Press Cutting: Report of Coroner’s Inquest - James Jones, found drowned
Transcript of an article in the Hereford Times Saturday, December 9, 1865 Page 8 second column.
Longtown: found drowned.
On the 2nd inst, an inquest was held at the Cornewall Arms Inn, parish of Clodock, before H Underwood Esq, coroner, on the body of James Jones who was reported in our last week’s paper as missing. The first witness called was Wm. Prosser, a farm servant, who stated that on the 23rd ult. he saw the deceased going down the Hunt House road but had no talk with him and saw nothing strange about him; he did not know that the deceased was given to drink; the next evening he heard that Jones was missing; he had never heard him say he would destroy himself. On the 30th ult. witness searched the river Monnow with a pole and found the body of Jones; the body was not decomposed but the clothes were torn off the left shoulder and his jacket turned over his head round his neck; two half crowns and a florin were found on him. The pole the witness rose him with seemed to catch somewhere about the head and neck and the hook on the pole was sharp; two of them were obliged to pull at the pole to get the body away from some piles; witness thought the deceased lived comfortably with his wife. Mrs Farr, the wife of Mr Farr who keeps the New Inn Longtown stated that the deceased seldom came to their house but he was there on the 23rd ult. and came about 10 o’clock that night; it was a very wet night and the river Monnow was full; the deceased had three glasses of ale at their house and he left about half past 12 the same night. She thought when he left he was a little fresh because he talked more usual, but he was not at all melancholy nor did he say anything about drowning himself; it was about a mile and a half from their house to where the deceased lived; deceased was offered spirits but he refused; he came to their house to see a man of business but witness saw no money pass. There was no quarrelling at their house and she thought that the deceased left alone. Elizabeth Jones, the widow of the deceased, said they had been married nearly 13 years but had no children; the deceased was a widower and had six children by his first wife; witness had one son living near; her son and the deceased agreed very well, and also she and the deceased; he was a contented man and had no trouble about money matters. When he was seen by Prosser, he was on his way to Maescoed on business but he did not tell her that he was going to the New Inn to receive money; he had no money when he left the house on 23rd ult. They parted good friends; she had never heard him say he would destroy himself. He was 64 years of age and was a very sober man. Mr CW Price, surgeon, then deposed to the effect that the wounds on the head and neck were caused by the hook on the pole used by the searchers; neither the contusions nor the wounds would produce death . Verdict: “Found drowned”
The above transcription has kindly been made available by Mr Richard Clements, a descendant of James Jones, who adds:
‘According to the 1861 census, James Jones lived at that time in Hunt House cottage. H is occupation is described on the 1851 and 1861 Clodock census as a sieve maker, and in 1841 as a sivegar. In the Clodock parish register of 1824, his occupation is given as a sivegar, and on the certificate of his second marriage in 1852, his father is identified as a John Jones, whose occupation is also given as a sieve maker. I think James Jones was probably born in Clodock / Longtown around 1800-1801 although I have not found a definitive reference to his baptism.’
Richard Clements has also made available photographs of the following records relating to James Jones of Hunthouse, Clodock:
- Census Entries of 1841, 1851 and 1861
- Marriage Certificate dated 22 June 1862
- Death Certificate dated 20 November 1865 [where he is described as ‘Labourer’]
Images of these records can be downloaded here as a PDF file.