Kentish Independant

Coroners Inquest

Saturday, 16th May 1846

On Thursday last, Mr. Carter, the coroner for this division of the county, held an inquest on the body of a Gipsey child, aged three years, named Oxifera Boswell, which met with its death by being scalded by the accidental upsetting of a kettle. The Jury, after being sworn, proceeded to view the body, which was at a Gipsey encampment near Perry street.

It appeared from the evidence of an old Gipsy woman, the grandmother, that she had for some time past had charge of the child, and that on Saturday night last she lighted her fire at the road-side, near Chalk-gate, and put the kettle on for the purpose of getting some tea. Shortly afterwards she got into her cart for a cup and saucer, and while there heard the child, which she left near the fire, scream, and, on looking down, saw that the kettle was upset over the child.
The child was much scalded about the throat, front of the body, and limbs. She dressed the scalds with some oil and potatoe, and the next morning, in company with the mother of the child, took it to Mr. Tyler of Wakefield street, who gave her some medicine and a wash, but the child died about eleven o'clock on Sunday morning.

Mr. Tyler deposed that the child was, when brought to him, very severely and extensively scalded. He prescribed some medicine and a liniment, but the child shortly afterwards had convulsions and expired. But for the convulsions, which were partly the effect of bad health and partly of nervous excitement arising from the scalding, he could not tell what would have been the result of the injuries.

The foreman of the Jury thought the child ought to have been taken to a medical man the night it was scalded, and cautioned the grandmother for the future.
The Jury returned a verdict of 'Accidental Death'.

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Kentish Independant - Saturday, 16th May 1846
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  • Oxifera Boswell