Friday, 27 August 2021

Death on the Canal - 1863, Mary Jones

Death on the (Mon & Brec) Canal

I did the basic research for this blog series a couple of years ago. Then, as usual, flitted along to the next thing that caught my interest. Now I'm trying to flesh the cases out and present to you my justification for not being a fan of walking along the canal on dark and lonely nights... For more canal deaths, check out the master post.


The Monmouthshire Merlin of 9th January 1864 reported that Mary Jones, an elderly lady who lived locally with her son, had been found drowned in the canal on Thursday 31st December 1863. She had left her son's house about 18:00 hours and was ultimately pulled from the canal by two lockmen, William Edwards and Charles Edwards, at 22:00.

An inquest was held at the Pontnewydd Inn on Saturday 2nd January 1864, the jury returning an open verdict in the absence of any evidence. It was deemed most probable that Mary had accidentally slipped into the water.

Monmouthshire Merlin 9th January 1864

The Illustrated Usk Observer and Raglan Herald of 16th January 1864 also covered the story, though failed to add any further detail:

The Illustrated Usk Observer and Raglan Herald 16th January 1864

Without more information I've been unable to pin down the correct Mary Jones in the records - it has to be one of the most common names in Victorian South Wales!

For more like this please click the image below:
Weird Wales

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