DEATH OF A CHILD IN EARLY MELBOURNE


Coroners Inquest: An inquest was held yesterday at the Mechanics' Arms, Little Collins Street, on the body of Lucinda Galagher, the daughter of Robert Galagher, baker, of Little Collins Street, who came to her death in consequence of serious injuries sustained by her clothes having caught on fire on Sunday evening.

Robert Galagher being sworn, stated:

"I was returning home from Richmond yesterday evening 9th December when my servant met me and told me that my daughter Lucinda had been severely burnt in consequence of her clothes having taken fire."

"I hastened home and found the deceased lying on her bed, and the usual applications to the burnt part had been made."

"Deceased retained her conciousness until about the middle of the night and told me she had gone into the kitchen, and her hands feeling cold she had been warming them by the fire, and a spark which had been outside the hearth ignited her frock, and she ran first to a little back room to find some one, and afterwards out at the back door, and after screaming out for help her mother came to her."

"Medical advice was sent for and she lingered until the following morning when she expired."

John McGrath deposed:

"Between the hours of 5 and 6 o'clock yesterday evening the 9th December as I was standing in my back yard, I heard a scream and on looking towards the spot I saw the deceased coming out of her father's house with her clothes on fire."

"I ran towards her as fast as I could and caught her up in my arms and put her in a water tub which was near the back door, and was nearly full of water."

"I then delivered her back to her brother who stripped her and carried her into the house; deceased was very severely burnt."

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the above testimony.

(The above is adapted from an article in the "Argus" of Tuesday, 11th December, 1849)

Contributed by Barbara Stroud (PPPG Member No. 1070)
(Robert and Isabella Galagher were her great, great, grandparents)


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