19 November 1856
Inquest held at Ballarat on the body of Mary Chalmers
Deceased was found dead in her own tent this morning lying on the ground but how she came by her death there is not sufficient evidence before us. But we believe that she was suffocated having fallen on the ground with her neck pressed between her boxes whilst in a state of intoxication
Donald McLeod, miner
I have known the deceased for about 20 months and I know her to have been in the habit of drinking hard. I have seen her frequently during the last fortnight the worse of liquor. I did not see her yesterday. To my knowledge I saw her about three o’clock this morning and two other men were with her assisting her home. I went over with them. In her tent and she was put onto her bed. I then went home and left the two men in the tent. I was awake frequently during this morning by her talking to herself. I heard her up to about half past eight o’clock this morning talking in the same way. I think ??? from my tent soon after and on my return I heard of her death and saw her as described by the last witness. I then went over to her friends on the Township and reported the case to them
Donald McLeod (spidery)
I have known the deceased about two years. Her husband left her some time after I first knew her. The deceased was in the hotel drinking very hard and ??ally and the last time she commenced doing so about a fortnight ago. I saw her yesterday and she asked me for some water as she was thirsty. She appeared to me then to have been drinking. And about ?? from it. It was soon after dinner I did not see her again alive. In the morning Mrs McLeod came to my tent and I asked her if she saw Mrs Chalmers but she replied that she had not but that the deceased was not at their tent last night. I then proposed to go over to her tent and three of us went and on opening her tent door we saw that she was not ? and I saw her feet on the ground at the foot of the bed. Her head was up near the end of the tent and her neck was pressed against a box which was made use of as a table. She was quite dead.