Louvain Rees • hellohistoria

An Overdose and Heart Failure | The Deaths of Mrs Yellowlees & Mrs Pringle.

A view of Angelton Asylum. 

In this blogpost, I explore the lives of two women; Margaret and Jessie. Known simply as Mrs Yellowlees and Mrs Pringle, they were the first wives of Dr David Yellowlees and Dr Henry Turnbull Pringle of Angelton Asylum. 

On the surface, it would seem that the only connection they have is that they were both 'just' doctors wives. Although they died 27 years apart there is a much deeper connection between them. Margaret and Jessie both lived in the same house, walked the same corridors, ate with the same dinner guests and both tragically died young. 

Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the lives of Margaret and Jessie have not been documented in great detail. The following information has been drawn together from various certificates, newspaper articles, and archive material. 

The Lonely Soldier | Charles William Murphy

The headstone of Pte. Charles William Murphy.

Those of you who live locally will know the story of the 'lonely soldier' buried in a 'field' behind Glanrhyd Hospital. People say that he died of shell-shock, others say that he was abandoned by his family and that he is buried on his own.

The Stench is Unbearable | Clark's Inspection of Bridgend.

A view of Bridgend. 

On the 4th of June 1849, two petitions were sent to the General Board of Health on behalf of the inhabitants of the hamlets of lower Coity and lower Newcastle – what we now know as Bridgend Town Centre. These petitions requested advice and instructions on to deal with the dangerous sanitary conditions of the town and the growing fear of Cholera.

As a result of these petitions, George T Clark of Talygarn was commissioned to carry out an inquiry into the sanitary conditions of Bridgend. This inquiry took place between the 8th and 11th of August 1849.

His report led to the formation of the Bridgend Local Board of Health. The Bridgend Local Board of Health (The Local Board) had its first meeting in September 1851. It assumed the responsibilities of Bridgend's first local government. As a result of its formation, Newcastle officially became part of Bridgend. For the first time, the town was regarded as one entity instead of two separate hamlets.

George T Clark's report gives us a glimpse into the grim reality of life during the 1840s. Many of us look back with rose-tinted glasses and imagine Bridgend as the picturesque town that is presented to us in Francis Frith photographs.

An extract from the report.

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