Inquest: Edward Burke, Axedale 1879

Proceedings of Inquest into the body of Edward BURKE held at the Axedale Hotel

The Inquest into the death of Edward Burke was held at the Axedale Hotel on 28 February 1879, before Coroner Robert Strickland.

Jurors Names in Full

Jonathan Harris – foreman
Thomas Burke
Thomas Donnellan
Stephen Burke
Martin Comer
Alfred Lawson
Patrick Meany
John Firm
William I. Cahill
Henry Dodd
James White
John Ryan
Patrick Drake

On the twenty fourth day of February 1879, at Mosquito Creek, Axedale, the deceased Edward Burke died from haemmorhage into the peritoneum from natural causes.

Witness Statements

This deponent, on his oath saith, I am a farmer from Mosquito Creek Axedale.
The deceased Edward BURKE of whose body the jury have had the view, was my son. He was 3 1/2 years old. He was a strong, healthy child, and never had sickness until Friday last the 21st instant, when he commenced to vomit greatly and complained of pain in the stomach – he appeared in greater pain when endeavouring to make water. His mother administered the usual domestic remedies and gave him a warm bath. The complaint was not considered sufficiently serious as to necessitate the attendance of a medical man. On Saturday and on Sunday morning, deceased was considerably better and was able to get up but on Sunday morning between 8 and 9 o’clock he had a relapse and became very weak and gradually sank and died at 2am on Monday the 24th instant. Deceased was sensible up to the time of his death.
(signed: John Burke)

Harry Leigh Atkinson
This deponent, on his oath saith, I am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Sandhurst.
I have this day made a post mortem examination of the body of the deceased Edward BURKE, of whose body the jury have had the view. It is that of a male child between 3 and 4 years of age. There are no external marks of violence on the body, which is extremely well nourished, and has been apparently well cared for. On opening the chest, I found the heart and lungs quite healthy. The stomach was healthy and contained some fluid nourishment. The kidneys, spleen and bladder were also all healthy. There was no sign of any disease of the intestinal track, which contained sufficient nourishment. I found in the cavity of the peritoneum a quantity of coagulated and fluid blood. As I could not discover the rupture of a blood vessel of any size, I am of the opinion that this blood had exuded from the small capillary vessels. The father’s account of the symptoms accord with the post mortem appearances. The cause of death was haemorrhage into the peritoneal cavity and natural causes. Had a medical man been called in, he would not have been able to save the child’s life. The nature of the disease would have been very obscure during life.
(signed: Harry Leigh Atkinson)

Inquest EDWARD Burke, Public Records Office of Victoria, Series: Inquest depostition files, Agency: State Coroners Office, Citation: VPRS 24/PO Unit 387, Item: 1879/210 Male

The above report is taken from the official Inquest document and includes excerpts only. All important facts relating to the inquest are included but not the entire file.

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