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jjp Death of Capt Davies,…

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jjp Death of Capt Davies, waPmeps' Arms, Fishguard- pOXER'S INQUIRY AND VERDICT. Wednesday, at the Market Hall, Fish- d, Mr J Ivor" Evans, coroner, held an in- touching the death of Capt Wm Harries es, landlord of the Farmers' Arms, Fish- ed, Who died under somewhat unusual 11 instances early on Monday morning last. jury empanelled bv P.C. Rowlands was olIows :Messrs J R Richards (foreman), t Berry, D Roberts, Enoch Lewis, Chas ^'ards, ) AN- Evans, W 0 Thomas (Railway Jfe), Capt Thomas (Cambrian), Capt Oerts (Anchor House), R Howarth, B L Evans (' Echo'), and Capt Thomas ^Sorfa). Mr W J Vaughan, solicitor, P|ched the proceedings on behalf of the Mrs Davies. j^he jury retired to view the body at the tf^ers' Arms and by the time they returned ^?re was a goodly audience in the court, interest being evinced in the proceed- aughan intimated he had been engaged ehalf of the widow. i yroner • Quite necessary, Mr Vaughan. I Mrs Mary Ellen Davies (widow) was the TSt witness called. Witness was requested f Olove her veil. t Coroner Where do you live ?—Farmers' s, Fishguard. t. Coroner Deceased, Wm H Davies, what latio, was he to you '—v husband. I Coroner What was he ?—Master mariner A, Coroner He was recently the licensee of y Ie Farmers' Arms ?—Yes. Coroner He lived there ?—Yes.—How ? Since 15th of December last. How ? Forty-two. Coroner An accident occurred to him Gently ?—Yes. Coroner \Yhen ?—On Friday (12th) last ii o'clock a.m. Coroner What happened to him ?—He r°ke his leg, sir. She did'nt see him, as she in the next room. Not in bed. She was IIp with the baby she heard him fall. The Occident happened up-stairs. Coroner When you saw him afterwards he was in bed ? Witness Yes, she also knew Where his leg broken. I Coroner Where ?—By the ankle of the right leg. She saw him on the bed in the Same room in which the accident occurred. **hen the accident occurred her brother-in- !aW, Ben Evans, the servant, and witness were ln the house. There was no one in the room ^ith the deceased when he fell. She next ^ard him call Ben come here I have broken y leg." This was immediately after hear- Ing the noise of the fall. Witness could not Say exactly where her brother-in-law was at the time, but both her brother-in-law and she in almost at the sametime. Ben was try lrlg to put him on the bed and she went to his assistance. They sent for a doctor as soon as they could Dr W O'Donnell attended Nvitli another man. She could not say exact- ly how soon afterwards the doctor arrived- about a quarter of an hour or less. Her hus- band was removed to another room before the doctor arrived and put to bed. Witness was not present when they set his leg; but she Went to the door I could not stand it" said Witness. Witness did'nt know the doctor had left medicine. Deceased's leg was very Painful that day. Coroner Did the'doctor attend a second I time that day ? [ Witness I cannot say. I can't remember everything. She saw the doctor again the next morning. Her husband seemed to her to be a little better then. The Coroner How was he ? I thought he was getting better as lie had some sleep on Saturday night, but did not rest at all well on Friday night. Coroner Did you know whether the doctor had given him anything or not. Mrs Davies No. She saw a bottle there. Asked twice, witness replied that she didn't know whether it was Friday or Saturday. fe refused to give him the medicine when was restless. It was a table-spoonful at a time when restless that was ordered. Her husband seemed much better on Sunday, and the doctor came on Sunday and told her not > to trouble as her husband was getting on well The servant, Ann Llewhelin, went for some medicine to the surgery on Sunday at about 2.30. Her husband and she (witness) sent her for the medicine. ILCoroner Why. Mrs Davies: Well, they thought they would. Deceased didn't seem any worse. Deceased felt some pain, but she could not say where. Her servant obtained the medicine and brought it back at once. Witness did not know to whom the servant gave it. Witness never saw it. She did not read the directions all the bottle as she was attending the baby, only a month old. Witness knew what became of the bottle. Her husband called out to her that the girl had broken the bottle con- taining the medicine and would she send for another. Witness heard the crash. She was in the room on the other side; she was told about the crash. Her husband called to her to tell her brother-in-law to order more medicine. She never saw the bottle fall, only • her child was close by and she thought it had broken it. The bottle still remained on the table; it had fallen against a toilet set. The contents were on the table and the floor; it was all over the place. Ann Llewellyn went for the bottle of mixture her husband had asked for, but she did not see her bring it back as she was upstairs with the baby, neither did she see the bottle at all until the doctor came and took it away. This was about 10. 30. on Sunday evening. Her husband was very restless on Sunday night before he died; she should think so. Her brother-in-law was with him all night and witness was to and fro to see how he was. Coroner How many times did you say you saw him?—I was there once before going to bed and he took a drop of milk,then was there again after going to bed. She asked him how he felt and he was restless. She was not present when he died but was there about a quarter of an hour before and asked him to take a drop of milk which he refused. Witness was not called when he died. She was down to get a drop of milk for the baby. They thought he had fallen to sleep, but her brother-in-law called Im afraid he is dead." Witness and her sister-in- law called in the room. "Witness saw him out of bed half a dozen times from the time the doctor set his leg to the time lie died. She put him back to bed once herself. Sitting on the side of the bed witness saw him his fractured leg was hanging over the side of the bed, but she did'nt know whether it was resting on the Hoor or not. He complained that lie could'nt rest, but seldom about his leg On Saturday he complained terrible about the pain in his leg. Questioned again about the medicine, wit- ness said her husband asked her to give him medicine and she refused. Coroner How came you to say that the doctor told you to give the medcine every four hours ? Witness It was on the bottle and her husband asked her and she refused. Coroner Then you saw the first bottle ?— Yes, but not the last bottle at all. The medicine was not within deceased's reach at all it was fully three yards away. She never- saw her husband walking about the room only sitting on the bed and he was angry with her because she caught him sitting + *•' deceased was not left alone, her brother-in- "law or she was always with him. The half dozen times she saw him her brother-in-law was taking food downstairs. W itness had no idea of the nature and the effect of the medi- cine. Respecting moving the deceased from the room in which he fell before the arrival of the doctor, witness now said that was said in error lie was mov, 1 subsequent to the arrival of the doctor. Mr Benjamin. Evans, Clover Hill, Dinas Cross, brother-iii-la- of the last witness, said he was a tailor by trade. Deceased and wit- ness married two sisters. He was present when the deceased met his accident; lie hav- ing come down that morning from Dinas. Witness was not in the room at the time, but heard the fall. When witness got into the room deceased was in a kneeling- position, his legs bent under him. He luted him on the bed. While on the floor deceased said: "I have broken my leg." Witness examined the leg, took off his boot, and found the leg was broken. What Mrs Davies had said was correct. Dr O'Donnell left a bottle-of medi- cine with them on the first visit. Witness could not sav exactly, he believed lie did, but lie (witness) was in the bar. So far as lie knew the Doctor didn't leave a bottle of medicine on Friday the first lie saw was OIl Sunday afternoon. Witness gave deceased two doses from the broken bottle; three doses altogether. Witness was told it was tD broken, and saw it afterwards he did not see it broken. All the contents were gone. That was the spoon (produced) he administer- ed the medicine with. Deceased called upon witness to send the servant to fetch the medi- cine when the other bottle had been broken. This would be about 10.30 on Sunday night. It was quite true as told by Mrs Davies that he watched the deceased on the Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night. He had seen deceased out of bed with his legs suspended over the side. Only once lie saw deceased out of bed and he put him back. Witness gave him medicine because lie asked for it; at three o'clock and seven o'clock on Sunday afternoon. Deceased missed one dose that afternoon. Deceased did'nt say why lie wanted the medicine, nor did he per- ceive any difference after he had taken it. Witness did not know the purpose of the medicine. Coroner One tablespoonful every two hours while restless? « Witness: I did'nt Fw-, that I gave it be- cause he asked for it. I did'nt take much notice, but I did read the directions but I thought that a tablespoonful would be the same quantity as four teaspoonfuls. I gave it because lie asked for it, not because lie was restless. I gave it immediately after the ser- vant came back. After I gave him medicine I went down and locked the doors. My wife called me up to remove deceased back to bed. I went up and found deceased on the side of the bed. This was shortly after 10.30. From that time until he died I did not leave him at I all. I didn't see the bottle before it was in the doctor's hands, only once on the wash- stand. Deceased became very restless after- wards, but not sleepy. Within half an hour of his death the bottle was fully six yards away from the deceased. When I gave the dose from the last bottle (produced) it was full. The bottle (produced) is the same one, and is in the same state as when the doctor took it. Coroner: Can you tell us who had been with- in reach of the bottle after you gave the dose ? Witness All occupants of the house would be. Coroner From the time you went down stairs to coming back, did anyone touch the bottle ? No sir Coroner: You did not touch it? Witness: I did not, sir. Coroner What time did he die as near as you can say. Witness: About quarter to two on Monday morning. Coroner The doctor says this bottle contains chloral, a soporific which makes one sleep. You didn't see deceased sleeping after giving it. Witness: No, sir. Coroner How came you to say that you gave him two doses from the one, and three doses from the new bottle. Witness I did not say so. Coroner It is obvious to you that if you only gave one dose some one must have taken some. Witness: The only thing I can suggest is that deceased got up to it. Mr. Vaughan interposed that he would like to ask questions, but the Coroner said he had better wait until the doctor had given evidence. Mrs Annie Evans, wife of the last witness was called, and said she was at the Farmers' Arms from Friday till Monday. She found an acci- dent had occurred to her brother-in-law. She had taken no part in giving the medicine. Only made food for him and the family. Coroner Your husband speaks to you call- ing him back. Witness Yes, when my husband went down stairs on Sunday night to lock the doors, I heard a noise up-stairs and I ran up the landing to see what it was. To my surprise I saw my brother-in-law hopping from the direction of the washstand and trying to get hold of the bedstead. Coroner What made you think of the wash- stand ? Witness Because I thought of the chamber. Coroner Did you notice what he was doing to the other foot. Witness No, but she saw the foot and it was hanging down. I did'nt notice much. I had not seen him out of bed, but he told me had been out once. Coroner He told you that ? Witness Yes. He took his fcod well. On Sunday night he said, give me supper." Anne Llewellyn said she was a servant at the Farmers' Arms. She remembered on Sunday last being sent to the doctor for medicine. Con- tinuing, she said—I brought a bottle of medi- cine back and while taking supper I heard them say that the baby had smashed the bottle. About 10.45 to II the same night I was sent for another bottle. I brought it and gave it to Mr Evans, deceased's brother-in-law. I know the bottle (produced) and I tasted the medicine. I don't know why, but I always do so with every- body's medicine I handle (laughter). My mother always did so. It was full when I brought it from the doctor, but it had only 2 doses in it, I heard Mrs Evans say, when-the doctor had it. I saw deceased on Sunday night and asked him how he felt and he said his leg was painful. She was surprised to see deceased, from the landing, standing up, and she turned her back towards him. He was only holding with one hand. She was close to his bed on Sunday night. Coroner Did you see marks on the deceased's head ? Witness (after some hesitation): I be- lieve there were some marks. Coroner: Do you know how he came by them ? Witness: I cannot say. Coroner Judging by your features, I should say you do know. You have already committed yourself once. Witness: I was upstairs about a week ago and there was some quarelling with Mrs. Davies and her husband. About a week ago last Tuesday and they were caused then. Coroner: They have not been caused since the accident ? Witness No, sir, nothing Coroner Was Capt. Davies often indulging in drink ? Witness: Yes, he was not always sober. After signing the depositions witness broke out into hysterical crying. Dr W O'Donnell sasd lie was called in to attend the deceased at 10 o'clock last Friday and found he had broken the bone of his right leg just above the ankle. Deceased was lying in bed when he found him. Afterwards he was removed into another room. He was accompanied by Dr Thomas, they set the leg about 11.3°. He saw him again that night. Deceased complained of some pain in his leg, but beyond this there was nothing wrong. He saw him again on Saturday morning and found the leg satisfactory, but his actions gave him the idea that he was going to have delireum tremens, which are very common after a person has been drinking although he may not be a drunkard. On the following day he examined the leg and found it very satisfactory. The standing up would not affect the leg, the splints would keep it to- gether. The condition of the deceased in- duced certain treatment and he gave him chloral simply to keep him quiet. Deceased had doses throughout the flay and night. He had a bottle that day with the result that he had a good night and that morning the signs of delireum tremens had disappeared. On Sunday deceased told him he had a good brcaklast and felt better. Deceased was so much better that lie did not trouble to call again that night. When he (the doctor) left hp lold deceased to send for more medicine and they came about 7 o'clock that evening About 10 o'clock the girl came again and said the bottle was broken and wanted more. He gave her another bottle. The next he heard was the last witness at the night bell of his house about 2 o'clock on Monday morning. She said the Captain had fallen out of bed. He imme- diately went up and found Captain Davies dead in bed. There was nothing to show he had fallen out of bed. He made an examination of the body. There was nothing to show how much had been taken from the broken bottle. In the bottle last supplied there were sixteen doses and when he examined it there were only four doses left. The medicine was to induce sleep in such cases. Coroner—What is an ordinary dose that you would consider safe ? Dr O'Donnell—From 5 to 25 grains is the re- cognised dose each dose marked 011 the bottle contained 15 graiiiq. Coroner-What would be the dose for a man in an ordinary state of health. Doctor-About 25 grains. There were cases in which more might be given without injury. In some cases of delirium tremens larger doses may be given to induce sleep. The dose as marked on the first bottle was every two hours, the last one every for hours. It was 7 o'clock in the evening when the broken bottle (produc- ed) was supplied. From the time the last bottle was supplied-up to the time of death 180 grains had been taken during four hours. Coroner Had he taken so much you would have expected to find him in a state of coma Dr O Donnell Deceased's brother-in-law told me distinctly that he had given two doses out of the broken bottle and three out of the smaller one. In one dose of the latter there were 30 grains. He should have expected to see him go on sleeping had he taken all that. Coroner: Suppose he was suffering from delirium tremens ? Doctor: He would probably require larger doses, and with the row in the house that might happen. Deceased had predisposition to delir- ium tremens. Coroner: If deceased had taken all that was missing between II o'clock to 2 o'clock would it have been possible for any human being to have been awake ? Doctor If he had retained all of it he would expect to find he man gone into a state of coma. Deceased could not possibly have been awake and restless as stated by the relatives. Coroner: Could you say how long he had been dead ? Doctor He had been dead but a short time, the body being warm. If he had not been aware of the facts he could have gained some idea of the cause of death by the smell of physic. The symptoms were that he had taken too much, and without knowing all he now knew he could have diagnosed that he had taken soporific poison; he could not say by the state of the pupils and the face that that was the cause of death; he could only say he had taken a large quantity. Coroner Is there any wav to sav with certain ty, whether the soporific was the cause of death? Doctor: No, it is a vegetable product and would filter through the body without leaving sufficient traces. Even were a postmortem ex- amination to be made I think it would not be discovered. Coroner-Is there anything to show that he might have died from any other desease ? Doctor—His heart was quite strong and I don't think he had a fit. I saw two cuts on the head, but I didn't connect these with his death. They were old standing wounds. Foreman—Did you explain to them the nature of the medicine ? Doctor-No. It is not usual to explain to people the nature of everything we give. Coroner-Yon don't think that anyone con- nected with the deceased had sufficient know- ledge of the medicine to know the effects of an over dose ?—Doctor No. Coroner-I can only assume it was ignorance? Doctor--Yes.. Replying further, the Doctor said it was quite possible that the deceased might come from the washstand as described, but it would cause him a great deal of pain. He might have crossed the room as described by Mrs Evans, but not if I he had taken the medicine as it was stated he had. Coroner Mr Evans has told us he gave one dose. Doctor He told me he had given two from one and three from the other. There were ninety grains in the three doses from the small bottle. When I entered the room I said to Evans, Has he had all this medicine ? He replied Yes." I said, "then you have killed him." Mrs Davies and the rest of the family were present at the time I asked the question. Replying to Capt James Thomas, the Doctor said the two bottles were not of the same strength. One was to be taken every two hours and the other every four. To questions by the Coroner as to how Anne Llewellyn should say that deceased had fallen out of bed, the girl replied that Mrs Evans, in calling her on Monday morning, had said so and that she told the Doctor the same.—Both Mrs Evans and Mrs Davies now explained that deceased was not out of bed, only his legs were hanging over the side. SUMMING UP BY THE CORONER. By the time the Coroner commenced his sum- ming up to the jury the Market Hall was well filled. The question, Mr Coroner Evans said, for the Jury to decide was whether in the face of the doctor's evidence they considered a post-mortem examination necessary. If so he would make an order and tfip stomach and other organs should be examined. There seemed by the evidence given that chloral had been taken in large quantities, but it was for the jury to say if it was necessary to have the body examined. CLEAR THE COURT At this point some of the jurymen desired to have the room cleared for consultation. This was done accoidingly and on reassembling the foreman stated they had agreed to accept the dostors' evidence. The Coroner then continued to deal with the ie,st of the evidence. There was undoubtedly suspicious circumstance. he said, connected with the case, and the symptons point out that it 13 a dangerous drug to play with in the manner as has been described. Deceased showed post-mortem Bigns of having been saturated with the drug, but it was impossible to find from external examina- tion, so far, whether that ciused death. It was for the jury to decide. Then as to how he became possessed of the drug to that extent. The evidence does not assist you one atom. 1 he only evidence bearing on that is by Mrs Evans who says she saw deceased hopping -away from the washstand. On the other hand the doctor ex- plained that if deceased had drunk that quantity it would have felled him at once and he would be unable to walk. We may take it, he added, that the evidence of coming away from the wash- stand was to lead us to believe he had been for the drug, but if we accept the evidence that he was restless, it is quite ceitain that during the four hours deceased could not have consumed all that chloral. Evan. the brother-in-law, admitttd giv- ing a double dose, and 25 grains is an extreme dose. Then again the same witness admitted to the doctor of having given deceased 90 grains with- in four hours which is more conclusive. But the evidence from the other side must have been false from beginning to end. Deceased showed no) symptoms of heart weakness and nothing seems to account for death except by means of chloral. There is cause for suspicion but the wrong i not sufficiently revealed by the evidence to put one's finger upon it. There is an impression abroad that something is not right in the matter and while there is no evidence of a nature to sub- stantiate it, you cannot produce evidence to con- tradict it. Dr O'Donnell, he considered, was to be commended for coming forward as he had to give evidence. (Hea-, hear). VERDICT. The jury after due deliberation found that deceased met his (le tth by an over dose of cbloral but there is not sufficient evidence to show how it was administered. The jury consider there had been some negligence in administering the medicine." The inquiry lasted about live h ura and the Coroner thanked the Jury for their attendance and patience in arriving at the decision. THE FUNERAL. The funeral of the late Capt W H Davies will take place to-day (Thursday) at 2 p.m., at Hermon Baptist Cemetery.

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