seems to me a very pretty state of things that the ratepayers of Newbury should be called upon to provide medical men for the illegitimate children whom you may choose to take in. Ido not think it is right at all. Examination continued : The child Ann Summers is now with me; she has been with me three months,and is now about two years old. Her mother brought her to my house, and is now "at the " Pigeon's Farm " in service. She is single woman. We have 3s. a week with her. The child has a little meat, just as we have ourselves. Ann Baiiey said, I am a widow woman residing Hatchet Yard, next door to Mrs. Hamblin : I have lived there about eighteen months. seen the deceased, Septimus Fryers, every day for about a month ; I saw him last on Monday afternoon at four o'clock, as I was passing the door, in Esther Hamblin's arms. I tapped his cheek and said, " Weli, little fellow, you seem jolly enough." I had not been in more than ten minutes before Esther Hamblin screamed out to me to come in, as she thought the child was dying. I went ia directly ; the child had its thumbs clenched, fell back, gave three sighs, and expired. It was usually very quiet child. Foreman : * Are those people kind to the children under their care?— Yes, I should not mind them having the whole of mine. Susannah Hamblin was then called for, but she was not in attendance, and a medical certificate was put in in confirmation of the statement, that she could not attend through illness, signed by Dr. Ligertwood. Mrs. Sarah Box said: I am a married woman living at Speen. I knew the deceased Septimus Fryers, from his birth. He was born in my house ; his mother came there with my permission. I took her in to be confined; her name is Fryers, and she is a milliner and dressmaker. She is unmarried. She resided at my house month prior to her confinement; she was attended a medical man, Dr. Ligertwood j she remained at my house until the 15th of May. Her home is at Cirencester, but at that time she was stopping at Newbury, at her aunts, a Mrs. Moss. I knew she was unmarried when she came to me. I kept the baby after the mother's leaving me on the 15th of May, until the 18th of November. A woman, by the name of Hamblin came to my house and fetched the child with the mother's authority." That was the first time I saw Mrs. Hamblin. I had no connection with any member of her family before that. I parted with the child because I could not get my money. lam in the habit of taking children in to nurse. I have three at the present time ; two of them are illegitimate and the other is the child of a married woman living in Newbury. The Coroner : What is her name. Witness : I do not wish to tell you. The Coroner : But I am determined that you shall tell me, and if you not I will commit you to prison. The witness still remained mute for several seconds, when The Coroner said : Do I understand that you refuse to tell me the mother's name ? Witness : The mother's name is Richards, and she lives in the "Jack of Newbury" yard. Dr. Ligertwood was then sworn. He deposed that order of the coroner he had made a post-mortem examination of the deceased, and the result was that he believed the cause of death arose from convulsions caused by teething. He considered the sytem of feeding which the deceased had been under improper. The Foreman of the Jury said he wished to know of the doctor whether his last observation would apply the deceased particularly or a strong healthy child ? Dr. Ligertwood: At any time I think the food much too heavy. The mother was then brought forward. She deposed: My name is Sarah Ann Fryers. I reside at Cirencester and am single woman. The deceased Septimus Fryers is my child. I think it was horn in May last at Mrs. Box's at Speen. I went there by aunt's recommendation. I remained there about three months —that time included two months previous to the birth of the deceased. I never nursed my babe. When I left Mrs, Box's I left the babe with her. I have not affiliated the child upon any one. I think the child remained with Mrs. Box about five months after I left. The child was removed from Mrs. Box's by my instructions. The reason why had the child taken away was because Mrs. Box wrote for me to take it away as she had other children there and was not well. I then let Mrs. Hamblin have the child, and -he fetched it from Speen. It was on Monday, and I left the next day, I saw the child then, but have not seen it since. It was about a month ago. Between the period of my consigning the child to Mrs. Hamblin's care and its death I heard nothing of it. I told Mrs. Hamblin what Mrs. Box used to feed the child with. The witness, who was genteel both in her manner and her attire, remained seated during the time that she was giving her evidence. The Coroner, addressing the jury, said he had thought it right to go into the matter thoroughly concerning the death of the deceased child, from the peculiar circumstances of the case. There appeared to be two persons connected with the child, Mrs. Box and Mrs. Hamblin, both those parties had been in the habit of taking in children to nurse, and they would gather from the evidence before them that it was an improper plan. Mrs. Box at the present time had three children, and Mrs. Hamblin had received four during the past twelve months. Two besides the deceased were now dead. He considered this a large mortality, and thought they would agree with him that the case deserved thorough inquiry. He expressed himself satisfied with the examination of Dr. Ligertwood, and agreed with his decision, having also viewed the body himself ; at the same time he thought it ought to have received more attention from the mother. The system of "nursing." as they had had evidence of, was extremely vicious one,and he left the case with them to offer any presentment they pleased upon it. The Jury returned as their verdict *" That the chiid died from convulsions," accompanied with the following presentment :—"That they were of opinion that the child had been improperly fed." The Coroner said that the case had incurred some expense to the borough, but inasmuch as the case demanded strict inquiry he did not regret it. The sum of £1 5s. 4d. was allowed the mother for expenses for attending the inquest, and on the coroner asking her what was to be done with the child, and that he should order its burial by the parish, she offered to see to its burial. On being further interrogated, she said she did not think "the party" would assist her with means for doing so, which called forth the just indignation of both the coroner and heroine.

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