Friday, 12 June 2015

An Infant Burned to Death

A baby girl died of horrific burns due to the drunken neglect of her parents, but they avoided any charged and were instead just severely rebuked by the coroner.

The tragic event took place in 1867 in Sawney Pope Street off Scotland Road, where Elizabeth Flynn took her eleven month old daughter Catherine to bed about 10pm on 18th November. An hour or two later her husband Thomas, who worked as a tailor, returned home from a pub and demanded to know where his supper was.

Elizabeth told her husband that the supper was cold as he had stopped out so late, leading to him kicking her as she lay in the bed, which was on the floor. She went downstairs to sleep, leaving the baby there but the following morning she made an awful discovery. On going back upstairs Thomas was asleep with Catherine, who was severely burned, in his arms.

Elizabeth rushed to a Dispensary where she was given dressings for the burns but Catherine died the following day. An examination of the room found that Thomas, whilst in a state of intoxication, had not placed a candle and pipe properly back in a box, leading to his whiskers and arm being burnt, as well as much of baby Catherine's body.

At the inquest before the borough coroner Clarke Aspinall on 21st November a verdict of 'found burned' was returned. The jury expressed their opinion that the mother and father were culpable and regretted their inability to impose any punishment. Elizabeth, who was described by the Liverpool Mercury as a 'dissipated woman' was then reprimanded along with her husband by Mr Aspinall for 'disgraceful conduct' before being set free.

No comments:

Post a Comment