77 Farm Road.

Shortly after 10 o’clock on Saturday the 7th October 1950 a Burnbank woman heard the sound of gunfire. She ran next door to the house at 77 Farm road. There she was shocked to find her neighbour, Mrs Agnes Mason, aged about 30 lying unconscious in a pool of blood. She had sustained gunshot wounds.
The neighbour ran for assistance, but Mrs Mason died before she could be given medical attention. A man was later questioned by Hamilton burgh police and detained at Burnbank police station.
Mrs Mason’s baby of a few months was taken from the house and is now being cared for by relatives.
The area where the tragedy occurred is a quiet new housing scheme on the outskirts of Burnbank. The Mason’s home is a Ground-floor one of the four-in-a-block type.
At the home of Mrs Cooper, Mrs Masons mother at 5 Sempie Street in Burnbank grief-stricken relations sat in silence.
Mrs Cooper told a “Sunday Post” man that her daughter had been married for two years.Mrs Mason was fortunate in getting a house soon after her marriage. It had belonged to her husbands father after he had died. (Ref Sunday Post 8th October 1950)
A man allegedly to have shot his wife will be tried at Glasgow High Court on December 12th. He is James Mason and today he has appeared on a pleading diet before sheriff N M L Walker.
He denied having on October the 7th, in his house at 77 Farm Road Burnbank Hamilton, Assaulted his wife Agnes Allan Cooper or Mason and discharged a loaded shotgun at her and shot her in the neck and “Did Murder Her” An agent on behalf of Mason tendered a plea of insanity.(Ref Dundee evening Telegraph Sat 2nd December 1950)
James Mason (39), who stated to have been dabbling in spiritualism, was at Glasgow High Court today found unfit to plead on charge of murdering his wife with a shotgun. He was ordered to be detained during the King’s pleasure.
It was stated that after shooting his wife Mason tried to kill himself. Three times he loaded the gun and put the muzzle under his chin and Three times he pulled the trigger, but he escaped with neck burns. He believed that some heavenly power was saving his life.
Three doctors today stated that mason was insane. One of them said he was a Jekyll and Hyde personality — a victim of schizophrenia. Dr George Scott, prison doctor at said the shooting took place at Farm Road Burnbank, Hamilton, October 7. Mason worked in the pits until 1940, when was called up for the Army. He said he didn’t want to go. He said was altogether opposed to the shedding of human blood.
He was discharged unfit when he found unsuitable to stand up to the conditions of warfare. After a month in hospitals in Holland and Belgium he came home and married Agnes Allan Cooper,a child was born five months ago. Mason believed he possessed great religious truths and it was his mission to make them known to the world.
His married life was unhappy. He thought his wife was trying drive him mad. At this stage 6 foot tall Mason had a seizure in the dock. His body went rigid and he collapsed threshing his arms Dr Scott left the witness box to give medical attention. (Ref: Dundee Evening Telegraph Tue 12th December 1950)
As the event happened still in some peoples memory i have not pursued this story further. It would be sad to think that this event happened as a result of “Shell Shock” and like millions of other men during the war James Mason was probably never treated for it.


2 thoughts on “MURDER AT 77 FARM ROAD, BURNBANK”

  1. Just found this by chance. I am greatneice of James Mason and spent time with him as a child at my grandmother’s house as he was allowed weekend visits in his later years. I remember him well being a very quiet man sitting in the same chair all weekend watching TV and not much interaction alough do recall occasionally he would give us money for the ice cream van. Whilst I knew some of his history your article shed light on issues I wasn’t aware of. Such a tragic story which continued in respect of his young son whom my loving grandparents brought up. I understand he went down the wrong path so to speak and he was stabbed to death in Glasgow sometime in late 60’s early 70’s
    Holden (née Reid, grandmother married name)

    Ps also have a very colourful history of my mother’s side of the family (Devlin’s in Blantyre) In particular my grandfather Michael Devlin who I understand was in his teens when sent to Canada during the depression but was deported although not sure of reasons however understand the story hit the press. I have tried to research this without success. He was also a conciencious objector during war which I would love to research.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Brenda,

      Thanks for getting in touch, yes it was a real tragedy that happened was at Farm road.

      I see what I can do to find what happened to his son and I will try to see what happens to your grandfather in Canada.

      Have you any pictures of your great uncle by any chance?



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