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The Tabram Inquest; noticed something that seems off.

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  • The Tabram Inquest; noticed something that seems off.

    I have just read through the account of Martha Tabram/Turner's inquest. As most are probably aware, Tabram's husband and her "long time love interest", Mr. Turner, both asserted that if Martha had not been so heavily reliant upon drink at the time there might well have been reconciliation. Fair enough - appears to be the case with Polly Nichols and her paramous as well.

    However, here's the thing. The Doctor responsible for Martha's autopsy reported a "healthy liver." Another acquaintance says that while she "would probably prefer a pint of ale to a cup of tea" she was not a particularly heavy or over-indulgent drinker.


    Would not a healthy liver and the comments of those present suggest that perhaps Ms. Tabram was not the "Problem drunk" she had been painted to be? I realize this is a very thin straw to grasp at, but it is it reasonable to surmise that, theoretically speaking, a close associate who had grown angry with her and might have taken her life or not necessarily been opposed to it might be best suited by painting her as a problem drunk with tendency toward quarrelsomeness?

    Just a thought.

    -M.

  • #2
    I don't think the "healthy liver" finding matters. In addition, what did they call a healthy liver? If it wasn't full blown cirrhosis was it considered healthy? Modern medicine recognizes fatty liver as a possibly sign of alcohol problems. We note in Annie Chapman's postmortem that she was "well nourished", apparently meaning plump. In those days being plump indicated health, at least that the person didn't have consumption.

    Alcohol tolerance varies greatly from person to person. Women especially can get drunk (maybe quarrelsome) on far less than men. Maybe she was a frequent drinker rather than a heavy drinker. Also some reports say she had seizures or had seizures when drunk. If she had a seizure disorder, very little alcohol may have had a profound and negative effect.

    An interesting tid bit to note about Martha is that she wasn't wearing a bodice, just a coat. To me this is interesting and shows she was poor indeed. I know you, Mithras, are a man, but I'm sure all of us women can think of how strange that would feel to not even have a blouse or chemise under a coat. Why was she so poor if she had a husband and paramour who would have kept her?
    Last edited by Anna Morris; February 22, 2016, 01:37 PM. Reason: correct
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
      I don't think the "healthy liver" finding matters. In addition, what did they call a healthy liver? If it wasn't full blown cirrhosis was it considered healthy? Modern medicine recognizes fatty liver as a possibly sign of alcohol problems. We note in Annie Chapman's postmortem that she was "well nourished", apparently meaning plump. In those days being plump indicated health, at least that the person didn't have consumption.

      Alcohol tolerance varies greatly from person to person. Women especially can get drunk (maybe quarrelsome) on far less than men. Maybe she was a frequent drinker rather than a heavy drinker. Also some reports say she had seizures or had seizures when drunk. If she had a seizure disorder, very little alcohol may have had a profound and negative effect.

      An interesting tid bit to note about Martha is that she wasn't wearing a bodice, just a coat. To me this is interesting and shows she was poor indeed. I know you, Mithras, are a man, but I'm sure all of us women can think of how strange that would feel to not even have a blouse or chemise under a coat. Why was she so poor if she had a husband and paramour who would have kept her?
      This is very true.

      You make a good point regarding the lack of a bodice. Didn't catch that on the first pass through. What one earth was happening in her life that things were that bad off?

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      • #4
        Poor Martha had been very poor for years hadn't she?. Possibly Turner (with whom she had a tempestuous relationship at best) didn't give her money to replace clothing when it became too tattered and torn to wear and she didn't have the resources on her own. Much of any money she had seemed to go on drink, and even though Turner had helped her when last he saw her with 1s and 6d to buy goods to hawk that's not much to save yourself from starvation.

        Martha was a large woman and perhaps there had been a bit of a weight gain in the past months through drink and a starchy diet of potatoes and bread, when she could get it, and her bodice or chemise had simply ripped and was just too wrecked to be worn.

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