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SINGULAR CASE OF ÐEATHFROljI POISON. An inquest ha.s just been held at the White Hart, Widcombe, touching the death of Caroline Parker, a married woman, aged twenty-five, who was supposed to have died from an overdose of bitter-apple. The question for the jury was, under what circumstances the drug was taken, whether unintentionally or with a view to suicide; and the coroner, in opening the case, stated that it was reported that the drug was taken by deceased under the influence of a notion csmmon among the lower orders of women that it would enable them to ascertain whether they were in the family- way or not. The jury having viewed the body, several witnesses were examined. Julia Welby, a young girl lodging with deceased, said: On Monday evening deceased, who was in good health, ga,ve me a paper and asked me to bring her the drug the name of which was written on it, saying she wanted it for a friend. She directed me to get it from the chemist opposite. I did so, and gave it to her at the bottom of the court. The paper bore this :—' 3d. wortt of bitter apple, and 3d. worth of steel pills.' At one o'clock, on returning home, one of deceased's little girls (she has two) told me her mother was lying ill in bed. I immediately went to her and asked her what was the matter. She directed me to call a neigh- bour named Dyer, as she did not feel well; she loeked very pale. I called Mrs. Dyer, and soon after left. I saw her again at a quarter to eleven, and she asked me to get her some ginger brandy. I went out to got it, but could not, and on my return her husband was there. I then fetched her some brandy. She appeared still very ill. I stayed with her all night. She complained of a pain in the bowels. Her husband slept on the floor, and at her desire I woke him, but on his asking her if he should fetch a doctor she was unwilling, saying she thought she would be better if she had some ginger. I was with her till a quarter of an hour before death. As she wanted to be quiet I took the children away. I did not think she was dying. She was sensible to the last. She was not sick, but felt very cold. I was not aware she had taken the medicine, as she said it was for a friend." Mr. Lankesheer, chemist, Sussex-place, Widcombe, stated that the paper produced was brought to him on Monday morning, and he gave the bearer half an ounce of powdered colooynth, commonly called bitter-apple (which it was labelled), and a box of steel pills. There was no prescription as to how it was to be taken, nor did the young woman ask for any. The Quantity of bitter-apple was more than enough to kill any one, but he did not label it poison." Mr. Lawrence, surgeon, deposed: At nine o'clock on Tuesday morning I went to the house, and after hear- ing the facts deposed to by the first witness as to the fetching of the bitter-apple and pills, I communicated with the summoning officer, and received direc- tions to make a post-mortem examination, which I did the following afternoon at four o'clock. The organs of the chest were healthy. The appearance of the stomach and bowels led me to believe that the deceased had suffered from diarrhoea, and had died from exhaustion consequent thereon. She was two or three weeks. advanced in pregnancy. I have not as yet ascertained in the contents of the stomach the presence of the bitter-apple, as there has not been time. It requires an experienced micro- scopist to detect it. From the evidence and the symptoms spoken of I consider her death was occa- sioned by some acrid poison, of which bitter apple may form part. I have never met with a case of death from his poison. The medicinal dose is from two to ten grains; anything in excess of that is a poison; the quantity purchased was twenty-four times the maximum dose." After a brief delibera- tion, the jury returned a verdict" That deceased took the poison without any intention to cause death." «



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