June Barbara Hewitt contacted Historic Hamilton and she wrote:
“I received so much wonderful help before I was hoping someone could help me with another puzzle. This is on behalf of a cousin who lives in Australia. We are both hoping for more information about a death.
The particulars are Hugh Logan Cotton Weaver died June 16th 1858 10 Postgate street Hamilton. Death caused by a wound to the throat. Died about 32 hours after infliction of injury. Attended by doctor Wm Stockwith? Hamilton. Last saw him about two hours before his death.
Buried Hamilton Parish Churchyard. Information from Thomas Dykes Esq? Procurator Fiscal. Registered July 5th 1858. We both thought it was a suicide but our question is “If Hugh had taken his life would he have been buried in sacred ground and is there any information in the papers of the time? Thank you for your patience.”
June, I did some further research on this Barbara and it was sadly suicide. Hugh was known to have been “In a temporary state of insanity” at the time he made an attempt to kill himself. I have a question, you stated that his name was Hugh Logan? However, when I looked at his death certificate, the given name was Hugh Kerr, does this make any sense to you? I also found a report, that was printed in the Hamilton Advertiser on the 19th of June 1858 (Page 2) and the given names was Hugh Carr, however, this could be down to the person giving incorrect information to the reporter who covered the story.
Here is a transcribe from the 1858 story on Hugh:
“MELANCHOLY SUICIDE, Early on Tuesday morning, Hugh carr, a weaver to trade, in a state of temporary insanity put a termination to his life by cutting his throat with a razor. The unfortunate man did not go through the operation completely, although the wind-pipe was cut entirely through. He lingered in a very precarious state for about a day, and all efforts to save life failed. deceased was well-known in Hamilton amongst a large circle of acquaintances and has left a wife and family to lament his untimely end.”
Hugh was married to Magdalene and they had at lease 3 children between them, they were William, Magdelene & Hugh. Magdalene doesn’t seem to have married again after her husband’s death and she later moved to 25 Campbell Street and gained employment as a housekeeper.(1851) She later moved to 45 Chuch street with her daughter Magdalene, Daughter Margaret and her Grandson Hugh (1871) I don’t see any trace of the family in Hamilton after the 1871 census.
Thomas Dykes who was mentioned as the procurator fiscal was one of three well-known brothers in Hamilton, His Brothers were Dr William Dykes of Woodview House, Burnbank Road & Dr John Dykes of Woodside House, Woodside Walk, Dr John who was a Naval Doctor and was tragically killed when he was hit by a train at Whifflet station in Coatbridge in 1863.
It is noted that Hugh was laid to rest in the Old parish Churchyard! I have attached a Plan showing where the churchyard graves are located and I can only see one lair opened around this time and this is the same family one then he is buried at Lair 323, This lair was opened in 1832 by another Hugh Kerr,could this possibly be his father? I don’t have Hugh’s parents details, as the informant who registered the death did not supply the registrar with the names. If he was indeed buried inside the grounds of Churchyard, then this would have been at the minister’s discretion.
I have also paid a visit to the old churchyard today and I have taken some pictures for you, these headstones are the ones shown on the map. As the headstones are 184 years old, they are really worn away, I didn’t have a crayon and paper, or I would have taken a rubbing for you.
I hope that this helps your friend in Australia.