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Cause of death - decline?

(22 Posts)
Scarfmaker Sun 14-Feb-10 10:20:10

Was wondering if anyone can shed some light on a cause of death I have on a certificate.

The date of death is May 1841 in Kegworth, Leicestershire. My relation was a 17 year old girl and lived on quite a big farm with her mother, father and brothers and sisters but the cause of death is given as 'decline'.

OP’s posts: |
TrinityIsFallingApart Sun 14-Feb-10 10:34:26

hmm I guess it means that when it was filled in they declined to say

but now I;ve written it it sounds absurd and crazy
sure;y a formal death cert. would be filled in fully regardless of the families wishes

you can tell I'm talking nonsense can't you

but at least it's bumped your thread smile

themildmanneredjanitor Sun 14-Feb-10 10:42:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Sun 14-Feb-10 10:54:44

It could be anything without obvious cause, as mmj says. They didn't really look deeply for a cause in those days. I used to work in archives and there were some fab causes of death (so to speak); 'Visitation from God' was quite popular and for children 'Dentition' (teething). I remember one narrative CoD, a coal miner 'Crushed beneath slag' [inappropriate grin ]

Scarfmaker Sun 14-Feb-10 11:32:52

Wow that was quick responses - thanks for all your suggestions.

I suppose thinking about it in those days it could have been anything and the poor girl would have just faded away.

OP’s posts: |
OrmRenewed Sun 14-Feb-10 11:35:10

TB? It seemed to be a common cause of death. 'Decline' sounds quite gentle so I imagine it wouldn't have been something horribly painful at the end such as a cancer?

Ivykaty44 Sun 14-Feb-10 17:52:48

It could be any number of disease, there was no need for a death certificate to be signed of by a doctor. It wasn't until 1874 that a doctor had to sign the certificate.

do you remember all those coffins with bells?

it maybe that a doctor never saw this girl and the family just stated decline.

there are only a number of things you can actually give as cause of death on a certificate - even today.

So the poor gilr may have had tb, consumption or even undiagnosed cancr sad

differentID Sun 14-Feb-10 18:05:55

could it have also been starvation?

fruitshootsandheaves Sun 14-Feb-10 18:16:27

this explains it quite well

bit shock at 'The 76-year-old male with "Testical Decay"'!!!!

Ivykaty44 Sun 14-Feb-10 18:16:54

well it would be doubtful if she lived on a farm, also there would have been some money -you would think unless a bad harvet etc or bad crop. But even then food would have been around from animals etc.

most likely consumption - but then that was often used for jsut about everything, well into the 1930 grin

tb was common, but you would often see the other memebrs die over the years from it aswell - it could sit dormant for years and years and be past through the womb sad

MmeLindt Sun 14-Feb-10 18:20:59

Going by trashy Regency Mills and Boons historical novels I would say that she suffered from unrequited love, then got soaked in a rainstorm and succumbed to a fever.

<weeps into hankerchief>

fruitshootsandheaves Sun 14-Feb-10 18:22:11

<gives MmeLindt a good ole-worldy slap to pull herself together>

frakkinaround Sun 14-Feb-10 18:24:49

Would suspect just general malaise and wasting away - any of the reasons given would be plausible. An undiagnosed infection/contagious illness, bloodloss, even food poisoning would all be classed as decline.

frakkinaround Sun 14-Feb-10 18:26:33

Should add decline was often used for long illnesses/lingering deaths where health declined over a long period of time than a sudden illness, so there would definitely have been some kind of being unwell involved.

Scarfmaker Sun 14-Feb-10 21:00:01

Thanks for all your replies - so interesting!

OP’s posts: |
Itsnotwhatitseems Sun 16-Jul-17 10:58:29

the following description of "Decline" comes from a website specifically
for archaic medical terms. The website is:
antiquusmorbus.com/ You select what language you want and then
select from a list of letters. I chose "D" and found the following. Hope
this helps.
Decline::
Tabes. A gradual sinking and wasting away of the physical faculties;
any wasting disease, esp. pulmonary consumption; as, to die of a
decline. --Dunglison. [Webster1913]

LoveDeathPrizes Sun 16-Jul-17 11:06:47

Decline generally means failure to thrive but applied to older people. It could mean starvation, undiagnosed bad health or otherwise. It's a bit of a tag for miscellaneous.

mummytime Mon 17-Jul-17 22:35:22

One of my great aunts (or great great aunts) went into a decline at 40. I suspect either depression or low thyroid (as it runs in the family) or both.

DrCoconut Fri 15-Sep-17 14:32:42

I saw this on a parish register from the 1820's last weekend. A16 year old girl had died and her burial record gave decline as cause of death.

emmskie03 Wed 28-Feb-18 20:16:18

I saw this and wondered if it could of been something like pernicious anemia?

cdtaylornats Mon 05-Mar-18 22:17:30

I think it is the equivalent of got sick and died - today it would be virus or unknown causes if the doctor had a flash of honesty.

It might even be something like an allergy that wasn't known.

gabsdot Tue 27-Mar-18 11:16:01

My mother found an ancestor of hers who died in the Irish famine. He death was entered in the parish records and it said she died of 'want' I though that was so sad.

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