• Do you love Genealogy? Why not write for us? we're looking for volunteers to write articles for Family history. Please contact us for further information.

November 1886, London. What a way to die.

benny1982

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
5,292
Likes
121
Location
Norwich
#1
Hi

My great, great, great grandmother Mary Ann Roberts died on the 14th November 1886 aged 46 years at 25 Evelyn Buildings, Dorrington Street, Holborn, London. No 25 was a one room tenement, (a far cry from Mary's idyllic Sussex village house upbringing) She died suddenly of 3 aggressive but short infections.

I read that the smog was worst in November for London.

Also Holborn is a central London parish and the part of Holborn they lived in was then 4 miles from any countryside.

Mary's death certificate says that she had erysipelas for 12 days. Erysipelas is an infection of the epidermis, the layer of skin underneath the outer layer, often caused by a break in the skin such as an ulcer, cut, boil or rash. If she had the infection for 12 days and died on the 14th November, then she must have been diagnosed on the 2nd November.

She also had acute bronchitis for 3 days, probably diagnosed on the 11th November. A sudden swift infection of the lungs. By then her GP Dr Frederick Stearne Price LRCP probably knew he had little chance of saving her. The infection had spread.

At the church next door a prayers and thanksgivings was held for her. It listed her as sick in the church service records, along with a few other Holborn residents. They obviously were praying for her to recover.

Two days before her death she was diagnosed with pericarditis, which is swelling of the fibrous sac surrounding the heart. She succumbed on the 14th after 12 days in terrible pain, in bed probably vomiting, coughing and feeling terribly worn out.

Her and her husbands eldest daughter Kate Coombs registered the death. Mary was buried on the 20th November 1886 in the St Pancras & Islington Cemetery in Finchley, 6 miles north of Holborn, and which was still pretty much in the countryside, in a wooded area of the cemetery in a common grave, a far cry from her final years surrounded by gigantic buildings, crowds, dirt, noise, the constant clatter of horse and carts and smog, buried in surroundings that matched that of her childhood and teenage years.

I wonder if the smog contributed to her initial erysipeals infection, also the time of year.

Ben
 

p.risboy

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
18,073
Likes
426
Location
In Ireland, but born Bucks.
#2
Hi

My great, great, great grandmother Mary Ann Roberts died on the 14th November 1886 aged 46 years at 25 Evelyn Buildings, Dorrington Street, Holborn, London. No 25 was a one room tenement, (a far cry from Mary's idyllic Sussex village house upbringing) She died suddenly of 3 aggressive but short infections.

I read that the smog was worst in November for London.

Also Holborn is a central London parish and the part of Holborn they lived in was then 4 miles from any countryside.

Mary's death certificate says that she had erysipelas for 12 days. Erysipelas is an infection of the epidermis, the layer of skin underneath the outer layer, often caused by a break in the skin such as an ulcer, cut, boil or rash. If she had the infection for 12 days and died on the 14th November, then she must have been diagnosed on the 2nd November.

She also had acute bronchitis for 3 days, probably diagnosed on the 11th November. A sudden swift infection of the lungs. By then her GP Dr Frederick Stearne Price LRCP probably knew he had little chance of saving her. The infection had spread.

At the church next door a prayers and thanksgivings was held for her. It listed her as sick in the church service records, along with a few other Holborn residents. They obviously were praying for her to recover.

Two days before her death she was diagnosed with pericarditis, which is swelling of the fibrous sac surrounding the heart. She succumbed on the 14th after 12 days in terrible pain, in bed probably vomiting, coughing and feeling terribly worn out.

Her and her husbands eldest daughter Kate Coombs registered the death. Mary was buried on the 20th November 1886 in the St Pancras & Islington Cemetery in Finchley, 6 miles north of Holborn, and which was still pretty much in the countryside, in a wooded area of the cemetery in a common grave, a far cry from her final years surrounded by gigantic buildings, crowds, dirt, noise, the constant clatter of horse and carts and smog, buried in surroundings that matched that of her childhood and teenage years.

I wonder if the smog contributed to her initial erysipeals infection, also the time of year.

Ben
As far as the 'smog' is concerned Benny, 1952 London smog killed 1000's. As it was so cold, people burnt more coal and made the situation worse.

Steve.:)
 

Littlemo

Well-known member
Posts
168
Likes
0
Location
Lancashire
#3
Hi Ben,
Thanks for another interesting read. Just one Question though, where do you get such detailed information from?
All I seem able to find are names & addresses DOB"s etc, wheras you seem to put flesh on the bones of your Ancestors. It makes for really interesting reading though.

Happy Hunting
Luv Mo xx
 

benny1982

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
5,292
Likes
121
Location
Norwich
#4
Hi

Yes, the smog was a mixture of smoke and fog. The Roberts 1 room tenement probably had a coal fireplace. I reckon Mary probably started feeling queasy in about October 1886, falling ill in early November. She may have developed a rash on her face through the air pollution, coldness and the damp, which got infected and after about a week it spread to her lungs and heart. I reckon it was probably organ failure that killed her due to the sweeling causing lack of oxygen.

I have done much research on the building they lived in and tried the local church service registers to see if they were mentioned and they were. I like to add flesh to the bones of my genealogy findings.

I would like to upload a section of the certificate but am not sure about copyright though.

Ben
 

juliejtp

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
11,559
Likes
443
Location
Robin Hood County
#5
Hi Ben,

I think posting a part of the certificate will be ok, I'm not sure on the copyright either, some of the bigger family history forums are hot on copyright perhaps follow their guides lines.
 

benny1982

Loyal Member
Staff member
Moderator
Posts
5,292
Likes
121
Location
Norwich
#6
Hi

I wanted to upload a few certs but copyright gets in the way and we never know where we are with their rules. I dont see any problem with uploading certs to sites.

Ben
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top