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Father and Son resuscitated following boating incident

Year 1785, Dr. Lettfom, V.P. and Treasurer

Read by Rupert Uloth – Trustee, Royal Humane Society

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January 9, 1785


Mr. James Smith, his son, and W. Dudley, crossing the river, and attempting to reach at something which floated, by too great exertion capsized the wherry, and were in the water more than ten minutes; when some people in a boat, who saw the accident at a considerable distance, came to their aid, and took them up to all appearance dead : Their bodies were brought on shore, and lay a long time on the Pier-Head without any assistance, from the supposition that these three persons were totally deprived of life. From the time of the accident, till my attendance, was three quarters of an hour; when I had them conveyed to the Three Tuns, employed the usual modes of treatment; and in an hour had the happiness to restore Dudley and the son; but it was one hour and three quarters before I could perceive any symptoms of returning life in Mr. SMith, which commenced with spasms of the face, followed by string convulsions, deep groans, and laborious respiration.

— He continued in this state about two hours –

I found it necessary to take away blood, as he is a man of plethoric habit, and has been much bruised, by being thrown about on supposition of his being dead; but at this time I have the happiness to say, he is perfectly restored to life and health. Mrs. Cotton, to whose house the bodies were conveyed, acted most humanely on the occasion; and I am greatly indebted to Mr. Boston and many neighbours for their kind assistance.

W. Lawrence

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