Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another Hill End / Tambaroora death report

This is a longer report published in a NZ newspaper of a suicide at Hill End.

West Coast Times (NZ) - 13 December 1872, page 4

DEATH FROM AN OVERDOSE OF CHLOROFORM
(From the Sydney Empire)

An inquest was held on the 2nd ult., by the coroner of Hill End, on view of the body of Margaret Wilson, a servant in the employ of Dr. Carroll. The evidence of William James Dive combined with that of Dr Carroll himself, was sufficiently indicative of the cause of death.

William James Dive deposed: I am a servant in the employ of Dr Carroll. On Thursday afternoon last, about 6 o'clock in the evening, I was outside the residence of Dr Carroll minding the baby. The deceased, whose body I have just seen and recognized as that of Margaret Wilson, her maiden name being King, was working in the kitchen; a few seconds afterwards I saw her pass from the kitchen to the house which immediately adjoins. From thence she went to her bedroom, and directly  afterwards she came out again, and staggered against the doorpost. I was at that time only five yards from her. I asked her what was the matter, she replied "nothing." She again went into her own room and laid down upon the bed and called me in. I went in. She said "Give me your hand". I did so. She said then to me, "William, I've poisoned myself; I've drunk a bottle of chloroform ; comfort my people at home as well as you can ; do me a favor, go up to the factory (alluding to the soda-water factory at Cahill's adjoining), and tell George that I have poisoned myself." I went up, saw George, and asked him to come down. I did not deliver her message to him until he seemed to hesitate in going, when I did tell him, and he then came with me. I went into the room of the deceased again. At that time she was scarcely able to speak. I found during my absence she had moved from the bed, and was then lying on the floor. I left some one to mind the baby, and I went up to town in search of the doctor, whom I found and told of the circumstances, and he was at his residence a few minutes after I returned. The deceased has told me at different times that she would think nothing of poisoning herself, or blowing her brains out. I believe she told me that she was separated from her husband ; that he was very foolish for living apart from her, as she would have done everything that laid in her power to make him comfortable. I know that deceased frequently went up to see George Higgison at the soda-water factory. I am not aware the deceased had anny money or other property except her clothes.

Walter John Carroll, deposed: I am a duly qualified medical practitioner, residing at Hill End. I have seen the body of Margaret Wilson, known to me as Margaret King, now lying at my residence. She has been in my employ during the last four months. She was about twenty-one years of age, and I believe a native of Sydney. I have always understood the deceased was married and living apart from her husband. She was usually of a cheerful disposition, but now and then subject to fits of depression of spirits. On Thursday evening last, returning from Bald Hill, I was met by William Dive (my servant), and in consequence of what he told me I got my horse and galloped home. On arriving I found the deceased lying on her back under the verandah, near her bed-room door. She was insensible. In consequence of what I was told I went into my own room, and found the bottle I now produce, in which I usually keep chloroform, had been partially emptied of its contents. Fully two ounces of chloroform must have been taken from it. I employed the usual remedies, with the assistance of Drs O'Connel and Sam. On her return to consciousness, in about three hours, I asked her why she had done such a dreadful act. She said "Oh, sir, don't blame me - I'm broken hearted." In presence of Constable Gallagher I have examined the effects of deceased. I found a purse containing 10s in silver, a small quartz specimen which had rolled round it a half sheet of note-paper. The document marked A, now produced, is that paper.

On one side was written upon in a hand-writing which I recognise as that of the deceased, and, as well as I can decipher it, runs as follows:-
"Hill End, October 24, 1872,
My dear Mother, - I have tried to forget my trouble, but in vain ; I get down more every day ; I would like to die ; my dear mother, do not fret about me. I have made up my mind to shoot myself. I have done my best to get my husband to do right, but you know that he would not, and he has broken my heart. I never can live and hear it any longer ; my dear mother, do not think of me ; I cannot bear to write any more ; so good-bye, God bless you all
Loving child,
MARGARET KING."

Deceased was aware that I have a revolver which she could have got at, and which was usually loaded ; I also found another letter, dated October 30, 1872, and directed to Mrs R. Clemesha, William-street, Redfern via Sydney ; the document I now produce, and marjed B, is that letter ; it is signed Margaret King, and is also in the handwriting of the deceased. It was writtein in a much more cheerful tone than the one marked A. I had never any suspicion that the deceased intended to take her life. The following is the letter:-
"Hill End, Tambaroora,
Oct. 30, 1872.
My Dear Sister, - I was so glad when I got your letter to-night, as I have been so down-hearted, and your letter has made me feel happy again ; for a kind word from a dear sister seems to have softened the dreadful pain. I am glad that Robert and the dear little children are all well, and I hope, dear sister, that you will get over your troubles all right ; I would very much like to come to Sydney, but I must wait a while before I think about that. I have made up my mind not to take a house as I think I would be very lonely. On last Friday morning I started at half-past five o'clock for the town of Turon. It is a very pretty pace, it is like a little valley.. It is covered with mountains. I got into the Turon at 12:30 a.m., and stayed at the hotel until 3 p.m., and started home. It took me three hours to come up the hill. I thought I would not live to get to the top - my leg was very sore the next day, but I am all right now. My dear sister, you ask me not to think it rude you asking me for 1 pound. I did not think so. If I had the 1 pound I would send it immediately. I will send it to you as soon as I get it. We had a thunder-storm yesterday. It rained very heavy, and it was blowing very cold here. I went down to the town last night, and just after I started it rained very heavy. The 'O.F.' are going to have a picnic. The Dr and Mrs are both going, and I shall have to be nurse to-morrow. I was asked to go to a ball, but cannot go as I have not got a dress. I would like to go very much. My dear sister,  can tell you no more news, as I am very tired. I have been ironing all day, so I say good night. With best love to all believe me to be
Your affectionate sister,
MARGARET KING"

Verdict - "That death was caused by the deceased, Margaret Wilson or King, taking an overdose of chloroform whilst in a state of temporary insanity."

---------

Notes:

The marriage of Margaret King to James Wilson in Sydney in 1871 can be found in the NSW BDM indexes:
170/1871 WILSON JAMES KING MARGARET SYDNEY

Her death was registered but obviously her parents were not known of at the time:
6754/1872 WILSON MARGARET AGE 21 YEARS DIED HILL END TAMBAROORA

The sister she writes to, 'Mrs. R. Clemensha', married in 1860 in Sydney to Robert Clemensha, supported by details in the letter:
761/1860 CLEMENSHA ROBERT KING SARAH DIM SYDNEY.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Hill End deaths

The search continues.

Daily Southern Cross (NZ) - 14 February 1874
Australian News. New South Wales.
Nathan Fanhurst died at Hill End whilst undergoing a painful surgical operation for the removal of a cancerous tumour. He was under the influence of chloroform at the time of his death.

Note. NSW Death Certificate probably
7868/1874 FAIRHURST, NATHAN ,AGE 32 YEARS, DIED HILL END, HILL END

The Brisbane Courier (Qld) - Saturday 14 June 1879
A miner at Hill End died suddenly yesterday evening through inhaling the fumes of dynamite left by himself near a blast. A fellow workman suffered from the same cause, but has since recovered.

Note. This is probably related to the article in the previous post related to death by inhalation of fumes.

The Maitland Mercury (NSW) - Thursday 14 October 1880
HILL END. Monday. [Herald]. An inquest was held to-day, at Sally's Flat, touching the death of James Ganon, who died suddenly on Sunday last. In accordance with the evidence given by Mr. Fisher, J.P., who was summoned by the Coroner, as he had prescribed for deceased, a verdict of death through inflammation of the bowels was returned.

West Coast Times (NZ) - 9 December 1891
A remarkable shooting case occured at Hill End (N.S.W.) last week. A miner named Charles Cross was found dead in his house with a bullet wound through the breast. Deceased's son, a boy of fourteen, stated when questioned that during the night someone fired a shot into the house, but he afterwards admitted he had shot his father, saying that he thought at the time he was firing at the dog. The boy is in custody.

Note. NSW Death Certificate probably
7325/1891 CROSS, CHARLES, father CHARLES, mother CAROLINE, HILL END

The Sydney Morning Herald. - Jan 29, 1918
A report made to the police on Wednesday stated that a man, Edward Hehir, employed by the Pioneer Shire Council, and living at Hill End, also an American negro, named William Coakley, had been drowned in the vicinity of Farleigh on Monday night, and their bodies recovered on Friday.

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) - Thursday 19 April 1934
Mrs. M. Peterson
The death took place recently in Sydney of Mrs. Maria Peterson at the age of 94 years. Mrs. Peterson was bom at Camden, New South Wales shortly after the arrival of her parents (Mr. and Mrs. James Watman) from England in 1839. Being herself one of a family of 11 and having had 12 children, her relations are numerous, particularly in New South Wales. At various periods of her life Mrs. Peterson resided at the Hill End Gold-fields and other country centres in New South Wales and Queensland, where her husband at first followed the occupation of builder and contractor, and eventually became one of the leading mechanical mining engineers and investors in New South Wales. He died many years ago. The Peterson Battery at Hill End was widely famed in its day. Mrs. Peterson's eldest son, Mr. J. P. Peterson, resides at Clayfield, Brisbane, and her youngest daughter, Mrs. G. A. Moulday, at Eagle Farm. Other children, are: Mrs. Harding (Enfield, New South Wales), Mr. G. H. Peterson (Pendle Hill, New South Wales); and Mrs. S. Upton (Edithville, Victoria). There are 21 grandchildren, and 25 great-grand- children.

Another Hill End / Tambaroora death

Still looking into Hill End and Tambaroora deaths, and found the following.

The Sydney Mail - Apr 6, 1872
A sad accident happened to the wife of Martin Hurst. It seems (says the Hill End Times) her dress became entangled in the cog-wheel of one of the threshing machines, which dragged her into the wheels, badly mangling her, and she is now lying in a very dangerous state. In trying to rescue her, the husband got the small bone of his arm broken. The driver stopped the horses as soon as possible; but the machine being in full swing at the time, he could not succeed before it was too late.

The Sydney Mail - Jul 1, 1876
We have been having magnificent weather of late - clear, cold, and sunny - very cold. It ought to be healthy, and I suppose it is, although the death rate is very high. Eleven deaths were recorded in the first twenty-two days of this month, and there is still much sickness about. Whatever the disease, its course is very rapid. It is called malignant typhus fever. I think it must be more akin to cholera. One pretty little girl I saw playing last Monday, the the enjoyment of complete health, within twenty-four hours the poor little thing was dead. Another little girl at the end of last week is reported to have died in six hours after being attacked. I am told a black vomiting is one of the accompaniments of the disease and that the body very rapidly becomes almost black. This, and the very high price of horse-feed, are the current topics of conversation. Chaff selling at 17s per cwt.

The Sydney Mail - Feb 17, 1877
HILL END.
I regret to say that I have to chronicle another fatal accident this week. It seems very curious that fatal accidents never come singly - I believe I am quite correct in saying never; and the death of poor Lucan, who leaves a wife and family quite unprovided for, is no exception to the rule. At Triamble, a sheep station of Mr. Suttor's, about twelve miles from here, a shpeherd named Vane was riding a buck-jumper, which fell with him, bringing his head with such violence to the ground as to completely smash in one side of it. The poor fellow never regained consciousness, and died shortly after. He is described as a tall, powerful, and exceedingly handsome man, the very perfection of a bushman, a wider whom no horse could throw. All the residents of the station were looking on admiringly at the time of the accident, whilst he was rejoicing in his prowess. How he could have received so violent a fall as to smash up the bones in the way it did no one can explain. He, also, leaves a wife and family unprovided for.

Notes. Death in NSW BDM probably
8852/1877 VANE, WILLIAM, father WILLIAM, mother ANN, HILL END
Burial at Hill End commemorated by modern memorial plaque (http://austcemindex.com/inscription.php?id=3932139) which reads "In memory of William Vane, Shepherd, brother of John Vane, Bushranger. Agee 41 years, 17.6.1836 - 6.2.1877. Accidentally killed by falling from a horse at Triamble. Always remembered".

The Sydney Mail - Mar 23, 1878
HILL END. [From our correspondent]
We had a great number of accidents of late. First, I hear of a miner breaking his leg by falling from a plank; next, I see an unfortunate fellow, named Williams, kicked over the temple by a horse, and apparently killed, though I heard he was recovering. Then I was told of a child at Tambaroora similarly injured; and anon a rumour comes that Peter the German, well known as "Bismarck", had been found dead on the Mudgee Road. On Thursday our Episcopal clergyman, the Rev. J. O'Connor, had a fit, and lay unconscious for some hours. He is by no means out of danger now. At Tambaroora a Mrs. Welch, thirty-nine years of age, riding home with the weekly supplies, was found dead, having fallen from her horse, which remained standing over her. The cause of death is given as sanguineous apoplexy. She leaves ten children. A few days back the remains of an American Negro were found in a cave at the Yellow Bar, on the Turon, by a boy named John Weir, who was out wallaby shooting, and was lead into the cave. The body was completely dried up, and must have been dead for months.

The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser - Saturday 5 March 1881
HILL END. Tuesday. [Herald]. Before Mr. R.R. Moriset P.M., four young men, charged with cutting and wounding a Chinese gardener, at the paling yards, was defending by Mr. Clarke, of Mudgee, and each fined five pounds, or two months imprisonment in Bathurst gaol. The fines were paid.

Inangahua Times (NZ) - 7 October 1885
DEATH FROM DYNAMITE.
We learn from the Melbourne Daily Telegraph that when the Noxious Fumes Board sat in Sandhurst, Mr Sneddon, who was one of those who gave evidence, said he had heard of a case in which a man had died through inhaling the fumes of dynamite. Dr. Atkinson doubted this statement, and said he was sure if such a case occured in this district, there would have been an inquest and a record of it in the local papers. At the last meeting of the committee of the Bendigo Miners' Association, the Bendigo Independent reports that Mr David Jones explained that he had told Mr Sneddon of this case. The man who had perisher was William Cook, a brother-in-law of his, and the place where it happened was a mine at Hill End, near Bathurst. The man had inhaled the fumes of some dynamite which had caught fire in an open box in one of the levels and was slowly smouldering away. He inhaled the fumes at a quarter to 3 in the afternoon, was immediately taken ill, and next morning, at 1 o'clock, he was a corpse. It is an unfortunate circumstance that Mr Jones does not know who the doctor was that attended his brother-in-law, but this could surely be ascertained by writing to Bathurst (The Silver Age).

The Sydney Morning Herald. - Nov 16, 1931
LITGOW. The death has occurred at Hill End of Mr. George Cross, aged 82. Mr. Cross was associated with the mining field at Hill End for 50 years and was the last of five brothers who worked on the field.

Note. NSW Death Certificate probably:

18230/1931 CROSS, GEORGE, father CHARLES, mother CAROLINE, HILL END