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Suicide of a clergyman

Source: Tenby Observer 05/04/1888       Date: 1888
Copyright:       Type: Oral story

SHOCKING SUICIDE AT ABERAYRON. The Rev. John Lloyd Jones, M.A. (Oxon), committed suicide by taking a quantity of strychnine in a "blue" of beer at the Victoria Inn, Aberayron, on Saturday afternoon. About a month ago he returned to the neighbourhood (Aberayron) after having served an engagement of seven months as curate in charge at Thorphamlet, near Norwich. During that month he had stayed chiefly at the residence of a cousin at Wern, near Newquay. On Friday he came to Aberayron, and slept at the Victoria Inn. On Saturday morning he purchased half an ounce of strychnine at the shop of Mr J. Lloyd Lewis, chemist, entering ia the receipt book, as required by the Pharmacy Act, that he wanted it for killing magpies on the farm of Wern. He explained to Mr Lewis that he meant to crack a number of eggs, and to insert a certain quantity of the poison through the cracks, and afterwards to scatter the eggs in a field. After procuring the poison Mr Jones spent the morning at the shop of Mr John Evans, watchmaker, and other places, conversing freely and being apparently in his ordinary frame of mind, except that, judging retrospectively, he appeared to be somewhat sad and dejected. The town was startled about five o'clock by the intelligence that he died in extreme convulsions, at the aforesaid house. The death struggle lasted about twenty minutes. The people of the house did not see the deceased putting the poison in the beer. There was a portion of the powder left in his pocket, and of the quantity which he had put in the beer, only a part was dissolved, the. rest forming a sediment at the bottom and on the sides of the "blue" - a sufficient quantity to kill two or three more people. He had drunk all the beer. The deceased gentleman, who was 54 years of age, was the son of the late Rev. Mr Jones, at one time vicar of Towyn, North Wales. The latter was a landed proprietor, being the owner of the Pendderw property, near Newquay, which his son inherited. The deceased's mother was the heiress of the Lanlwyd estate, near Aberayron. Mr Jones was for years curate at Brechfa, Carmarthenshire, under the Rev. Mr Jones, Abergoleu, the vicar, who is the brother of Mr Jones, Tanyrallt, and Dr. Jones, Newquay. He was also at one time curate at Talgarreg, in the parish of Llanarth. His career was one of extraordinary vicissitudes, ranging from affluence to the direst poverty. At Thorphamlet he seems to have discharged his clerical duties faithfully and well, and only came away at the expiration of his engagement, after the restoration of the vicar to health. The cause of his having destroyed himself just now is the subject of much conjecture. Personally, he was a kind and harmless man. Much sensation has been created by the occurrence, which is increased by the consideration that a life which opened under prospects so fair should have ended in such tragic gloom.
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Victoria Hotel , 19 Victoria Street/corner with Castle Lane, Aberaeron