Thomas Parsons lived near to the Railway Station in The Tything with his wife, two sons and a lodger, Mr Holmes. The marriage was apparently not a happy one probably exacerbated by the heavy drinking of Thomas; he had already served a prison sentence for previously assaulting his wife.
6th August 1890. ATTEMPTED WIFE MURDER AND SUICIDE AT WINCANTON.
On Sunday afternoon shocking tragedy took place in Wincanton. A man named Thomas Parsons attacked his wife with a hammer and inflicted serious, and what may yet prove fatal injuries on her. The wretched man afterwards put an end to his existence by hanging himself to a beam in his own house.
The occurrence took place in what is Known “The Tything,” and the house is almost immediately opposite the Railway inn. Parsons and his wife have lived very unhappily for years, and he has once undergone term imprisonment for an assault upon her. He has not been in regular work for some time, and for the past five or six weeks has been giving way to drink, a propensity which has been his great failing through life. It appears that on Sunday he and his two sons (who are young men of 20 years or more) and Mrs. Parsons had dinner together as usual, and the young men went out for walk.
There was also old man named Holmes present, who lodges at the house, and he had just gone out to fill the kettle when Parsons suddenly attacked his wife with a hammer. He struck her three or more blows on the head, and she rushed into the street bleeding from wounds. The people in the next house, Jordan by name, came to her assistance, and took her into their house and sent for medical aid.
Dr’s. Roe and Wood were soon present and rendered efficient assistance. Meanwhile, Parsons had rushed off in a state of great excitement, and presently the old man Holmes saw him again enter the house and through to the back kitchen. He did not come out or take any notice, and in about quarter of an hour the doctors came and inquired for him, going into the back kitchen found him hanging to a beam. They at once cut him down, and used efforts to restore him to consciousness, but without avail.
The clothes of the wretched man were drenched with water, and it believed that had first attempted to put an end his life by drowning himself in the river which was only short distance away. He was evidently under the impression that be had killed his wife and committed the rash deed to escape the hands of the law.
Parsons, who was 58 years of age, had lived in the town all his life, and was well-known as good-natured fellow, his great failing being his fondness for intoxicating drink. Considerable excitement was manifested when the affair became known, and many visited the neighbourhood and discussed the sad event. It does not appear that the deceased was in liquor when he committed the deed, but it is imagined that his mind was unhinged by his irregular habits.