Playing with Edged Tools – A wedding disaster 1889
Last night, just for fun, I decided to search Trove using “Haverfordwest”. This is the town in Wales, where my ancestors, the TAYLOR family originated. I really didn’t expect to come across anything, and was just idling in front of the TV really. To my surprise there were quite a few articles, giving me a view of life in this town in the 19th Century. Some of the articles were very funny. Many, including the article below concerned the use of dynamite in social situations.
The article says Haverfordwest is in England, but that it incorrect. It is a town in Wales. When I visited there 12 years ago, I found a huge, bustling city, but this article refers to it as “a tired little settlement”. Not sure what to assume from that.
The article is about a wedding party that turned to tragedy. It is only with the passage of time that these occurences could be considered comical. At the time the events that occurred would have been disastrous.
A joyous wedding party at Haverfordwest (Eng) lately struck a new idea in marriage celebrations, and left behind them a considerable bill for repairs in consequence. A blushing thing , with bedpost extremities had just contracted a union with a noble youth in the coachbuilding trade, and their friends honoured the occasion by
letting off six dynamite cartridges in the principal street of the tired little settlement. It was probably the first time they had fooled with dynamite, and wben they saw the whole street rise up in fragments they were surprised—a little. A passing horse gave a sort of sneeze and then scattered its head in fragments all around the place. The four wheels and the sides and the top and most of varnish were blasted off the wedding chariot, and the dinner was blown off the table in an adjacent hotel. About 97 windows were smashed into small dust, and the inhabitants suffered a great deal through having the glass driven into their systems, and ever since the disaster, Haverfordwes has been subject to nervous debility, giddiness, floating specks before the eye, St. Vitus dance, locomotor ataxy and systems akin to the above.
The bill amounts to more than the whole wedding party will be able to pay in a hundred years, and the bride has suffered so severely from fright and anxiety, that her sturdy knees have given way under her and let her down in a heap about three times a day ever since.
I’m not sure what to make of the description of the bride as “a blushing thing with bedpost extremities”.
A couple of explanations of terms:
Saint Vitus Dance: A disorder characterised by rapid, uncoordinated jerking movements primarily affecting the face hands and feet. (Wikipedia)
Locomotor Ataxia: The inability to precisely control one’s own bodily movements. Persons afflicted with this disease may walk in a jerky non fluid manner.
This article is from The Warwick Examiner and Times 08 June 1889, however it was reported in many newspapers across the country.