Adder Bite

A dramatic incident on a Wakefield Naturalists’ Society meeting on a summer’s day in 1881:

In an attempt stop the poison spreading the ‘venomed finger, as well as the wrist and arm, were bound round with twine as tightly as possible’.

Messengers were despatched to Pontefract for medical assistance and a Doctor Simpson hurried to the place, and recommended that the sufferer should be removed to Pontefract:

“but Mr. Wainwright decided to be driven to his own residence. On reaching Wakefield about midnight, Dr. Wade, the medical officer for the borough, was called. Notwithstanding that poultices were applied at frequent intervals through the night, the sufferer became delirious, the hand and arm assumed unusual proportions, and Mr. Wainwright had evidently much pain. On Sunday afternoon, on a Wakefield correspondent calling at Springfield House, he was informed that the sufferer was sleeping soundly, and that he appeared to be progressing as favourably as could be expected.”

Fortunately Mr Wainwright survived. He died in Wakefield on the 10th April, 1884.

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