Suicide on the Market Square, 1872

Bucks Herald, 12 Oct

SUICIDE.- We gave a brief report last week of the suicide by poison of Thomas Langton, an itinerant razor seller, better known throughout the district as “Poker.”  On Thursday an inquest was held at the Board Room, Winslow Union, before R. De’Ath, Esq., coroner. It appeared from the evidence of Mr. Parrett, chemist, that about a quarter past two o’clock on Wednesday afternoon the deceased, who had a stall in the market, came into his shop, and after making remarks about the weather, asked for an ounce of laudanum.   Mr. Parrett asked whether it was for internal or external application, and deceased said external – it was for a horse.  Witness served him with it, and soon after heard an alarm, and ascertained that deceased had swallowed the poison.  He at once administered an emetic, and sent for medical aid. – Mr. Thomas Simons, hairdresser, stated that deceased had a stall near the front of his shop [14 Market Square], in the Market Place.  He saw deceased leave his stall, and go into Mr. Parrett’s shop, and soon after come back to his stall.  He took off his hat and looked upward for a minute, then tore the paper off a bottle and drank the contents, and immediately laid down upon the ground.  He (Mr. Simons) went and asked him if he was ill.  Deceased said “I have took a dose that will settle me, tell my wife I forgive her.”  Witness assisted to convey him to Dr. Newham’s surgery, where the stomach pump and other means were used, but he became unconscious and was removed to the Winslow Union, where he died the same night. – Mr. Brise, innkeeper [Royal Oak], and Sergeant Clear, said they had noticed that deceased appeared very strange in his manner, and that he was under the delusion that persons were constantly following him from place to place on purpose to kill him.  Verdict, “Suicide when in a state of unsound mind.”

According to other reports the deceased was 46 and known as "the political razor grinder". His full name was given as Thomas Francis Langton. The Oxfordshire Weekly News gave the surname as Laughton. He visited markets at least as far away as King's Lynn.

Back to Families / People