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From the Sussex Express, 18th April 1902


Much sympathy is extended to Mr James Freeman, the well-know Beddingham game-keeper, in the loss he has sustained by the death of his wife. Mr Freeman lives at Black Cap Farm, a somewhat isolated spot under the hill at Beddingham. His wife, who was 41 years of age, went to bed at 9.45 on Saturday evening and woke at half-past eleven complaining of pains in her chest. Mr Freeman gave her a little brandy and she seemed better, but at half-past four she again woke and said she felt pains. Shortly afterwards she collapsed and Mr Freeman went for assistance. Mrs Tuppen was fetched, and Mr Freeman walked to Glynde to get his sister-in-law to come over. On his return at 6.15 Mrs Freeman was still breathing, but was unconscious, and passed away about half an hour afterwards.

At the inquest which was held at Mr George Freeman’s house at Glynde, on Wednesday afternoon, by Mr Coroner Benson, evidence was given by the husband and Mrs Ruth Freeman, sister-in-law. It appeared that the deceased was pregnant, and that although her usual state of health was good she had suffered from shortness of breath.

Dr Herbert Vallance, of Lewes, stated that death was due to a rupture of the right auricle of the heart.

The Coroner – That is very rare.

Dr Vallance – Yes.

The Coroner said it was strange that deceased should have lived over two hours with a rupture such as the doctor had described.

Dr Vallance said he was surprised. He thought the pulse must have been very weak, just sufficient to keep the heart beating.

The jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes, and expressed sympathy with the bereaved husband.

The Beddingham parish marriage register shows the following entry for 30 December 1907: James Freeman, aged 38, bachelor, gamekeeper of Beddingham, son of Solomon (deceased), gamekeeper, married Edith Tucknott, aged 36, spinster of Bishopstone, daughter of Henry (deceased), carter.

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