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Barnes, Henry (1819–1886)

Mr. J. Williams (the Acting City Coroner) conducted an enquiry on Tuesday afternoon at the Sir John Barleycorn Hotel into the cause of the death of Henry Barnes, an elderly man, whose body was discovered floating in the lake on Monday afternoon. Several witnesses were called, from whose evidence it appeared that deceased was missed from his home on Friday last. The police were informed, and every search was made, but without avail. On Monday afternoon, however, a lad named Powell saw the body floating in the Torrens Lake, on the railway side, near the Weir. He informed the water police, and Police-constable Thomas at once went to the spot and removed the body to the Morgue. On examination he found a large stone weighing about 14 lb. inside the breast of the man's shirt. Dr. Jay stated that he had seen the body, which was in an advanced state of putrefaction. There was mud under the fingernails, and the tips of the nails were broken off. The thumb nails were in a perfect condition. The cause of death was asphyxia from drowning. The son and daughter of deceased said that he had lately been very depressed. During the very hot weather at the beginning of the year he was sunstruck, and must have lain in the Park Lands in an unconscious condition for several hours. He had never since been very well. He had been looking for work, but was generally met with the reply that he was too old. When he left home on Friday he did not say where he was going. Deceased had never threatened to take his life. The Jury, after a short retirement, found that the deceased was drowned whilst in an unsound state of mind, the effect of a previous attack of sunstroke.

Original publication

Citation details

'Barnes, Henry (1819–1886)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 October 2021.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2021

Life Summary [details]


11 August 1819


26 February 1886
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship