High Peak News

10 March 1888

The sudden death of a woman at whaley bridge

To the Editor


I trust I may be allowed to express an opinion on the subject placed before the readers of your valuable paper last Saturday under the above title.

Being one of those persons who take some little interest in the conditions of life which surround the working classes of this and other countries, my travels in search of information and statistics have led me to witness many horrible and distressing scenes both in England and in Ireland, but I do not think that I ever saw, heard or read of anything more inhuman than the conduct of Dr Allan of Whaley Bridge, on the morning of Wednesday, the 29th February, in refusing to attend Mrs Jodrell simply because her husband could not place the fee (one guinea) in his hand before he stepped out of his house.

From the summing up of the Coroner it appears that Mr Jodrell was an honest hardworking man, and from the evidence it is clear that the doctor knew the husband of the deceased well enough to be acquainted with his usual habits, having spoken to him at times, and attended him once as his club doctor. Yet in spite of all this he had the callousness to refuse to attend the dying woman.

Had he not known the people, or even had he been certain that he would never have received his fee, he could scarcely have been justified in refusing to attend when life was in danger, and it passes any comprehension how the jury could come to the unanimity of opinion that they did.

Just below the report of the above case you have a short paragraph which states a Buxtonian is to be prosecuted for cruelty to animals for allowing three horses to be in a field on the Buxton Road during the late storm, without food. Are horses, in the opinion of the people of Whaley Bridge, of more consequence than the lives of human beings?

Surely someone will have the courage to take this matter in hand, and with the support of the inhabitants, bring the doctor to task; because it is an exceptionally hard case, and the treatment meted out to the fervent supplicant on that unhappy morning deserves to be punished.

Trusting that someone connected with the district will take the matter in hand.

Yours &c

Archibald Vicar

Prestwich, near Manchester

5th March 1888.