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Medical Practitioners

Henry Lewis

Henry Lewis was residing in Morpeth as early as 1836. He was witness at the trial of John Clifford in that year. (1)

In 1838 Dr. Lewis was called on to perform a post mortem on a deceased soldier of the 28th Regiment Michael Ready. The following day Dr. Lewis testified at the inquest.

He found at the post mortem that 'the vessels about the head were in a very turgid state' and a small vessel near the base of the head ruptured with no mark of external violence. Dr. Lewis was of the opinion that ' in the excited state of the deceased's brain the injury might have been caused by a sudden shock such as a fall.'  Ready's fellow soldier John Lestil had been charged with the wilful murder of Ready as he had struck him before he died. Lestil called witnesses to testify that Ready, who was intoxicated, had fallen from a cart and this together with the evidence of Dr. Lewis encouraged the jury to find Lestil not guilty of the murder of Ready.

HIs professional ability came into question in August 1838 when the wife of an Highland immigrant died giving birth. After a harrowing few days of accusations by the woman's family, he was acquitted of neglect of duty and malpractice after her body was dis-interred and examined by the coroner.

Henry Lewis died on 5th January 1841 aged 28 and was buried at St. Peters Cemetery, East Maitland.

The Sydney Monitor reported his death -

Dr. Lewis an old and respected Surgeon, practising at Morpeth was on Friday morning last found dead in his bed. He had previously complained of indisposition, but not so much as to lead to a fear of so fatal a result.

An inquest found that he had died by the 'visitation of God'.



(1) The Australian 9 August 1836



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