Huddersfield Daily Examiner (23/May/1907) - Sudden Death of Mr. Shakespeare Hirst

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



An inquest was held to-day (Thursday), at the Liberal Club, Almondbury, by the district coroner, Mr. E. H. Hill, touching the death of Shakespeare Hirst, aged sixty-three years, retired publican, of 83, Town End, Almondbury, which took place on Monday night.

Ophelia Hirst, daughter of the deceased, said that her father's health had not been good, but he had not had a doctor. He complained sometimes of pain in the chest and stomach. He ate little, but last week consumed a large quantity of alcoholic drink — about a quart of spirits a day. He was at home all day on Monday, but did not take anything to drink. He had a little milk and two eggs for breakfast and nothing else that day, but a cup of tea about half-past four in the afternoon; after that he sat still. About six o'clock, whilst witness was reading, deceased asked for a paper, which was given him, but he only had it a few minutes. Witness heard a noise as if coming from the throat, and saw deceased throw his head back. Becoming alarmed, she summoned a neighbour, and another one went for a doctor. Deceased, who never spoke a word, was dead within ten minutes of the time she noticed him. The last time a doctor was called in was about six years ago.

Asked the reason for the doctor being called in then, witness replied that deceased had been drinking.

Dr. Whitehead stated that on arrival at the house on Monday he found deceased dead in his chair. In his opinion the cause of death was sudden heart failure. Having heard the history of the last week or so he was of opinion that the cause of the sudden heart failure was the excessive use of alcohol.

In answer to the Coroner, witness said that deceased was more liable to heart failure on the day that he had no strong drink and took little food.

The Coroner, addressing the jury, said that there appeared to he no doubt that deceased had unfortunately drunk himself to death.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.