HC Deb 14 March 1884 vol 285 c1542

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether his attention has been called to a report in The Birmingham Daily Mail, of March 8th, to the effect that a child named William H. Hayward, aged seven, has died from over-pressure of work at St. Mary's School, Wolverhampton; and, if there is any truth in the report?


My attention was called to the paragraph in question, and I sent it down to Her Majesty's Inspector for his Report thereon. It appears there was no inquest, and no evidence taken as to the cause of death. The doctor who was called in expressed his opinion that the child died from brain fever—the exciting cause being school work. Her Majesty's Inspector doubts both these conclusions, and asks for a post-mortem examination; but the child is buried, and I have no power to make such an order. He says the child complained chiefly of sore throat; that he was a delicate boy of seven years of age in September last; that he had no home lessons; and that although he lived near the school and the teacher frequently passed the house no complaint was ever made by the parents. The boy had recently passed the first Standard. It seems impossible that this child can have been over-pressed.


asked whether the Inspector who had controverted the doctor's opinion had himself received a medical education?


I am unable to say that.