West Meon Infanticide and Suicide 1830
On 28 January 1830 Frances MARCH aged 32 drowned her infant child Amelia and then herself.
The drowning occured in a tub of water usually used as a foot-bath. Her husband Lancelot Foquett March and mother-in-law Mary March were absent at the time.
Inquest discloses Ill Health and Anxiety
The coroner Mr J H TODD held the inquest on both deaths. Evidence given indicated that the mother had suffered from a liver complaint for up to three months previously. She also suffered depression brought on by the irregular habits of her husband. The anxiety about the ultimate fate of her children resulted in progressive symptoms of insanity. This resulted in her expressing concern over the fate of her youngest child who she wanted to die with her.
Verdict of Drowning
The verdict was that Frances, not being of sound mind, killed herself and her daughter by drowning in West Meon. The entry in the Hampshire Advertiser contradicted itself because it said that the inquest was on Frances and her infant son. Later in the report it gave the correct details when reporting the verdict.
St John’s Church, West Meon
The HGS Parish Burial Index shows that Frances Marsh (or March) aged 32 and the infant Amelia were buried in West Meon on 5 February 1830. Lancelot F March was buried in Milford aged 58 on 25 April 1834. Mary Marsh (or March?) aged 79 buried 15 November 1839 in Petersfield may have been Lancelot’s mother.
March Family Baptisms and Marriage
According to HGS Parish Indexes, Lancellot Foquett March was privately baptized on 31 Oct 1795 with the public baptism on 17 June 1796, both in Wickham. He married Frances SMITH on 11 August 1822 in Wickham. Their first two children, John and Lancellot, were born in Wickham. The next three children, Mary, Frederick Foquette and Amelia, were born in West Meon. Amelia was baptized in West Meon church on 12 July 1829.
Name of Lancelot Foquett
Origins of the rare Lancelot Foquett given names are not known but may relate to the Isle of Wight family of that name. Lancelot FOQUETT lived at East Cowes in the late 18th Century and was Master of the Medena Masonic Lodge from 1779 to 1787. He died in April 1797. There was another Foquett family in Christchurch in the 18th Century.
Latest Village Booklet – No 91 Cliddesden – is available now
Cliddesden (VB091) is a comprehensive study of the history of this rural Hampshire village and the parish of St Leonard. It is located two miles south of Basingstoke and west of the A339. The original parish had a detached part at Hatch which is now part of Basingstoke and north of the M3. The Basingstoke […]
Latest Village Booklet – No 90 Shalden – is available now
Village Booklet – No. 90 Shalden – available now. The latest in our range of village booklets is now available to purchase online through our shop or by post from the Sales Office. Shalden is a comprehensive study of the history of this rural Hampshire village and the parish of St Peter and St Paul. […]
The Hampshire Family Historian Volume 43 No.3 – March 2017
The latest Edition of the Hampshire Family Historian is now available for download in the Members’ . Articles include: Lost at Sea by Roy Montgomery, Knights of the Meon Valley by Jerry Sparkes andRoyalty in the Forest (Part II) by Richard Smith PLUS: Members Interests, Research Room, Around the Groups, Book Reviews and Your Letters
Odiham School Teacher
Teacher at a private school in Odiham around 1900 Ellen Valentine James HGS member Peter GODWIN’s Great Aunt was Ellen Valentine JAMES. She was the youngest of three sisters and was born on St. Valentine’s Day 14 February 1869 in Notting Hill. Her parents were Henry George JAMES who had married Ellen MOREY in the […]
Inquest verdict of Visitation of God
Term used in a coroner’s verdict to explain an unexplained death Hampshire inquests The Hampshire coroner’s records were all destroyed which means that no official records exist. The best remaining source is from local newspaper reports though not every inquest and verdict was reported. When reported the content varied from very brief to quite detailed. Examples of […]