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Rushden Echo, 6th July 1900, transcribed by Kay Collins
Ann Noble
Inquest at Higham Ferrers
Catechising the Coroner

The circumstances attending the death of an old lady named Ann Noble, a resident in one of the Almshouses, formed the subject of an inquiry at the Green Dragon Hotel, Higham Ferrers, yesterday morning, by Mr J C Parker, deputy coroner. The deceased, in February last, fractured one of her thigh bones, and she kept her bed till her death, which took place on Wednesday.

Mr F Parker was chosen foreman of the jury, which was composed of the following gentlemen: Messrs C West, W Wheatley, W Garner, H Lines, J B Martin, G Warren, F J Shelton, W Webb, J Affleck, E Jones, and J Sargent.

Before the commencement of the inquiry, Mr Sargent mentioned that when he was a minute late in attending an inquest the Coroner criticised him. Could the Coroner enforce a fine for being late?

The Coroner: Certainly.

Mr Sargent: Well, Sir, as you are late this morning, doe the fine act vice versa?

The Coroner: No, it does not.

Mr Sargent: I merely asked for the sake of getting information, and for my own satisfaction.

The Coroner: Well, you have got an answer, and now you will know.

The first witness called was Jane Mayes, of Raunds, niece of the deceased. She said deceased was a widow, 85 years of age, and lived in one of the Almshouses. Deceased had complained of giddiness in her head and had in recent years been in failing health. In February last she had an accident and had since kept her bed.

Ann Hitchcock, of Higham Ferrers, said she had been looking after deceased, who was feeble. Deceased had an accident earlier in the year. One morning witness went to the house and found deceased sitting on the edge of a chair with her leg bent under her. Witness asked her what was the matter, and deceased said “I’ve done it; I’ve done it.” Deceased did not say what it was she had done, because since the time she had not been sensible for many minutes together.

Dr T A E Rooke, of Higham, said he was called in at the end of February to see deceased, and found her lying half on the ground and half in the chair. Witness found she had fractured one of her thigh bones. He had attended her regularly since, but she had gradually been getting worse, and death took place on the previous day. Death was due to old age and the shock produced by the accident. A younger woman would probably have recovered.

The Coroner briefly summed up, and a verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.

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