A hundred and fifty years ago there were no effective antibiotics. Brandy didn’t help.
James Cross (1828 – 1882), the great great grandfather of my husband Greg, lost the use of a hand through an infection that would have healed quickly with modern antibiotics.
The Genealogical Index of Names (GIN) compiled by the Genealogical Society of Victoria (GSV) includes an index record of his hospital admission.
James Cross, at the time of his accident a miner, was born on 22 March 1828 at Windle, near Liverpool. I have no information about his immigration to Victoria but other sources such as his death record and newspaper notices from his brother and concerning unclaimed letters, suggest that he arrived around 1853, a date consistent with the ’16 years in the colony’ note on his hospital admission record.
James Cross married Ellen Murray on 28 November 1856 at Black Lead, Bunninyong. By 1869 they had seven children, with the youngest, Mary Gore Cross, born 28 September 1868 at Carngham, less than six months old at the time of her father’s accident.
When as a result of the infection James lost the use of his hand, a local singing group called the Carngham Amateur Ethiopian Minstrels gave a charity concert to raise money for him.
On 31 January 1882, thirteen years after this unfortunate encounter with the ineffective medical remedies of his time, James Cross died in Carngham of dysentery.