Poisoning near Heathcote 1858

from: Bendigo Advertiser, Friday 11th June, 1858, page 3

HORRIBLE CASE OF POISONING NEAR HEATHCOTE.

One of the most fearful cases of poisoning that it has been our lot to record for some time occurred yesterday, at the station belonging to Messrs. Cox and Bissett, near Heathcote. It appears, from what we have been able to glean of this horrible affair, that the cook on the farm wishing to make some cakes for dinner, and being short of flour, went to a cask of arsenic, kept on the premises, and used, we suppose, for the purpose of cleansing sheep, and took therefrom a portion of the arsenic, supposing it to be flour, using it in the same manner as he would have done had it been so.

Two men who were engaged on the farm partook of those cakes, as well as the cook; and the three men, after suffering fearful torments, died yesterday afternoon. This is another instance, added to the number that have already occurred in the colony, of deaths resulting from poison being allowed on premises without any precaution being taken to prevent ignorant domestics from making use of it for culinary purposes ; and unless some check is put by the Legislature upon the sale and use of poisons of all descriptions we are afraid that it will not be the last.

We understand that an inquest is to be held on the bodies to-day, when we have no doubt that some more particulars connected with this awful affair will be brought to light.

(Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87981026

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