Personal information about Caroline Wells

Below is all the information we have about Caroline Wells. As far as we know, the information is correct. However, if you find any errors or have additional information, certificates or pictures, please contact us so that we can update this page. Thank you.

Burial Information

Name on burial register:
   Caroline Wells
Burial register image
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Age at death:
Date of burial:
   29 June 1875
Abode at death:
(according to burial register)
Burial register information:
Book number: 1868
Page number: 123
Record number: 3380
Official at burial:
   The Rev'd. W J Meara, Curate.
Source of information:
  Burial Register
* This entry is awaiting verification.

Memorial Details

No memorial information available at this time.



Obituaries and Newspaper announcements

Caroline Wells
Article source:   
Date of source:   
Copyright:    © 








On Monday morning, T.H. Hawkins, Esq., Borough Coroner, held an inquest at the Council Chamber, Newbury, with reference to the death of Caroline Wells, a married woman, aged 29, living in West Mills, whose death occurred on Friday evening under most painful circumstances.


Ann Wherrell, the first witness, living at West Mills, said she was called at four o’clock on the morning of Friday, and attended at intervals during the day.   She remained continuously in attendance from abut half-past six in the evening until nine or half-past, when the child was born.  Seeing something was wrong, the midwife sent for a doctor.  Saw no drinking during the day.  The midwife had half-a-pint of beer and a crust of bread and cheese.   Deceased was also given six-pennyworth of brandy.  The midwife was very attentive and kind.


Maria Tranter, living in the City, said she was a certificated midwife, and had attended cases 26 years.  She was called about half-past two on Friday morning, and continued with deceased all day as she begged her to stay.  She was in severe pain from six o’clock, and the child was born about nine, but there was no clock in the house.  Did not administer anything to hasten labour.  Witness sent for a doctor immediately she saw everything was not right.  Deceased lived about three quarters of an hour after the birth of the child.  No one beside the last witness was present, and one pint of beer and half-quarters of brandy was all that was drunk during the day.  Had never seen a case of this kind before, nor was anything said about sending for a doctor.


John Wells, the husband, in the employ of Messrs. Plenty, said his wife was very bad during the day.  At dinner time, he called up the stairs to ask whether there was need for a doctor, and the midwife said “No”.  Also mentioned at tea-time about a doctor, but the midwife said there was no necessity.  Deceased told him to be sure and tell the midwife to get a doctor if one was needed.  Her screams during the last hour were awful.  Witness fetched the doctor at the direction of the midwife.   Mr. Palmer came at once.  His wife’s brother, a boy of thirteen was sent for a quarter of brandy, a quarter of gin, a pint of beer, and half-a-pint of best.  Witness fetched half-a-gallon half-and-half after the child was born.  Thought the women had had too much and were the worse for drink.


The Coroner – And yet you got them another half-gallon.


Witness – A next-door neighbour wished to come up stairs but the women would not let her.  Did not think the women were so bad as to be incapable of attending to their duty.  A lot of neighbours were in and out.  All the neighbours in the row urged him to get a doctor, but he felt satisfied.


Mr. M. Palmer, surgeon of Newbury, said that on Friday night at half-past nine the last witness called upon him to come and see his wife.  Went at once, and found the patient was sensible, but pulseless and very cold.  There had been considerable haemorrhage, and attributed this to her collapsed condition.  Gave her brandy and sal-volatile and sent for Mr. Ryott, who promptly came to his assistance.  She died in about half-an-hour, and was sensible to the last.  She died from haemorrhage and shock incident to her condition.  There was no evidence of violence.  Both women appeared sober.  Thought this was just a case where life was sacrificed in a midwife not knowing what to do.   Had he been present at the time he had no doubt he could have saved her life.  Such an accident might occur to the best practitioner, but he would know what to do.  The deceased had a lax muscular fibre and looked unhealthy, and was a subject that required great care and attention.


The Coroner said it was just one of those unfortunate cases which attended the employment of midwives.  Had the poor woman been attended by a doctor his life would have been saved.  So far as the evidence went the midwife appeared to have attended her duties in a proper manner; no undue force seems to have been employed, but as long as people would employ midwives, they must expect to hear of such cases.  It was true, as Mr. Palmer had said, such an accident might have happened to a medical man, but he would have known what to have done.  The midwife acted to the best of her ability; she holds a certificate which qualifies her to act, leaving it to her judgement to call in a medical man in any difficulty.  It was not the woman who was to blame, but rather those who employed her.  Ninety-nine cases out of one hundred may be straightforward, but it is in the one hundredth case that skill is required, and for which the midwife is unequal.  It was quite right that the case should have been enquired into, especially as many exaggerated rumours were in circulation.


The Jury, of whom Mr. Comyns was foreman, returned a verdict of “Death from natural causes”.


Also – Born Caroline Curtis married 1870



This obituary entry is awaiting verification.

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