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Posted by on February 24, 2012

“On Saturday night last, the 14th instant, I was milking the cows in the yard when I heard a child scream.

I ran to the house immediately and saw the deceased outside the door with her clothes on fire.

I ran to her and tore her clothes off.”

This is part of the statement made by Michael Morton at the inquest into the death of his daughter Elizabeth, who died on November 16th 1863, aged 4, from burns she received when her nightdress was set alight by the candle she had been playing with.

Her sister Catherine testified:-

“I remember Saturday night last I was in the kitchen with my sister.

She cut up a candle into small pieces and was burning ants with them on the table – I did not see her clothes catch fire – I fell asleep and awoke when I heard my sister scream – she was then in the yard”

Other sections of statements made by the Doctor who attended, of Michael, and a witness Lachlan Roberts, tell of the treatment of her burns with salad oil and grated potato.

Elizabeth is buried in the family grave in the Waanyarra Historic cemetery.

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