Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Trove Tuesday - Thomas the Tippler

An interesting inquest was written up in Oct 1839, in the both the Launceston Advertiser and The Cornwall Chronicle, Launceston. It details the accident and gruesome injuries sustained by my 3x great grandmother’s brother Thomas MARSDEN (c1804 – 4 Oct 1839).
The poor man was thrown from his water cart and had it roll onto him causing injuries to his arm and foot. A doctor found gangrene in his foot about five days after the accident and proceeded to amputate his foot. Thomas only survived a couple of hours after the operation.

The doctor ‘defended’ his actions by testifying “ a long course of intemperance had evidently destroyed his constitution, and no doubt mainly contributed to his death. The injuries he received (if he had been a man of different habits) might not have led to the same fatal result.

It’s hard to imagine how awful such an operation must have been in such early days of settlement, and how anyone might have survived it, intemperate habits or not. Poor Thomas’ family probably didn’t need to see such words written about their relation. He was only about 35 years old.

His sister, my 3x great grandmother Jane STONEHOUSE nee MARSDEN (c1800 – Feb 1838) and their father, John MARSDEN (1767 – 1827) both pre-deceased Thomas. But two brothers remained in the Launceston area, John MARSDEN (c1820 – May 1882) and Benjamin MARSDEN (c1810 – Jan 1889).

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