Migration, Memory & Memorial


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Terrible pictures of life in the East-end have been afforded by this week’s inquests. Coroner Baxter on Monday inquired into the death of the female child of Jeremiah M’Carthy, a dock labourer, residing at 7, Edna-place, Bromley-by-Bow.

The father stated that on Wednesday morning he left home at seven o’clock to look for work, and on his return in the afternoon he found that his wife had given birth to a child, and that it was dead. About last November his wife met with an accident at the factory where she was employed. A fanlight broke and fell on her. Since then she had complained of a pain in her head. Witness said he had made no preparations for the birth of the child, which had been born prematurely. Annie White, the wife of a dock labourer, living in the same house, said she went for Dr. Henry, who came, but said he could not stop without the money; as that was not forthcoming, he left. Dr. Henry, of 50, St. Dunstan-road, stated that when he was called he was told that the woman was seriously ill, so went at once but, finding it was a confinement case, he told them to send for another doctor, as he had just been called to a case he had arranged to attend. The Coroner: The witness says it was a question of money. Witness: 1 said nothing about money.

On it being stated that it would have taken some time for the parish doctor to have been got, the coroner remarked, “That is


I have always thought that any doctor should be called in, and then, if the persons are too poor to pay, the guardians should consider the matter.” He added, “I hope this poor woman is being looked after by somebody. The husband you see, is out of work; yet I should think no doctor woudl let the woman die without help.”

Dr. Henry having stated that the child was stillborn, the husband was recalled. He stated that no doctor had been to see his wife since the birth. He couldn’t afford a doctor.

The Coroner : But you can get the parish doctor for nothing. How has she been fed? Witness: She can’t eat much. She only wants vrey little since she has been queer.

I think it is a case where you ought to apply to teh parish for assistance. It is your duty to go, though you may not like it. She wants medical attendance and more – she wants food.

-Well, she hasn’t done any work since the accident, and I’ve been out of work the greater part of the time.

She has worked for you. Now go and do something for her.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

Abraham’s diary, London

Written in Russian

8th January 1892

The Master has increased my wages by another sixpence.

25th January 1892

It’s no good! The craft of joinery is too hard for me. Since I started to work as a joiner my bones ache all the time.

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