Death on the Canal – 1858, Mary Gardener

Death on the Canal - 1858, Mary Gardener


Death on the (Mon & Brec) Canal

I did the basic research for this website collection a few of years back. Then, as normal, flitted alongside to the next factor that caught my fascination. Now I’m trying to flesh the conditions out and existing to you my justification for not being a fan of walking along the canal on dark and lonely nights… For extra canal fatalities, look at out the grasp write-up.


Mary’s case is a minor unusual for this series in that she failed to drown in the canal or even have to have to be pulled from the h2o. As a substitute she dropped down lifeless on the canal side soon after remaining violently assaulted by her partner… The basic principles of the situation had been documented by the Monmouthshire Beacon of May possibly 29th 1858:

Monmouthshire Beacon 29/05/1858

The Hereford Periods of the similar working day carried some extra element, alongside with a variety of other publications like the Hereford Journal (02/06/1858) and the Cornish Telegraph (02/06/1858).

Hereford Times 29/05/1858 Hereford Times 29/05/1898

This is the tale in the Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian:
Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian 05/06/1858 Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian 05/06/1858
Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian 05/06/1858

The more element enabled me to put together a a great deal fuller story of Mary’s everyday living. 

Mary Woodward was born in Painswick, Gloucestershire in 1806. She would later meet fellow Gloucestershire indigenous Ezra Gardener and established up home – in 1828 they had their first child, Jane. An additional daughter, Martha, adopted in 1830. The family members had been still residing in Stroud when the two ladies were being baptised together on June 11th 1832.

At some point involving 1832 and 1839 the spouse and children experienced moved to Trevethin, exactly where William was born in 1839. Caroline followed in 1844 – she and William were baptised jointly in Trevethin on Could 5th 1844 – and Mary Elizabeth 1847, baptised in 1848. At the time of the 1851 census the loved ones had been living on Cwmbran Road.


Mary Gardener 1856 census

In 1853 Mary’s eldest surviving daughter, Martha, married Irish labourer Jeremiah Kelly at St Mary in Risca on 8th March. In the meantime William experienced moved absent to start out a family of his very own. 

By 1858 Mary was 52 and had been married to Ezra, a shoemaker, for above 30 several years. Their former neighbours, Sarah and George Jones, claimed they had under no circumstances listened to the few quarrel then but in the latest months Mary had usually complained to Sarah about ‘that old villain of mine’. Ezra had begun beating her and Mary was organizing to compose to her son William, then dwelling in the north of England, and ask if she could go live with him.

On the Saturday early morning in dilemma, 22nd May possibly 1858, 14-yr-old Caroline described how both of those her moms and dads experienced been at dwelling performing. Her mother was stitching up the heel element of a boot when Ezra ‘told her it was all on just one facet.’ Mary argued that it was not and issues swiftly escalated to Ezra throwing the boot – with the previous inside of – at Mary’s head.

Mary frequented with Sarah Jones shortly soon after 1 o’clock and showed her the swollen mark on her brow. Mary complained it was hurting poorly and when her son-in-legislation, Jeremiah Kelly, known as in that afternoon to examine on his son he was explained to Mary was unwell and had gone to mattress. By close to 7:30 that evening Mary had recovered sufficient to stroll George most of the way property, sending a passing kid to go and get Martha to carry George throughout the lock. 

Martha questioned her mom to occur back to her house, on account of how upset and in suffering she nonetheless appeared from the before altercation, but Mary demurred on account of it receiving late and soaked, and not seeking to have to cross the lock. Martha had only been residence a several minutes when a Mrs Eco-friendly arrived to explain to her that anyone had just had a fit at the lock. Martha ran again to her mother’s facet, but Mary was already lifeless.

John Cousins performed a put up mortem the next Tuesday and mentioned it was possible the blow had induced Mary’s death.

By 1881 Ezra was an inmate of the Pontypool workhouse, as recorded on that year’s census. Ezra was continue to in the workhouse when he died, aged 80, on December 12th 1885. He was buried at Trevethin church on December 14th.

Ezra Gardener Burial Record

For a lot more like this remember to click the graphic beneath:
Weird Wales


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