Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Sad Death of Nellie Murfin

The cutting is from the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent dated 20th October 1899. It looks as though Nellie age 3 went on her own to the shop to buy a shuttlecock and on the way back was killed by a dray carrying mineral water.

The two elements of the report that are surprising from a modern day point of view is that young Nellie went to the shop on her own. If that happened nowadays the parents and/or guardians would be prosecuted for severe child neglect as an absolute minimum, and quite possibly manslaughter. And the second element is the mineral water dray. Attercliffe and district in the late C19th could hardly be described as "spa destinations." and so bottling and distributing the local spring water is a non -starter. It is far more likely that the district had to import water given that the local supplies would be heavily polluted by industry  

As for young Nellie she was buried six days later in Sheffield's Burngreave Cemetery

MURFIN, Nellie (Daughter of A Murfin, age 3). Died at 15-4 Attercliffe Road; Buried on October 25, 1889 in Consecrated ground; Grave Number 15, Section K2 of Burngreave Cemetery, Sheffield.

The grave contains 12 other bodies

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