Washday in 1899 was a major job. With a husband working in the fields and seven children Mary Ada had got used to hard work. The eldest two children were now married and in homes of their own so with only five at home things should have started to get easier but it didn't seem to work that way. The three older boys now had jobs of their own and Charlotte (aged 8) was at school so only little Harry (aged 4) was left at home. Despite the cold he was happy playing in the yard so Mary Ada was able to get on with the washing. She didn't find the work as easy as she had but it had to be done so there was no point in complaining. If she took a rest everytime she felt unwell her husband William would be home for his dinner before the first load of washing was on the washing line.
In fact it was Charlotte who was home from school for her dinner first. She fould her mother slumped over the washtub and ran next door for Mrs Wood who sent her to bring her father in from the fields.
Mary Ada was dead. The local "bobby" from Hibaldstow Police Station advised the coroner, Lancelot Croope Iveson . The documents tell the story.
Letter advising the coroner of a sudden death
The Witness Statements
The Inquest was held in the Queens Arms, next to Scawby Station. After a few hours it was back open for business!