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Post Mortem Examinations and Case Books

  • GB 406 PM
  • Collection
  • 1840-1946

The post mortem records contain manuscript case notes, with medical notes both pre and post mortem. These include details on patients’ admission to the hospital, treatments and medication administered to patients and the medical history of patients; the medical histories were copied into the volumes from hospital registers, which are no longer extant. The post mortem cases include detailed pathological findings made during the detailed examination of the body after death. From the 1880s onwards the case books contain original anatomical drawings and photographs.

The following information is recorded for each case. The information is transcribed from the case notes and/or the relevant index and, where relevant, additionally standardised using MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)

• Name of the patient. If a name is not entered in the volume, it is noted in the catalogue as ‘[No name stated]’

• Gender of the patient (female / male / unknown)

• Age of the patient. Usually in numbers, following the original, with the following exceptions: 4/12 = 4 months, 4/52 = 4 weeks, 4/365 = 4 days. If no age is entered, it is noted in the catalogue as ‘[No age stated]’

• Occupation of the patient. Where no occupation is entered, it is noted in the catalogue as ‘[No occupation stated]’. Children are often designated according to their father’s or mother’s occupation and women by their husband’s occupation (e.g. ‘F / Horsekeeper’, ‘M. Charwoman’, ‘Hd Grocer’); these have been rendered in the catalogue as ‘[Child of] Horsekeeper’, ‘[Wife of] Grocer’

• Date of admission and date of death

• The names of the doctors treating or examining the patient. ‘Admitted under the care of’ denotes the senior doctor in charge of the case (usually entered at the top of the page and in the index); ‘Post mortem performed by’ denotes the doctor responsible for the post mortem examination (usually signed at the bottom of the page) and ‘Medical examination performed by’ denotes the doctor responsible for the medical examination prior to death (usually signed at the bottom of the page). The earliest records usually contain only one name, and some of the later ones may contain multiple names in each category. An authority record (name access point) with basic biographical details has been created for each doctor mentioned in the records; these can be used to explore all the cases related to a particular individual

• Disease(s) or cause of death of the patient. Transcribed from the medical case and/or the index and standardised, e.g. ‘Disease (transcribed): Phthisis. Fractured base. Disease (standardised): Tuberculosis (lungs). Fracture (skull)’

• Medical and post mortem notes. Brief summary description or transcription of the case notes relating to previous medical history (not a full transcription of the case notes)

• Note on whether the case includes illustrations or photographs; these can also be browsed via genre access points

• Note on whether the death was caused by trauma, accident or suicide

• Subject access points, using standardised terms from MeSH, with disease type (e.g. respiratory tract diseases, cardiovascular diseases) and anatomy type (e.g. cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system), which can be used for browsing all relevant cases

Note on transcriptions and abbreviations

Names have been silently expanded, e.g. Jas = James, Wm = William

Some common abbreviations and acronyms

AMCH = Atkinson Morley Convalescent Hospital, Wimbledon
BID = Brought in dead
COA = Condition on admission
F = Father
H or Hd = Husband
HP = House physician
HS = House surgeon
IP = In-patient
L = Left
M = Mother
MR or Med reg or Med r = Medical register or Medical registrar
MS = Museum specimen
OP = Out-patient
OPD = Out-patient department
OR = Obstetric register
PMH = Previous medical history
PH = Previous history
Pt or Pat = Patient
PM = Post mortem
R = Right
RF = Rheumatic fever
Ry = Railway
SR or Surg reg = Surgical register or Surgical registrar
TB = Tuberculosis
VD = Venereal disease

St George's Hospital, London

Samuel Storer, 43, Tailor

Occupation or role: Tailor
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 1 Apr 1864
Date of death: 8 Apr 1864
Disease (transcribed): Phthisis
Disease (standardised): Tuberculosis (Lung)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Braine, Francis Woodhouse
Medical notes: 'Case not given’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: 'Not examined’

Type of incident: n/a

Jane Cox, 60, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 7 Apr 1845
Date of death: 15 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Scalp wound. Diffuse cellular inflammation of the scalp. Extravasations of blood, both in the cavity of the arachnoid, and in the structure of the brain. Fracture of external malleolus with suppuration in joint and in the neighbourhood
Disease (standardised): Wound (Scalp); Inflammation (Scalp); Extravasation (Brain); Fracture (Ankle); Suppuration (Ankle)
Admitted under the care of: Keate, Robert
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'When admitted, this patient presented the usual symptoms of concussion and a lacerated scalp wound on the back part of the head. The symptoms of concussion were complicated by those of intoxication, as it was subsequently ascertained that she had drunk a considerable quantity before meeting with her accident’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Cranium, thorax, abdomen, left inferior extremity

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

John Wallis, 61, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 9 Apr 1845
Date of death: 14 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Stricture of the urethra. Chronic affection of the bladder, ureter etc. with mottling & granular degeneration of the kidneys. Large foul abscess in the left loin & extensing along the psoas, into the groin. Recent pleurisy & peritonitis
Disease (standardised): Constriction (Urethra); Disease (Bladder, ureter, kidneys); Abscess (Loin, groin); Pleurisy (Lungs); Peritonitis (Abdomen)
Admitted under the care of: Keate, Robert
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'This person had attended the hospital occasionally for many years past, and had been in the habit of having catheters introduced as an out-patient. When he applied in the 9th of April he was suffering from the usual symptoms of retention of urine and stated that he had not passed any water for twenty four hours’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: n/a

Isaac Bennett, 34, Footman

Occupation or role: Footman
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 2 Apr 1864
Date of death: 3 Apr 1864
Disease (transcribed): Fractured skull
Disease (standardised): Fracture (Skull)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Barker, William Levington
Post mortem examination performed by: Leigh, William
Medical notes: 'This patient was cleaning a 3rd story window, when the ladder broke & he was seen to fall into area below. He was brought in at once, insensible, cold, pale’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Skull

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

William Chippendale, 60, Solicitor

Occupation or role: Solicitor
Age: 60
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 19 Feb 1864
Date of death: 2 Apr 1864
Disease (transcribed): Kidneys & bladder
Disease (standardised): Disease (Kidneys, bladder)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Barker, William Levington
Post mortem examination performed by: n/a
Medical notes: 'This patient had for the last 25 years had stricture & about 7 years ago was in the Middlesex Hospital where he underwent perineal section’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Chest, abdomen

Type of incident: n/a

Ann Ward, 67, [No occupation]

Occupation or role: [No occupation]
Age: 67
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 10 Mar 1877
Date of death: 11 Mar 1877
Disease (transcribed): Burn
Disease (standardised): Burn (Skin)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: n/a
Medical notes: n/a
Body parts examined in the post mortem: The body was not examined
Type of incident: n/a

James Joliffe, 40, Time Keeper

Occupation or role: Time Keeper
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 24 Feb 1870
Date of death: 13 Mar 1870
Disease (transcribed): Fractured spine.
Disease (standardised): Fracture (Spine)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Haward, John Warrington
Post mortem examination performed by: n/a
Medical notes: As the body was not examined, the case is not herein reported.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: The body was not examined
Type of incident: n/a

John George Pratt, 25, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 4 Apr 1845
Date of death: 4 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Extensive laceration of the right lung with a large extravasation of blood into the cavity of the pleura. Separation of several cartilages of the ribs, right side, from the sternum. Rupture of the liver. Fracture of arm & leg
Disease (standardised): Laceration (Lungs); Extravasation (Lungs); Separation (Chest); Rupture (Liver); Fracture (Arm, leg)
Admitted under the care of: Keate, Robert
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'This patient was perfectly sensible when admitted, but presented ex-sanguine features and scarcely any pulse. He died after having been in the hospital an hour, having never rallied in any degree from his state of collapse’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen, left superior extremity, left inferior extremity

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

William Battersby, Druggist

Occupation or role: Druggist
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 25 Feb 1871
Date of death: 28 Apr 1871
Disease (transcribed): Cancer of rectum, intestinal obstruction. Colotomy
Disease (standardised): Cancer (Rectum); Obstruction (Intestines); Colotomy

Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Haward, John Warrington
Post mortem examination performed by: Whipham, Thomas Tillyer
Medical notes: 'In October 1870 this patient began to have pain in right shoulder & right hypochondrium, and also to suffer from constipation’
Post mortem notes: Body parts examined in the post mortem: Abdomen (‘the friends objected to any further examination of the body’)

Type of incident: n/a

Elizabeth Molero, 42, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 22 Mar 1845
Date of death: 3 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Strangulated femoral hernia. Operation. Phlebitis of the veins of the opposite extremity. Slight peritonitis and pleurisy. Lungs gorged at back part & soft in texture. Gut of a dark colour, but otherwise healthy
Disease (standardised): Hernia (Thigh); Operation; Phlebitis (Blood vessels); Peritonitis (Abdomen); Pleurisy (Lungs); Disease (Lungs)
Admitted under the care of: Cutler, Edward
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'Was admitted on the evening of the 22 of March with a small tumor in the left femoral region, tender to the touch, and accompanied by a constant sense of sickness. The pain extends over the abdomen’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Abdomen, hernial sac, thorax, right inferior extremity

Type of incident: n/a

Martha Weedon, 24, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 22 Feb 1845
Date of death: 3 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Encephaloid disease of ovaries, of sub-serous cellular tissue of omentum and intestines, of pelvic & mesenteric glands, of sub-pleural and sub-pericardial cellular tissue, and of sub-cutaneous tissue in neighbourhood of umbilicus
Disease (standardised): Encephaloid disease (Ovaries, abdomen, intestines, tissues)

Admitted under the care of: Cutler, Edward
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'This patient was unmarried, and states that until three months ago she enjoyed perfectly good health. At that time she first found that her abdomen was larger than natural, and she experienced some sharp, darting pains aggravated at night’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Abdomen, thorax

Type of incident: n/a

Thomas Durbin, 50, Labourer

Occupation or role: Labourer
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 6 Jan 1864
Date of death: 25 Mar 1864
Disease (transcribed): Amputation of leg. Caries of pelvis
Disease (standardised): Amputation (Leg); Caries (Pelvis)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Dickinson, William Howship
Post mortem examination performed by: Braine, Francis Woodhouse
Medical notes: 'A large abscess formed in the calf of the left leg in December 1863, while he was convalescent from an attack of typhoid fever’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Stump (‘the left leg had been amputated at the middle of the thigh’), chest, abdomen

Type of incident: n/a

Hugh Muir, Butler

Occupation or role: Butler
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 5 Oct 1870
Date of death: 21 Apr 1871
Disease (transcribed): Caries of lumbar vertebrae. Psoas abscess. Lardaceous disease. Scrofulous disease of the kidneys
Disease (standardised): Caries (Spine); Abscess (Psoas muscle); Disease (Kidney)

Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Haward, John Warrington
Post mortem examination performed by: Whipham, Thomas Tillyer
Medical notes: 'A year before admission this man fell off a carriage and received some [?]. Soon after this he observed a swelling in the right thigh. To this leeches were applied & it subsided leaving only a little stiffness of hip’
Post mortem notes: Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen, bones, joints

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

James Watson, 50, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 27 Mar 1845
Date of death: 2 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Scalp wound & fracture of the skull, with extensive laceration of the brain. Diffuse cellular inflammation of the scalp & oedema of the face with inflammation of the cellular tissue of the neck, & oedema of the larynx
Disease (standardised): Wound (Scalp); Fracture (Skull); Laceration (Brain); Inflammation (Scalp, neck); Edema (Face, larynx)
Admitted under the care of: Tatum, Thomas
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'Shortly before his admission, this patient was thrown from a cart. When brought to the hospital he was quite insensible and in a state of collapse. There was a small wound at the posterior part of the scalp not exposing the bone, and some blood flowed from the left ear’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Cranium, neck, thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

William Lovell, 21, Pot boy

Occupation or role: Pot boy
Age: 21
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 25 Mar 1845
Date of death: 2 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Scalp wound, oedema of scalp. Diffuse cellular inflammation of neck, spreading down the mediastina. Inflammation of mucous membrane of air passages, & of left lung. Seropurulent fluid in pleurae and pericardium. Kidneys large & mottled
Disease (standardised): Wound (Scalp); Edema (Scalp); Inflammation (Neck, Lungs); Disease (Lungs, Heart); Disease (Kidneys)
Admitted under the care of: Cutler, Edward
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'William Lovell, at 21, a pot boy, reported to be subject of epileptic fits, was admitted on 25th of March with a small scalp wound over the occiput, which did not expose the bone. When brought to the hospital he was still in a fit, during which the scalp wound had been produced’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Cranium, neck, thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

Jane Brown, 32, Envelope maker

Occupation or role: Envelope maker
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 5 Mar 1856
Date of death: 10 Apr 1856
Disease (transcribed): Carcinoma of the Uterus and Peritoneum
Disease (standardised): Carcinoma (Uterus); Carcinoma (Abdomen)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Rogers, George Goddard
Post mortem examination performed by: Ogle, John William
Medical notes: This woman stated that last May when walking to her business she felt something give way in the abdomen, and became at once very faint.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen, pubic bones and cranium
Type of incident: n/a

William Dodsworth, 72, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 72
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 22 Mar 1845
Date of death: 2 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Compound comminuted fracture of the leg with extensive haemorrhage. Heart dilated. Kidneys granular. Coagula in the heart, very small and loosely coagulated
Disease (standardised): Fracture (Leg); Haemorrhage (Leg); Disease (Heart); Disease (Kidneys)

Admitted under the care of: Cutler, Edward
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'This patient was admitted with a compound fracture of the right leg. The bone was broken in two places and the surrounding parts were much contused’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen, stump

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

William Coton, Cow keeper

Occupation or role: Cow keeper
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 1 Jan 1871
Date of death: 3 Jan 1871
Disease (transcribed): Inguinal hernia. Operation. Peritonitis. Scrofulous disease of the left kidney. Hypertrophy of heart
Disease (standardised): Hernia (Abdomen); Operation; Peritonitis (Abdomen); Disease (Kidney); Disease (Heart)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Haward, John Warrington
Post mortem examination performed by: Whipham, Thomas Tillyer
Medical notes: 'He had had a left inguinal hernia 30 years, & worn a truss for a few years, but as it did not keep hernia back he relinguished it, and has worn none for 15 or 20 years. For this last period he has not been able completely to return the hernia. In the evening of December 29 the tumour became larger and he had pain and sickness. Violent attempts seem to have been made at reduction’
Post mortem notes: Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: n/a

Mary David, 47, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 47
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 27 Dec 1854
Date of death: 11 Jan 1855
Disease (transcribed): Malignant disease of the uterus. Peritonitis.
Disease (standardised): Malignancy (Uterus); Peritonitis (Abdomen)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Dickinson, William Howship
Post mortem examination performed by: Gray, Henry
Medical notes: The patient was deaf so it was impossible to get a rational account of her illness. It appeared that she was a widow, and had had four children. She complained of pains across the belly, which was continual and of a burning character.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen and pelvis
Type of incident: n/a

Rosa Finden, 20, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 20
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 31 Jan 1855
Date of death: 7 Mar 1855
Disease (transcribed): Phthisis. Scrofulous deposits in Uterus and Ovaries. Communication between the latter and the Rectum. Ulcerated Intestines.
Disease (standardised): Tuberculosis (Lung); Tuberculosis (Uterus, Ovaries); Ulcer (Intestines)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Rogers, George Goddard
Post mortem examination performed by: Ogle, John William
Medical notes: This woman had been under the case of Dr Bence Jones in February 1854 with acute Peritonitis before being transferred to Dr Lee. She complained of pain and tenderness over the abdomen and was low spirited.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax and abdomen
Type of incident: n/a

John Dakin, 18, [No occupation]

Occupation or role: [No occupation]
Age: 18
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 13 Feb 1877
Date of death: 3 Mar 1877
Disease (transcribed): Tumour of axilla. Removal. Haemorrhage.
Disease (standardised): Tumour (Axilla); Operation (Axilla); Haemorrhage (Axilla)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: n/a
Medical notes: The case was not reported here.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: The body was not examined
Type of incident: n/a

Anne Clarke, 35, Married

Occupation or role: Married
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 20 Jan 1858
Date of death: 21 Mar 1858
Disease (transcribed): Malignant disease of uterus & vagina
Disease (standardised): Malignant disease (Uterus, vagina)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Holmes, Timothy
Post mortem examination performed by: Rogers, George Goddard
Medical notes: 'A married woman who stated that the catamenia [menstruation] left her about twelve months ago & that at that time she suffered with very severe pains in the head & constant sickness for upwards of a fortnight. Six months ago she noticed a very offensive discharge from the uterus & experienced also shooting pains down the back & across the loins which became more aggravated at night & disturbed her rest’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen, pelvis

Type of incident: n/a

Thomas Manuel , 62, Carman

Occupation or role: Carman
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 31 Dec 1869
Date of death: 31 Dec 1870
Disease (transcribed): Perineal section. False passage in urethra containing a small portion of a wax bougie.
Disease (standardised): Operation (Perineum); False passage (Urethra); Obstruction (Urethra)
Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Haward, John Warrington
Post mortem examination performed by: Whipham, Thomas Tillyer
Medical notes: The patient had for several months been passing water in a gradually diminishing stream and had had instruments passed.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Pleurae, lungs, head, liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder and urethra
Type of incident: n/a

Alice Cassins, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [Occupation not stated]
Age: 9
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 2 Jan 1871
Date of death: 2 Jan 1871
Disease (transcribed): Burn
Disease (standardised): Burn (Skin)

Admitted under the care of: Lee, Henry
Medical examination performed by: Haward, John Warrington
Post mortem examination performed by: n/a
Medical notes: 'As the body was not examined, the case is not herein reported’
Post mortem notes: Body parts examined in the post mortem: 'Not examined’

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

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