Friday, November 16, 2012

A bread and milk poultice was applied

This is the next instalment in the series about the accident-prone Brown family. You can read my previous blogs about the deaths of three siblings Isabella, David and James. This blog is about their brother John.

In April 1858 the mother, Mary Ann Brown, was 24 years old. She had already given birth to four children, one of whom had died, and she was six months pregnant with her fifth. Some time in the last year the family had moved from Geelong to Camperdown where the father, John, worked as a bootmaker.

One day Mary Ann put the water on to boil to wash up the dinner things. Her eldest child took the pot off the fire and put it on the floor and little John, less than two years old,  stepped backwards and fell sitting in the pot. The father removed him immediately and applied salad oil and a bread and milk poultice to the scald that extended over his buttocks, back and chest. He was later given a dose of castor oil. But baby John died two days later after a fit. The parents didn't call in a doctor because they "did not think the scald to be serious". The Coroner and jury at the inquest brought a finding of accidental death with no blame attached to the parents.

Mary Ann's next baby, born three months later, was also named John.

John BROWN, son of John BROWN and Mary Ann HOWE was born 1856 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. He died on 05 Apr 1858 Leura Marsh, Camperdown, Victoria, Australia. Inquest: John stepped backwards and sat in a pot of boiling water that had just been taken off the stove. His father applied salad oil and a milk poultice but he died two days later.

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