Unit 24

Item 118

Matilda Buchanan 

Inquest held at Ballarat on 28 November 1854 

Death from apoplexy induced by intolerance

Coroner D Williams


Andrew  ….

Richard Loyd

Francis Huring

George Blackburn

Charles Herring

James Walton

William Christies 

William Herring

Thomas Browning

William …

John Roe

Henry Hutchinson  

good and lawful men of Ballarat


John Francis Collass of Ballarat Acting Sgt of police

Informed between seven and eight o’clock there was a woman drunk on Bakery Hill. I went with 2 constables and found deceased lying under the eaves of a tent. We tried to wake her and gave her some water, we then fetched a cart and brought her to the lock up, she was too much intoxicated to walk. I gave her in charge to the lock up keeper and reported the case to the Sgt major. I enquired on the spot who she was or if she had any friends but could obtain no information

Witness Robert Tully

I am a police constable I know the deceased and have seen her drunk once. I was on sentry over the lockup last night, I heard someone screaming in the cell, and reported to the Sgt of the guard. He said it was a drunken woman. She was groaning most piteously about 1 o’clock and called for water. I went and told the lock up keeper that a woman was very poorly and wanted water. He asked me who I was but made no other answer. I told him who I was. At 2 o’clock I told St Nolan about the woman the second time. I went off duty and know nothing more of the case.

Robert Bord Tully

28 Nov 1854


James Sutherland – Doctor

I am a properly qualified medical practitioner I have made a post mortem examination of deceased. In removing the skull cap I found an immense an immense bluish patch underneath the dura mater when cut presented as an immense clot of coagulated blood so extensive as to have no doubts that it had occasioned death. There was a very slight quantity of serous fluid in the ventricles of the brain the membranes of the brain were very much congested. Nothing was in the stomach, but the lining of the stomach was intensely reddened similar to what is found in a confirmed drunkard, the other organs were generally healthy. I consider death caused by an extravasation of blood on the surface of the left hemisphere of the brain the result of confirmed intoxication. 

James Sutherland MD


George Noxon – Lockup keeper at Ballarat 

About 7 o’clock last night deceased was brought in custody to the lockup and put in a cell by herself. She was in a most beastly case of intoxication carried in by 3 or 4 men I visited her about half past 8 and again about 10 o’clock with the orderly officer. The 1st time she was frothing at the mouth and asked for a nobbler the 2nd time I saw her she was asleep I left water in the cell for her during the night I heard nothing of her during the night deceased has been in custody several times for drunkenness the last time was on the 22 of this month she had plenty of bedclothes Tully the constable may have called me during the night but I do not remember it. Some of the water I gave the deceased last night was left this morning.

George Nixon