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EMMA ROWLEY Aged eight, admitted to the school May 1881, placed in First Standard October 1882, and advanced to the Second Standard October 1883. She was taken ill at the end of January 1884, and died, after three weeks illness, on February 21st. A coroner’s inquest was held the following Monday, at which, according to the very complete report given to the “Gloucestershire Echo” of February 26th, the jury found a verdict that “the deceased died of inflammation of the brain”. After some discussion a rider was added, that no blame attached to the teachers or the school authorities. The case was alluded to in the London papers, with the addition that the jury had found that “the lessons were too great a strain for a healthy child of seven or eight”. As a fact this was a statement made by the medical man. In her evidence at the inquest, the mother stated that the girl, though of excitable temperament, slept well and enjoyed her food, of which she had sufficient. About two months before her death she complained of her work, and seemed especially distressed about her home lessons, for failing to do which she had on several occasions been punished. She seemed particularly afraid of the monitress (a girl of 15) who had charge of her class. As the same time, she never complained of the actual severity of the punishment inflicted, nor had any marks of corporal punishment been noticed. During her illness she repeatedly alluded to her school work when delirious. Both the head teacher and the monitress denied that the girl was treated with severity, being naturally quick and hardworking, or that they had ever noticed anything exceptional about her. They had seen no reason to withhold her from examination on the grounds of health, though several children had been so withheld. No complaint had ever been made by the parents as to her treatment at school. The medical man who attended the girl made a post-mortem examination, from which he came to the conclusion that the primary cause of death was meningitis or inflammation of the brain; although there was also inflammation of the lungs, which probably accelerated the issue. He gave it as his opinion that the lessons to be done, and the number of hours devoted to study, were too severe a strain even for a healthy child, and thought the mental strain was the accelerating cause of death. The case was subsequently inquired into by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools, who, however, was unable to elicit any facts of importance, beyond what was furnished at the inquest.