Elizabeth McLaren was a witness to this inquest.
Death from natural causes.
21 April 1856 at One-Eyed Gully
Her death took place on Sunday the 20th Instant and was caused by dysentery promoted by the debility and exhaustion attendant upon the ? (hidden under pin) of means to provide the attendance and nourishment required under her circumstances.
Witness William Hill, miner
Of Ballarat on 21 April 1856
I am mate with the husband of the deceased Robert Porter for the last three months and I have been camped beside him ever since.
I have known the deceased for the last eight months and since she moved down here from the Eureka. She has been mostly confined to her bed and she told me that it was the relapse of an attack of colonial fever which she had before. I saw her almost daily because? Of her illness. Our party were very limited in our circumstances and we were unable to afford her perhaps all the care and nourishment necessary for her. We were at one time ourselves short of necessaries but her husband provided for her as far as his means would allow and Doctor Nicholson was attending on her for several weeks. But her husband was unable to pay him or any other doctor. Dr Nicholson has not seen her for the last three weeks. There have been reports spread that the deceased was neglected by her husband but I believe he did all in his power for her. He was working at his hole every day as he could not afford to pay a man to work for him.
Witness Elizabeth McLaren
Of Ballarat, 21 April 1856
I have known the deceased by report for about the last two months. I first heard of her from a neighbour that the deceased was ill and was neglected. I had her clothes washed and sent her twice and food such as I thought suitable. I saw her from her bed three or four weeks ago. When for the first time ? I then found her quite clean and comfortable and her husband was attending on her. It was in the evening I saw her again on the ninth instant in the morning. I then found her as I thought much neglected, without food or drink near her and her person appeared also much neglected. I then sent her provision and drink as was necessary – and I have seen her daily since and she has provisions but was unable to take them herself as she had not any power in her arms and hands. I saw her yesterday for the last time about ten or fifteen minutes before she died about half past six o’clock. This case was reported to some of the camp authorities a fortnight ago and a constable of Police came and examined into it immediately after.
E. McLaren (fluent signature)
Witness James Ashford
?? of Ballarat
I have known the deceased for about four weeks and I have been in the habit for the last three weeks of bringing nourishment to her from the last witness Mrs McLaren. Daily for more than two weeks and I fed her myself with whatever I got to bring her.
The deceased told me that her husband did all he could for her but that he was obliged to work hard every day. When I saw her first the deceased appeared clean and comfortable but was not so afterwards. I have heard many reports of her being neglected by her husband but I know nothing of that. I have known him to be working daily and visited late every evening. Her husband was well aware of my having brought up food to his wife and my having fed her.
Signed James Ashford
Witness Henry Tapley
Surgeon of Ballarat
I have this day made a post mortem examination of the deceased. The body presented great and general emaciation and very much ?
On opening the thorax I found the lungs healthy and the heart also. I then opened the abdomen and found the stomach and intestines were quite empty of all food but they presented generally congested state of the mucous membrane of the bowels and glands but more especially the ileum in its whole length with contraction at the intervals of the inflamed portions. I consider that the immediate cause of death was dysentery attendant with great debility and exhaustion.
Signed Henry Tapley