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Post Mortem Examinations and Case Books

  • GB 406 PM
  • Collectie
  • 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

Louisa Addy , 30, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 27 Sep 1843
Date of death: 14 Mar 1844
Disease (transcribed): General dropsy and disease of the heart.
Disease (standardised): Oedema (Systemic); Disease (Heart)
Admitted under the care of: Seymour, Edward James
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: The patient was admitted with general anasarca and ascites and symptoms of great impediment to the circulation and palpitations.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax and abdomen
Type of incident: n/a

Obidiah Fryer, 29, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 5 Jan 1844
Date of death: 17 February 1844
Disease (transcribed): Rheumatic Pericarditis. Hypertrophy of the Heart, with extensive disease of the valves. Mottling degeneration of both kidneys.
Disease (standardised): Pericarditis (Heart); Hypertrophy (Heart); Disease (Kidney)
Admitted under the care of: Nairne, Robert
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: The patient was admitted into the hospital with anasarca of the lower extremities, fluid effused into the scrotum and slight swelling and fluctuation of the abdomen.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax and abdomen
Type of incident: n/a

Sarah Holloway, 18, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 18
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 15 February 1844
Date of death: 23 February 1844
Disease (transcribed): Burn extending over legs, side and back. Pleurisy. Pneumonia. Congestion of duodenum.
Disease (standardised): Burn (Skin); Pleurisy (Pleura); Pneumonia (Lung); Disease (Intestines)
Admitted under the care of: Hawkins, Caesar Henry
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: The injuries had been caused by her clothes taking fire.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Head, pharynx and larynx, thorax and abdomen
Type of incident: Trauma/accident

Emily Le Peake, 65, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 17 Apr 1844
Date of death: 27 Apr 1844
Disease (transcribed): Anasarca. Effusion of fluid in pleura and pericardium. Heart enlarged by dilatation of its cavities with hypertrophy of its walls. Kidneys mottled and dwindled. Calculi in gall bladder, Old adhesions of liver.
Disease (standardised): Oedema (General); Effusion (Pleura); Effusion (Heart); Enlarged (Heart); Mottled (Kidney); Calculi (Gallbladder)
Admitted under the care of: Wilson, James Arthur
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: The patient had been in the Hospital repeatedly during the previous four years, suffering from general anasarca and Dyspnoea.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax and abdomen
Type of incident: n/a

George Smith , 42, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 8 Jul 1844
Date of death: 27 Jul 1844
Disease (transcribed): Fracture of the Ilium, suppuration between fragments. Kidneys granular. Old adhesions of pericardium and pleura.
Disease (standardised): Fracture (Pelvis); Suppuration (Pelvis); Granular (Kidney); Adhesions (Heart); Adhesions (Pleura)
Admitted under the care of: Hawkins, Caesar Henry
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: In consequence of a fall from some steps about 8 feet in height, the patient received a fracture of the crest of the Ilium.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax and abdomen
Type of incident: Trauma/accident

James Bryant, 20, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 10 Jul 1844
Date of death: 8 Aug 1845
Disease (transcribed): Scalp wound and denudation of bone. Extensive inflammation between the bone and the dura mater with effusion of pusiform fluid both in the cavity of the arachnoid & in the sub-arachnoid tissue. Suppuration in the orbits. Softening of brain. 2ndary deposits in lungs. Kidneys mottled
Disease (standardised): Wound (Scalp); Inflammation (Brain); Suppuration (Brain); Softening (Brain); Deposit (Lungs); 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 fell from a scaffold about 32 feet high and was stunned for half an hour after the fall. When admitted, a lacerated wound presented itself upon the right temple’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Cranium, orbits, thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

Henry Mills, 16, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 16
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 31 Jul 1844
Date of death: 24 Oct 1844
Disease (transcribed): Ascites. Anasarca. Effusion of fluid into thoracic serous cavities. Dilatation of heart without hypertrophy. Extensive inflammation of lung and pulmonary apoplexy.
Disease (standardised): Ascites (Abdomen); Oedema (Leg, Foot); Effusion (Thorax); Dilatation (Heart); Inflammation (Lung); Haemorrhage (Lung)
Admitted under the care of: Seymour, Edward James
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: The patient was admitted complaining of a palpitation of the heart and an acute pain in the region of the organ which appeared to occupy a larger space than natural.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax and abdomen
Type of incident: n/a

Thomas Leader, 31, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 4 Sep 1844
Date of death: 24 Sep 1844
Disease (transcribed): Amputation of arm. Purulent infiltration of bone. Inflammation of veins. Pus in shoulder joint. Pleurisy and secondary deposits in lungs. Old adhesions of the right lung. Tubercular matter in bronchial glands.
Disease (standardised): Amputation (Arm); Suppuration (Arm); Inflammation (Veins); Pleurisy (Pleura); Deposits (Lung); Adhesions (Lung);Tuberculosis (Lung);
Admitted under the care of: Hawkins, Caesar Henry
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: n/a
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax and abdomen
Type of incident: n/a

Thomas Field, 44, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 23 Oct 1844
Date of death: 26 Feb 1845
Disease (transcribed): Ascites & anasarca. Lobular pneumonia. Hypertrophy of heart. Aorta roughened & dilated. Capsule of liver thickened. Mottling degeneration of kidneys. Bladder inflamed
Disease (standardised): Ascites (Peritoneum); Edema (Systemic); Pneumonia (Lungs); Disease (Heart, liver, kidneys); Inflammation (Bladder)
Admitted under the care of: Seymour, Edward James
Medical examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Post mortem examination performed by: Fuller, Henry William
Medical notes: 'The patient stated that he had been suffering about 4 months from general anasarca, which at first came on very gradually, but had rapidly increased during the few last weeks’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen, head

Type of incident: n/a

Mary King, 15, [No occupation stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 15
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 6 Nov 1844
Date of death: 24 Nov 1844
Disease (transcribed): Chorea. Disease of clavicle. Diffuse inflammation in neighbourhood. Old adhesions of right lung. Endocarditis. Large intestine filled with faeces adhering to its coats. Organs of generation congested. Brain and chord natural.
Disease (standardised): Chorea (Central nervous system); Disease (Clavicle); Adhesions (Lung); Endocarditis (Heart); Congestion (Genitalia)
Admitted under the care of: Macleod, Roderick
Medical examination performed by: n/a
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: At the age of 12, before any appearance of catamenia, became affected with chorea which commenced gradually but soon became severe. She was also drowsy and felt pain across the forehead.
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen and brain
Type of incident: n/a

Harriet Seabrook, 41, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 9 Dec 1844
Date of death: 18 Jan 1845
Disease (transcribed): Scirrhus of meatus urinarius. Chronic inflammation of bladder, ureters & kidneys
Disease (standardised): Scirrhus (Urethra); Inflammation (Bladder, ureter, kidneys)

Admitted under the care of: Tatum, Thomas
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'About three months before he death she first experienced some pain in the vagina. At the same time there was difficulty in passing her water and when it did pass it ‘appeared to cut her’. These symptoms increased gradually’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: n/a

Marie Wedeker, 26, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 11 Dec 1844
Date of death: 21 Jan 1845
Disease (transcribed): Old pleurisy. Phthisis. Calculus in left kidney producing both in this organ and in the neighbouring cellular tissue, extensive suppuration
Disease (standardised): Pleurisy (Lungs); Tuberculosis (Lungs); Calculus (Kidney); Suppuration (Kidney, tissues)

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 was supposed to be labouring under disease of the spine. The symptoms of phthisis rapidly supervened, and the treatment was directed exclusively to the chest. No correct history consequently was obtained of the disease in the back’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: n/a

Lucy Townsend, 6, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 6
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 13 Dec 1844
Date of death: 2 Jan 1845
Disease (transcribed): Burn. Lobular pneumonia. Ulcers on chordae vocalis and in duodenum
Disease (standardised): Burn (Skin); Pneumonia (Lungs); Ulcer (Larynx, intestines)
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 after her admission became gradually weaker and weaker, and finally died of exhaustion’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Larynx, trachea, thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: n/a

George Cowdery, 35, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 23 Dec 1844
Date of death: 14 Jun 1845
Disease (transcribed): Compound fracture of leg. Amputation. Recent pleurisy, pericarditis & peritonitis. Atheroma in aorta
Disease (standardised): Fracture (Leg); Amputation (Leg); Pleurisy (Lungs); Peritonitis (Abdomen); Pericarditis (Heart)
Admitted under the care of: Hawkins, Caesar Henry
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'A wheel of a cart passed over the leg of this patient and upon admission it was found that the tibia was exposed and fractured, but that the portions of bone were not at all displaced’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen, stump

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

Elizabeth Batchelor, 60, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 2 Jan 1845
Date of death: 25 Jan 1845
Disease (transcribed): Fracture of the skull. Laceration of brain, with effusion of blood into the arachnoid cavity. Fracture of clavicle
Disease (standardised): Fracture (Skull); Laceration (Brain); Fracture (Collarbone)
Admitted under the care of: Tatum, Thomas
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'The day before her admission she fell down stairs, a distance of about eight feet. She was taken up insensible, bleeding from the nose and mouth’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Cranium, shoulder

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

John H. Gibson, 25, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 15 Jan 1845
Date of death: 20 Jan 1845
Disease (transcribed): Cut throat. Pleurisy. Pneumonia. Extensive ulceration of the whole of the large intestine
Disease (standardised): Cut (Throat); Pleurisy (Lungs); Pneumonia (Lungs); Ulcer (Intestines)

Admitted under the care of: Hawkins, Caesar Henry
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'When admitted this patient appeared in an extremely listless and languid condition, so that no satisfactory history could be obtained from him. His faeces and urine passed form him involuntarily […] On the morning of the 18th of January he cut his throat with a razor and lost an immense quantity of arterial blood’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Throat, thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: Suicide

Charles Martin, 43, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 22 Jan 1845
Date of death: 3 Feb 1845
Disease (transcribed): Diffuse cellular inflammation of the leg and thigh, with granular kidneys and old inflammation of the peritoneum covering the liver and spleen. The latter of which was enlarged and very hard
Disease (standardised): Inflammation (Leg, thigh); Disease (Kidneys); Inflammation (Abdomen); Disease (Spleen)

Admitted under the care of: Cutler, Edward
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'Two days previous to admission this patient scratched his foot, which became inflamed. The inflammation extending up the leg principally in the course of the absorbents. There was little pain and no rigors or perspirations’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen, inferior extremity

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

Mary Sears, 44, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 44
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 27 Jan 1845
Date of death: 28 Jan 1845
Disease (transcribed): Strangulated femoral hernia, left side. Operation. Fatal peritonitis. Lungs emphysematous and congested
Disease (standardised): Hernia (Thigh); Operation; Peritonitis (Abdomen); Emphysema (Lungs); Congestion (Lungs)
Admitted under the care of: Cutler, Edward
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'Mary Sears at 44 [?48] having previously enjoyed sufficiently good health with the exception of some affection of the lungs, was rather suddenly seized with a pain in the abdomen on the 21st of January’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Abdomen, hernial sac, thorax

Type of incident: n/a

George Mason, 42, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 31 Jan 1845
Date of death: 2 Mar 1845
Disease (transcribed): Compound comminuted fracture of the metacarpal bones. Erysipelas of the hand & upper extremity. Trismus
Disease (standardised): Fracture (Hand); Erysipelas (Hand, arm); Trismus (Jaw)
Admitted under the care of: Tatum, Thomas
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'This patient’s hand was caught between the spokes of a wheel and the side of a cart, which he was driving. When admitted a compound comminuted fracture presented itself’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Cranium, thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

John Groves, 27, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 12 Feb 1845
Date of death: 1 May 1845
Disease (transcribed): Extensive caries of the dorsal vertebrae with a large scrofulous abscess. Small abscess in kidney. Tubercles in the sub-pleural cellular tissue. Slight ulceration of the pharynx. Heart dilated with thin parietes & soft muscular structure
Disease (standardised): Caries (Spine); Abscess (Spine, kidney); Tuberculosis (Lungs); Ulcer (Pharynx); Disease (Heart)
Admitted under the care of: Hawkins, Caesar Henry
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'About two years previous to admission into the hospital, the patient first experienced pain in the back, and at the expiration of three months, he found his back ‘growing out’. He went on working for twelve months during which time he had occasionally severe fits of pain on the back, but with no diminution of bodily strength’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Cranium, thorax, abdomen, spine

Type of incident: n/a

Matilda Stiles, 3, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 3
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 15 Feb 1845
Date of death: 16 Feb 1845
Disease (transcribed): Burn. Larynx, only part examined, congested, with slight thickening of submucous cellular tissue
Disease (standardised): Burn (Skin); Congestion (Larynx)

Admitted under the care of: Hawkins, Caesar Henry
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'This child was admitted at five o’clock in the evening in a state of extreme collapse, having been brought thirteen miles from the country enveloped in a blanket only. The treatment consisted of stimulants during the night’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Larynx

Type of incident: Trauma / accident

Lawrence Clerk, 58, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 58
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 15 Feb 1845
Date of death: 30 Apr 1845
Disease (transcribed): Kidneys mottled, granular & inflamed. Ureters etc much dilated & inflamed. Calculus in the bladder with chronic inflammation of this organ and ulceration of its mucous membrane
Disease (standardised): Disease (Kidneys); Inflammation (Ureter, bladder); Calculus (Bladder); Ulcer (Bladder)

Admitted under the care of: Keate, Robert
Medical examination performed by: Johnstone, Athol Archibald Wood
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'Eight years before admission, this patient first experienced pain in making water and he found at the same time that he passed some small clots of blood in his water. The pain he experienced both before and after making water’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Abdomen (‘cranium and thorax were not examined at the earnest request of the friends’

Type of incident: n/a

Martha Wilson, 46, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 46
Gender: Female
Date of admission: 19 Feb 1845
Date of death: 7 Jul 1845
Disease (transcribed): Scirrhous disease of the rectum, spreading to the glands of the pelvis and neighbouring cellular tissue
Disease (standardised): Scirrhus (Rectum)

Admitted under the care of: Johnson, Henry Charles
Medical examination performed by: Hewett, Prescott Gardner
Post mortem examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Medical notes: 'Twelve months before her admission into the hospital this patient complained of difficulty in passing her motions. She suffered at the same time from occasional accumulations of faecal matter in the colon, and consequent attacks of diarrhoea’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Abdomen (‘the other viscera […] were not examined on account of the advanced decomposition’

Type of incident: n/a

William Lane, 33, [Occupation not stated]

Occupation or role: [No occupation stated]
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Date of admission: 19 Feb 1845
Date of death: 28 Feb 1845
Disease (transcribed): Circumscribed empyema. Grey hepatisation of the lung. Pericarditis. Hydatid in the liver. Sinus between the coccyx and the rectum not communicating with the gut
Disease (standardised): Empyema (Lungs); Hepatisation (Lungs); Pericarditis (Heart); Cyst (Liver); Disease (Rectum, gut)
Admitted under the care of: Macleod, Roderick
Medical examination performed by: Lee, Henry
Post mortem examination performed by: Fuller, Henry William
Medical notes: 'This patient told us that about 10 days previous to admission he was taken with shivering, soon followed by cough, accompanied by pain in the chest, more especially on the right side, within the four last days’
Body parts examined in the post mortem: Thorax, abdomen

Type of incident: n/a

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