Murder, suicide and ever so many deaths

1838 – Wholesale Burglary at Ewyas Harold

On the night of 13th July, seven dwellings were broken into – Mr. Lewis, Haulier, was plundered of a hat;  shawl; new shoes and other articles as well as money.  His door was not locked but he had left the key in the door – unfortunately, the thieves locked him in on their way out!

Mrs. Jones had windows removed from her house, but iron bars prevented the thieves from entering and they were only able to take a brass standard for weighing sovereigns etc. which was within reach.

Panes of glass were also removed at the Vicarage occupied by Miss Williams, and a box containing wafers and some trifling articles were taken.

Mr. Price, Wheelwright;  Mr. Morgan, Tailor, and other people were also burgled.

On a tip off, John Bason was apprehended in Hereford and he was found to have about his person the following:

one live black rabbit;  a pair of new leather gloves;  a ruler;  a pair of silver plated spurs;  a quantity of vegetables;  an old and a new garden line;  a box containing a small wafer;  a flint and steel;  a tinder box, and a file.

Good grief!



1856 – Terrible effects of Indulgence in Intemperate Habits

Charles Watts, was a known drunk who was “subject to mental derangement”.  He neglected both his home and business in the pursuit of his great love of alcohol and his life went from bad to worse, with him alternating between inebriation and depression.

One night he arrived home in his usual state of extreme drunkenness, and went to bed.  His wife of 34 years  heard him get up in the early hours, and went to see what he was up to;  she found him carrying a jug in which there was a preparation of arsenic that he had readied for dressing his sheep………before she could stop him, he drank the contents down.

He very quickly started to be sick, and his wife rushed to the chemist, Mr. Jones, for an antidote;  emetics were administered  and Charles thought that he might recover, but after a few days his body gave up the struggle and he died.

At the inquest, a verdict of “suicide under temporary insanity” was recorded.

1858 – Fatal Accident at Quarry

Joseph Bricker, a quarryman aged 36 from Ewyas Harold, with a wife and four children, was killed by a fall of earth and stone.

He and his fellow workman, named George Gwatkin, were raising stone for repairs to Dulas Court, when about a ton of soil and rock fell on them.  George said that when the landslide occurred he himself was knocked down, but then saw that Joseph had been almost completely buried.  He managed to get him out, but Joseph died some half an hour later before the surgeon could arrive.

1876 – Shotgun Accident

Now – I KNOW that this isn’t funny, not in the slightest, but the way it was written for some reason had me in stitches.

“A gentleman named Kedward, living at The Cedars, Ewyas Harold, went into his garden and grounds to shoot wild pigeons.

Getting into a ditch to lie concealed awaiting the return of the birds to his peas, he placed the gun behind him, when both barrels went off simultaeneously, blowing away the whole of the back part of his head, and carrying a portion of the brains into an appletree ten yards distant.

He was found by his gardener, who had been attracted to the spot”

1860 – Cruelty to Horses Punished

It is apparent from reading many reports that cruelty to animals was not tolerated, and when perpetrators were caught they were fined heavily.

William James Morgan, a Haulier, was guilty of gross cruelty in the form of neglect and starvation – he was looked on with disgust, and was fined £1 16s 6d with expenses, together with £3.

1861 – Death from Excessive Drinking

James Preece a labourer of around 60 and unmarried, got himself thoroughly drunk one Saturday night at Ewyas Harold.

The next morning he was discovered quite dead in a ditch on the Abbeydore Road.

The verdict at the inquest was “found dead in a ditch from excessive drinking”

1877 – “Dastardly Outrage on a Child”

I would have stronger words for this, reported in the Gloucester Citizen:

“Mr. Justice Lindley had before him at Hereford Assizes yesterday a very bad case of criminal assault.

The prison, a labourer named Joseph Williams aged 37, was indicted for committing a rape on Mary Ann Titley, a girl 10 years old, at Ewyas Harold on 8th January”

It seems that Mary had been sent by her mother, a small holder, to drive a flock of sheep from the village common into an orchard.  The prisoner who was not local stopped her and asked the time.  When she replied, horrid man threw her to the ground then threatened her with a knife to stop her screaming whilst he abused her.

Medical tests showed that the full offence had been committed, and although the prisoner tried to deny the charge the evidence was too great and he was sentenced to seven years’ penal servitude.

1888 – Golden Valley Extension Railway Bill

This Bill was to enable the Golden Valley Railway Company Ltd. to make new railways – one was a twelve miles stretch from Ewyas Harold to Monmouth.

1891 – Doctor Poisoned Himself with Chloral

Mr. W.H. Robert Stanley M.D., aged 37 was lodging with Mr.  George a Wheelwright.

When the doctor returned one night, he appeared to have been drinking which was rather unusual for him, and he went straight to bed, but at about midnight he rapped on the floor of his room.  Mr. George went straight up to him, and was asked for a bottle of Chloral Hydrate P.B.;  Liebig’s Extract, and some water.

Having been supplied with these, the doctor filled a cup with water and the Chloral Hydrate and drank it;  Mr. George questioned the amount of Chloral, but the doctor said that he knew what he was doing.

Some time later, Mr. George returned to check on the doctor, and found that all the extract had gone from the bottle and the man was extremely ill so he sent for Dr. East.  By the time he arrived, it was too late, and although emetics were administred and artificial respiration was carried out death had claimed W.H. Robert Stanley.

Suicide was not suspected – more a case of addiction.

1893 – Traffic Offence

Benjamin Gwillim a farmer of Ewyas Harold was convicted of driving without lights, and Police Constable Boucher said that he had to unbuckle the reins to prevent the defendant from driving on.

A 19th century version of modern plods taken away car keys!

Benjamin was fined 5s with 10s 6d costs.


1899 – Ewyas Harold United

The members of Ewyas Harold United Football Club held their first dinner at the headquarters of the club, the Red Lion Inn.

Unfortunately the weather was so bad that attendance was poor.

1886 – Suspected Murder by Tramps

The body of an old woman was found in a shed at a brickyard in Ewyas Harold.

She had decided to search the shed for tramps, but when she didn’t return a search was made and she was discovered in a pool of blood.

Two tramps were arrested.