Date: 28 Oct 1901
Margaret Caroline Eleanor Bullmore died from pneumonia consequent on fractures to her ribs.
Her sister said that she saw her on 28 September 1901 at which time she appeared to be in good health but that after Margaret Bullmore was taken to Fulham Infirmary she was very weak. She said that Margaret Bullmore first told her that she had met with an accident but on another occasion said that she had either fallen or had been pushed.
She died on 4 October 1901 at 3.40am.
Margaret Bullmore had lived at 8 Chelmsford Street in Fulham with a woman and the woman's father, the landlord, and another woman. The landlord's daughter said that they had all lived happily at first but that latterly they had been very quarrelsome and had all drunk to excess.
She said that Margaret Bullmore had previously fallen in a drunken condition and that on the Sunday before she was taken to the infirmary had told her father had given her a blow on the Thursday. The landlord's daughter said that Margaret Bullmore repeated the statement again in the infirmary and had never told her that she had fallen down.
When the landlord's daughter was later questioned further she said that she had seen her father hit Margaret Bullmore before and said that they were both given to drinking.
Margaret Bullmore's brother, a master mariner who lived at 11 Clarendon Place, said that as far as he was aware that Margaret Bullmore had been a sober woman although likely to be bad tempered. He said that when he last saw her on 28 September 1901 that she appeared to be in good health but that when he later saw her in the infirmary she told him that she was very weak and that she didn't think that she would get over it.
He said that she first told him that she had met with an accident but then later told him that she was not sure whether she had fallen or had been pushed down.
The landlord's daughter said that they had all lived quite happily at first but had lately become quite quarrelsome and had both drunk to excess. She said that a few months before her death that Margaret Bullmore had had a fall whilst in a drunken condition, which he noted was not an unusual occurrence.
She said that Margaret Bullmore had been taken ill on the Sunday before she went into the infirmary and had asked her to get her a drink of beer but said that she refused but offered to get her something to eat.
She said that when she then asked her what the matter was she said that Margaret Bullmore told her that her father, the landlord, had given her a blow on the Thursday night. The landlord's daughter said that Margaret Bullmore told her the same thing when she was in the infirmary and had never told her that she had fallen down.
When the landlord's daughter was questioned at the inquest she said that she didn't see the bruise as it was all bandaged up but said that she had seen her father strike Margaret Bullmore before adding that there were quarrels on both sides when they were drunk.
She said that when she spoke to Margaret Bullmore on the Friday morning that she told her that she had asked her father to get her a cup of tea but that he would not do so and had given her a blow whilst she was lying in bed.
The other woman that had lived at 8 Chelmsford Street said that Margaret Bullmore and the landlord were not sober people. She said that they were sober on week days but would both get drunk on Saturday nights and that they were quarrelsome when intoxicated. When she was asked whether she had ever seen either of them strike each other the woman said that she remembered seeing Margaret Bullmore strike the landlord one Saturday night about two months earlier.
When she was asked about what happened on Friday 4 October 1901 the woman said that Margaret Bullmore called to her at 10.30am to know the right time and said that when she went into her room she found her lying undressed on the bed. She said that when she asked her what the matter was Margaret Bullmore said, 'Oh, my God', and tried to get off the bed but didn't seem to have the strength to do so and fell out on her right side. She said that she couldn't say whether she hit her shoulder but noted that she landed on the plain floor boards and after said to her, 'He has beaten me'. She said that when she asked her what he had done she added, 'He has punched me here, he has punched me here and he has punched me here', pointing to three different places about her chest. She said that Margaret Bullmore had been sober at the time and that she had complained of feeling unwell before she fell out, saying that she had told her that she was bad.
She said that she then took Margaret Bullmore to see a doctor who then ordered her removal to the infirmary.
She noted that she didn't hear any sounds of a row on the Thursday night.
A neighbour that had known Margaret Bullmore for about a year said that she was not an habitual drunkard. She said that she went to see her in the infirmary several times and that Margaret Bullmore first told her that 'that man had knocked her down in the street' and again that he had knocked her out of bed.
A nurse at the infirmary said that Margaret Bullmore had been for a part of the time under her charge. She said that Margaret Bullmore said very little about herself but had remarked to her about being knocked about. She said that Margaret Bullmore had had bruises on her shoulder and one on her left buttock, noting that the bruise on her shoulder was rather darker than the other.
Another nurse that attended to Margaret Bullmore said that she told her that she had been knocked about by her landlord. She said that Margaret Bullmore died at 3.40am on the Friday 4 October 1901.
When the landlord gave evidence at the inquest he said that he had allowed Margaret Bullmore to live with him as she could not get lodgings elsewhere. He said that they had not lived together as man and wife as had been alleged but had had separate rooms.
He said that on the Thursday morning that Margaret Bullmore got up before him and went out and that he later found her in a public house drinking in the company of several men. He said that he didn't hear anything more of her until the following morning at 5.30am when he went into her room to get the basin to wash in. He noted that she asked him to get her some beer but that he refuse, telling her that she had to fetch her own beer. He said that she replied, 'But I am bad' and that he said, 'I can't help it' and went out and didn't see any more of her.
He agreed that Margaret Bullmore was often the worse for drink and agreed that he was too. He also admitted quarrelling with her over time but denied ever having knocked her down. He denied striking her but admitted to having struck her previously in self-defence.
A medical superintendent at Fulham Infirmary said that Margaret Bullmore had been admitted on the usual order and had walked into the institution herself. He said that although she didn't crawl in she was very bad. He said that when he saw her the following day that she was perfectly conscious and told him that she had been knocked down by her landlord on 30 September 1901. He said that he saw her again the following day when she told him that the date that her landlord had knocked her down was 25 September 1901. He noted that her memory for dates was getting bad but that she seemed able to remember facts very well.
He said that her injuries included a fracture to her right collarbone and a number of bruises over the fracture and one on her left buttock. He noted that there was no bruise over the shoulder itself and added that he thought that all the bruises were the same age. When he was asked to account for her injuries being on different sides of her body he said that he thought that she might have been struck within the shoulder and had then fallen down.
When he was asked whether he thought the bruises were caused on 25 September 1901 he said that he thought that they were not that old and probably inflicted within the last few days.
He said that her post mortem revealed that her body was very thin and that she also had two fractured ribs but said that it was difficult to say whether that injury had been caused at the same time as the fracture of the clavicle as the broken ends had partly pierced her lung and the healing had therefore been retarded.
The medical superintendent then gave her cause of death as being due to pneumonia consequent upon fracture to the ribs. He said that her injuries could have been caused by a fall, perhaps out of bed and were consistent with the date given.
After hearing the evidence the Coroner said that if the jury found that the landlord had inflicted the injuries that Margaret Bullmore had suffered from then the matter would be a serious one, but that if they felt that there was insufficient evidence to prove that that was the case then they should return an open verdict.
The jury then returned an open verdict.
Margaret Bullmore had been a needlewoman.
Chelmsford Street has since been redeveloped and is now called Chelmsford Close.
see West London Observer - Friday 01 November 1901