I've written on Elizabeth TREVITHICK nee CANDY 1832-1871 (http://thehistoryofmatt.blogspot.com/2008/03/elizabeth-candy-and-thomas-trevithick.html). The article below (a transcript was posted previously) describes the inquest into Elizabeth's death. She was heavily pregnant and living with five of her young daughters in a poverty-stricken area of Sydney on Linden lane. The article describes the evidence given by her daughters, and reveals that their father was working the goldfields in Tambaroora (in employment for a mine). It can only be assumed that the elder children (stated as working) were providing for the family along with whatever support their father sent down from the fields. Given their living conditions this was obviously meagre.
While the article states the death was caused by pulmonary consumtion, the headline states 'apoplexy accelerated by intemperance'. Either way it's one of the most tragic stories I've come across.
Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 22 July 1871CORONER'S INQUEST
DEATH FROM APOPLEXY ACCELERATED BY INTEMPERANCE - Yesterday forenoon, the City Coroner (Mr. Henry Shield) held, at the Australian Inn, Parramatta-street, an inquest touching the death of a woman named Elizabeth Trerethick, who was found dead in her bed on the previous morning. Elizabeth Trerethick, daughter of deceased, deposed that she was in the service of Mr. Abigail, of Goulburn-street ; her mother, who hd resided at 27, Linden-lane, off Parramatta-street, was 39 years of age, and a native of Cornwall (England) ; she had been in the colony nineteen years, and had been seventeen years married ; her husband (witness's father) was alive, and at present at Tambaroora, where he was employed at a crushing-machine ; deceased has left seven children, of which witness was the eldest ; the last time she saw her mother alive was on Monday last at her residence ; she then complained of a pain in the chest, of which she had complained for the last three weeks ; she did not obserce that she was suffering from cold ; her father had not been in Sydney for the lsat eight months, believed that her mother was near her confinement ; occasionally she drank to excess ; for the last three weeks she had taken a little pale brandy for the pain in her chest ; her children were persons living with her ; witness and her eldest brother lived away from hom ; previous to the last three weeks she enjoyed good health ; she had not been under medical treatment ; she was not aware she had taken any medicine ; in consequence of something she heard on Thursday morning, witness went home, and found her mother dead. Emma Trevithick, twelve years of age, deposed that on Monday last her mother took three penny-worth of laudanum for pains in her chest ; a woman in their lane gave deceased a bottle of medicine on Sunday ; her mother had been confined to her bed since Monday last ; she took a shilling's worth of brandy daily ; witness got the brandy, and went twice daily for it ; her other sister also went for brandy for her ; she had had nothing to eat since Monday ; she and her four sisters were the only persons in the house ; witness prepared the meals ; she got some corn flour on Monday for her mother, but she would not take it ; witness had been at home since Monday ; she and her sisters slept in the same room with deceased ; on last Wednesday night deceased would not speak ; she was groaning ; got up on Thursday morning, called her mother, but got no answer ; found she was dead ; sometimes she would have a glass of ale as well as pale brandy. Adele Fifer also gave evidence , which was corroborative. Dr Schuette deposed that, from his own observation and the evidence given at the inquest, he was of opinion that death had resulted from pulmonary consumption. The jury found that death had resulted as above.