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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

"Accidentally poisoned by his wife"

We have met Eve Snook from Wiltshire in a recent post. Her husband was Jonas Foyle. One of Jonas and Eve's children was another Jonas, born in 1794, and he married Jane Vincent and had a son (yet another Jonas), and a daughter, Anna Maria. Anna Maria Foyle was born in 1816 and married an agricultural labourer and woodman called Edward George Macey in the village of Chilmark, in 1841.

I discovered something very interesting while researching this family, as you can see from the burial record for Edward:

Wiltshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813–1916,

Of course, I then looked for a report in the papers and found that it had been reported in the London Morning Advertiser on 24 November 1854.

The story was that Anna Maria had made a pudding for her husband's dinner, and put into it what she believed to be a small quantity of bicarbonate of soda. "Mr Macey ate of the pudding, and then, finding a peculiar sensation in his mouth and throat, he asked his wife whether she had put anything unusual into it. She at once told him, and went to the dresser-shelf and reached down the packet ... to his horror, the poor man saw that it was labelled 'Arsenic–Poison', a packet of which had been purchased shortly before for the purpose of destroying rats. Medical assistance was procured with all speed, and emetics and other things administered; but the unfortunate man had swallowed too much of the deadly drug, and he died. ... The wife, who is unable to read, is in a state of mind bordering on distraction".

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