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The sad suicide of a medical gentleman

Loughborough Advertiser - 14th May 1874.

On Wednesday morning, the 6th inst., as we reported in our last Thursday's issue, Dr John Brown Bradshaw, of Quorndon, was found in his surgery in a dying condition, with a bottle close beside him, which had evidently contained prussic acid. Mr Harris, surgeon, was sent for, but the unfortunate gentleman died almost immediately. The deceased has been for a considerable time, in the neighbourhood of Quorndon, and was very well known in the surrounding district. For some time past it seems he has been rather embarrassed, and has been addicted to liquor. He has also been subject to epileptic fits after which he was evidently not in a very sound state of mind. He had also, at one time, been in an asylum. Mr Coroner Deane held an inquest on Wednesday evening, at the William IV Inn, Quorndon, when the following evidence was adduced:-

Mary Bradshaw said she was the widow of the deceased, who was an MD., of St Andrew's and Edinburgh. He was 62 years of age. He got up that morning about a quarter before six, and went downstairs before her. He spoke to her and appeared just the same as usual. She did not get up till nearly seven o'clock. When she went down stairs she did not see him about, and observing the surgery door open she went there. She found him lying on the floor, with his face on a bottle. Mr Harris came in about half-an-hour. The deceased had had a great many fits lately, three and four a night. When she found him she thought he had fallen in a fit.. Samuel Harris said he was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and practised at Quorndon. About a quarter to seven o'clock that morning, he was called to see the deceased. He went to his house and found the body lying on the surgery floor. The face was upwards and he was quite dead. The face was livid, and a little foam was issuing from the mouth. There was an abscission in the nose, and some dirt on the knees of the trousers. As though the deceased had fallen. On a table underneath the window, was a measure which had contained a blueish fluid, and which smelt strongly of prussic acid. The glass stopper was fixed in the side of the bottle, and the stopper was in it. The bottle was nearly empty. It had contained prussic acid of Scheele's strength. From the appearances he had no doubt that deceased had taken prussic acid. He had, for several years, been very strange in his habits, especially after he had had epileptic fits, or after he had been drinking. Some years ago, he was, for a short time, in any asylum. The jury returned a verdict "that the deceased committed suicide by taking prussic acid whilst in an unsound state of mind".

 Submitted on: 2009-07-03
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 139
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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