Author: Dr Nick Young
Date published: 10/04/2018
© Dr Nick Young


1885: Mr James Clayton of the Kennet beer house committed suicide on this day.  He had been reported to have been seen early in the morning but apparently went back home to bed.  Later that morning Mr Robert Legg, who was the employer of Mr Clayton stopped at his house.  Mr Clayton’s wife, Mrs Jane Clayton, went to fetch her husband but could not open the door.  She called for Mr Legg to assist and upon opening the door found Mr Clayton had hung himself.  He was immediately taken down, laid out on the bed and medical help sent for.  Help arrived too late and he was pronounced dead at the scene.  Sometime between 12pm and 1pm one of his sons, Henry, also attempted to commit suicide in the taproom of the Kennet beer house. He was recorded as saying “I’ll cut my throat and go by the side of my father”.  He was held back from doing so by two men and was subsequently arrested and taken to the police station.  An inquest later heard how family issues including how Mr Clayton’s cousins’ suicide had been affecting him.  His death was recorded as suicide by hanging whilst in a state of unsound mind.

Reading Mercury 4 August 1885

Missing years

In Account book – buried 7 August 1885

Not in Mrs P

Sources:reproduced from “Newbury 365” by Dr. Nick Young and is included with his kind consent.

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