Cross, Reuben

Cross, Reuben         1886 February 13th            Andover

Considerable gloom was cast over our town on Saturday afternoon, by a report that had been circulated that Mr Reuben Cross, the landlord of the Phoenix Brewery, Chantry-street, had killed himself. The rumour, unfortunately, turned out to be too true.

The deceased had for some time previously been under medical treatment, and at times he would fall into a melancholy mood, but notwithstanding this, no fears were entertained that he would destroy himself. Mr Cross had been about the town in the morning doing business with several tradesmen, and appeared to be in genial and happy spirits within less than an hour of the suicide.

Between one and two o’clock, however, he went out to the back of his house on to the lawn, taking his gun with him. Shortly afterwards an explosion was heard, and the deceased was found lying on the ground across the path, his head presenting a fearful spectacle. One side of the face was completely blown away, and the brains protruded. A short distance from the body was an umbrella, with which it is supposed the trigger of the the gun (a double barrelled one) was touched. From the appearance of the body it was evident that the muzzle of the weapon had been placed in the mouth previous to firing.

An inquest was held on Monday morning, at the Eagle Inn, before the borough coroner, Mr Alex. Farr, and a jury, of which Mr Henry Blanchard was foreman.

The evidence of the various witnesses showed that the deceased met with his death by his own hand, and a verdict of “Death during temporary insanity” was returned.

Dr F H Elliott stated that he had been attending him about a month previously. Deceased complained very much of sleeplessness, and consequent depression of spirits, but during the past week he had been showing evident signs of recovery.

Great sympathy is expressed for the widow (who has just had a severe illness) and family in their bereavement. Mr Cross was a man of a very genial disposition, of great musical ability, and was always ready to lend a helping hand towards anything tending to the social welfare of the town. He also held the post of Superintendent Registrar of Marriages, was a staunch Churchman, and on special occasions would always be found in the choir, giving his assistance towards carrying out the choral festivities in St Mary’s Church.


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