Elizabeth Smith (1863-1891)

On 27th December 1891 in Madden Street, Cardiff, Elizabeth's husband, James, returned home from his shift as night-watchman at 6:30am to find the house full of smoke. He aroused his neighbour Thomas Griffiths and the two broke into the rear of the house. By the time PC Green arrived the smoke das dissipated, but they saw that a sofa and chairs in the kitchen were still on fire. 28 year old Elizabeth lay on the floor, her body so burned that it crumbled to ash if touched. PC Green extinguished the remaining fire and went upstairs to where 3 year old William still lay in bed, suffocated by the smoke.

Apparently every morning Elizabeth lit a fire and put the kettle for a hot drink to be ready when her husband got home. The remains of a paraffin lamp remained on the stairs. The Coroner thought that Elizabeth had spilled the burning oil as she tripped going downstairs. Elizabeth although badly burnt had died from suffocation.

The Inquest returned a verdict of Accidental death for both Mother and son, both lie buried in the same plot T1331.