Infant Death from Asphyxia

July 1891

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 17 July 1891

Mr. J. O. Nicholson, deputy district coroner, held an inquiry at Conisborough on Friday last, touching the death of the infant child of a miner named George Woolnough.

Florence Emily Woolnough, the mother of the child, said the deceased, William Woolnough, was six weeks old. That morning, between flee and six o’clock, she gave the child the breast, and it was then all right. She went to sleep and awoke up again at about seven o’clock, when she found the child dead in her arms. It was black in the face.

She called out, and a lodger, Mrs. Oliver, came. She sent her husband for Dr. Wean, Who examined the child, and said thought it had been convulsed. When she awoke the child was her left arm, and could get plenty of air, and she did not think she had overlaid it.

Dr M’Call said he had no doubt that the child died of asphyxia, which might have been caused by the clothes being over its mouth, or by the mother pressing it to her breast during sleep. It looked to him to have been slowly suffocated which would not have been the case if it had been overlaid. He did not think it was overlaid.

A verdict of death from asphyxia was returned.