Jane Miller was one of the midwives who attempted to help Margaret Hynes.



Unit 30

Item 130

Margaret Hynes

Inquest held at Ballarat on 12 Dec 1855


Charles Codlin

William Jacob

Samuel Clapman

William Stewart

Benjamin Hodgson

James Payne

James May

Jospeh Stewart x

Henry Smith

Luther Haymes

Henry Bishop

Thomas Jones all of Victoria

Witness – Michael Hynes of Ballarat

I was husband to the deceased Margaret Hynes who was in the family way and who was complaining of pains coming on her about 2 o’clock am on Monday last. I went for Dr Dimock about 7 o’clock in the morning who returned with me and remained about half an hour with the deceased. The doctor then went away and returned again about 11 o’clock am and he remained then with the deceased until between 4 and 5 o’clock pm same day and he then required another medical man to be called in and I went for DR Mount who returned with me. The deceased was quite sensible the whole day and had not fits of any kind that I could see. Immediately after the arrival of Dr Mount an operation was commenced to extract the child. After the operation both doctors Mount and Dimock went away about 7 o’clock pm soon after I went for Dr Dimock as my wife the deceased had got a fit of convulsions on her. Dr Dimock then sent me for leaches and oatmeal and on my return I found the doctor throwing cold water on the deceased out of a bucket after which Dr Dimock went away. I then went for Dr Stewart about ten o’clock same morning he saw the deceased in those fits of convulsions who gave me some powders for the deceased – Dr Stewart again saw the deceased several times yesterday the 11th inst. He told me that he had not much hope of her recovery. Dr Stewart saw the deceased for the last time alive about 10 o’clock pm last evening and the deceased died this day about 6 o’clock am. I was married to the deceased about 11 months and this was her 4th child. Dr Dimock when he last saw the deceased directed me to put a blister on the back of her neck and to throw cold water on her when the fits came on. I told same to Dr Stewart who forbad the application of the blister and cold water.

Witness Jane Miller

I went to see and attend up on the deceased about 8 o’clock on Monday morning 10th inst. I found her then suffering from the usual labour pains. Dr Dimock came soon after and remained some time and went away for a short time, returned and remained until the deceased was delivered about 4 o’clock pm. Dr Mount was sent for before and when he came there was an operation preformed by Dr Mount with Dr Dimock assisting. I think the deceased had fits before the operations and very severe ones after it. The deceased was not sensible for some time before the operation and was insensible frequently after it. I saw her for the last time alive about 6 o’clock this morning. After the operation Dr Dimock ordered that cold water should be applied to her head every time that fits would be coming on. After which Dr Stewart was called in and attended the deceased until her death

Witness – Mary Fleming Wright of Ballarat

Called in to attend on the deceased about 4 o’clock pm I was present at the operation performed on the deceased to deliver her of her child. Dr Mount performed the operation and the deceased was sensible when I first saw her and when I saw her again in ½ hour I found her insensible like in a faint. Did not know any person but she was not in any fit of convulsions whilst I was present before the operation. The operation lasted about ½ hour or more and the head of the child was broken up before delivery took place – after which Dr Dimock directed a mustard blister to the back of her neck and leeches to the temples. The deceased got no medicine to make her sleep during the operation.

Note attached to the inquest

Woman died after severe labour after which instruments had been used.

She was attended by 3 doctors and no sort of cause is shown on the papers.

With the coroner

Witness – Dr Dimock

…[as previous] there was some haemorrhage, considerably more than usual during this time and fits of convulsions came on some time before 4 o’c … [describes use of instruments, etc]

Witness Dr Henry Mountt of Ballarat

…found her suffering from very severe puerperal convulsions very feeble pulse and uterine haemorrhage. …

Witness Dr James Stewart of Ballarat

… the pulse was fluttering. It was 140  – on pressure on abdomen she groaned from pain – her bed clothes were quite saturated and wet and I ordered them to be changed- I then ordered the necessary medicines for her and saw her again on the following morning (Tues) about 7 o’c – she was still insensible but much ………. &………… I then bled her largely. It brought her pulse down…. I ordered a large blister over her abdomen and told her husband that unless a change for the better comes soon that the deceased could not live and I did not see her again. …[stuff on erky blood clots] …