17 August 2014

Death of David Wilson, apprentice druggist

A young man, of the name of DAVID WILSON, apprentice to Mr ROBERT ROBERTSON, Druggist in this city, died on the 4th instant, in his master's house, after two days' illness.  Two Medical Gentlemen had seen him the day on which he died, who were of opinion that his disease was scarlet fever, accompanied with putrid sore throat; and that these were aggravated by a previous deranged state of health.  Nearly a week after his interment, however, an anonymous letter was sent to a brother of the deceased; the author of which stated, that, in his opinion, D. Wilson's death had been occasioned by poison; and a precognition having been begun before the Magistrates, they, after taking the declarations of the Physicians as to the circumstances attending his death, in order that every satisfaction might be obtained, remitted to them to inspect the body of the deceased, which was accordingly raised for that purpose.  The Medical Gentlemen, in their Report, declared that, after submitting the contents of the stomach to minute chemical tests, and having inspected the state of the stomach, and other viscera of the abdomen and thorax, they found nothing of a deleterious nature in the contents of the stomach; and that the stomach and bowels did not exhibit the smallest appearance of any acrid or poisonous substance having been administered; and concluded their Report with "Representing, in the strongest terms, that as the symptoms attending the illness and death of David Wilson were not such as occur where poison proves fatal, so from the investigation which has taken place, they were fully convinced that he did not die of poison, but partly in consequence of previous disease, and more immediately from the rapid progress of scarlet fever, with putrid sore throat".

Published in the Aberdeen Journal, Wednesday 17th August 1814.

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