Newspapers and journals: Inquest into death of Richard Gumbleton, 1829

Coroners' Inquests

Yesterday morning an investigation took place at the White Hart, Great Tower Street, before Mr W. Payne, the city coroner, and a respectable jury, into the circumstances connected with the death of Richard Gumbleton, a native of Ireland, aged about 38.

The deceased was observed by John Husker, beadle of The Tower precinct, on Thursday last, about half past two o'clock in the afternoon, sitting by the rails near the tower ditch. He appeared to be stupified with the effects of liquor, and could not give any account of who he was, or where he lived. He was taken to the watch house and laid down on the floor on his back, and there remained until nearly nine o'clock on Friday (Chrismas) morning, when he was taken home to his lodgings. He was then much worse than when he was brought in. It appeared that there was no fire in the place, and the deceased had no covering given him to protect him from the cold.

Mr Hunter, a surgeon, saw the deceased after he had been dead some hours; he was cold and quite stiff. There did not appear to be any marks of violence on his body. He desired his legs and feet to be bared; they were covered with chilblains caused by severe exposure to cold. He believed his death was caused by drinking ardent spirits and exposure to the severity of the weather.

The jury returned the following written verdict:- 'it is the opinion of the jury that the death of the deceased was greatly accelerated by being left in an engine house, without covering or fire, from half-past two o'clock in the afternoon until nine o'clock the next morning, owing to the neglect of the officers of the liberty of the Old Tower Without.'

The Times
31 Dec 1829


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