Unsolved Murders

Maggie Symonds

Age: unknown

Sex: female

Date: 9 Aug 1915

Place: Tylebychan Farm, Devynock, Breconshire

Maggie Symonds was a farm hand at Tylebychan Farm and died from strychnine poisoning.

She had 3.5 grains of strychnine in her stomach which was enough to kill 12 men.

Maggie Symonds had been employed at the farm temporarily but had been asked to stay on by the master who was courting both her and another farm hand. She had been employed to relieve the other servant girl.

The other farm hand said that Maggie Symonds had previously threatened to commit suicide.

She said that after milking the cows on the Monday morning she poured Maggie Symonds out some tea but said that she didn't drink it and then she suddenly fell back on a couch and died within ten minutes.

The other servant girl said that the evening before Maggie Symonds had threatened to throw herself off of a bridge.

At the inquest the foreman asked the other girl if she had been jealous of Maggie Symonds because the master had asked her to stay but the servant girl said 'No'. She was then asked if the same boy was courting the two of them and the servant girl said, 'He has been out with me and with Maggie'. She was then asked if she was annoyed because she went with him and she said 'No, I said she could have him'.

A policeman then asked the girl whether it was true that the master had said on the night before Maggie Symonds's death, 'If that pool were deep enough you would not take me from it', would that not be true, and the servant girl said, 'I cannot say, I never told him so'. The foreman then asked her if the policeman told an untruth and the servant girl said 'No, sir'. The foreman then said, 'You have given your evidence in a very unsatisfactory manner.' The coroner then agreed adding, 'From my personal knowledge you are trying to hide the truth.'.

Other evidence given on oath at the inquest stated that the girls had had a quarrel on the Sunday night.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Nottingham Evening Post - Wednesday 08 September 1915

see Liverpool Echo - Wednesday 08 September 1915

see Western Mail - Thursday 09 September 1915 (includes photo other other servant girl)