‘The Very Plain Elm Case’ might sound like the title of a mystery in an old detective novel, but it is actually a real-life (and death) story relating to William Jones, who was born in 1755 at Abergavenny in Wales. In 1781, he became the curate of the parish of Broxbourne, then a small village just north of London.
Sick to death of London
Although he wrote copious notebooks and journals, only his diary has survived, which was published in 1929 as The Diary of the Revd. William Jones, edited by his great-grandson, Octavius Francis Christie. It starts in 1777 and continues to 1821, when William died. We used a few quotes from his diary in Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England, because he gives revealing and amusing comments on finances, tithes, housing for the clergy and the poor, taking in lodgers, taxes on wine, marriage, snuff, writing materials and the gruesome murder at Hoddesdon Continue reading