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One of the most shocking suicides we have ever had occasion to chronicle took place about ten o'clock this morning, at Lewi&ville Terrace, in the Tinakori road. The victim and perpetrator of the fearful act was Mr. James Taylor, a clerk in the Treasury, a young gentleman about 27, well-known in Wellington, and a son of the late Superintendent of - Southland. Mr. Taylor was lodging at a house which belongs to Mr. -Simmonds, a plasterer, whose wife had let a bedroom and sitting-room to the deceased and another young gentleman, Mr. Fuller, a olerk in the Publio Works Department. Mr. Fuller, on going to the office this morning, left Taylor, who had complained of a toothache, in bed. Mrs. Simmonds shortly after 9 o'clock went to his room door and told him it w*s getting late. He answered that he was just getting up, and she asked him if she should get him a cup of tea, and he said he should prefer coffee. She took the coffeepot into the bedroom and left it with him. He was then getting up, and she noticed that he had a peculiar look. He was in the habit of taking a tonic before his meals, and Mrs. Simmonds states that she saw him pour out a dose and take it. She thought something was the . matter with him, and asked him before leaving the room if there was anything else she could do for him. He replied in the negative. She then went down the garden, and about six minutes afterwards heard the report of a gun close to her. She ran to the front and looked over the wall into the road to see who had fired. Some men employed by the Corporation were mending the rood in front of the house. They knew nothing about the report except that they had heard it. On returning to the back Mrs. Simmonds passed the bath- | room, a little wooden building at the side of the house, from which it is separated by a narrow pathway. Suddenly a suspicion flashed across her — she cannot tell why, except that it must have been connected with Mr. Taylor's peculiar 100k — that the explosion had something to do with him. It was his custom to take a bath before dressing, and Mrs. Simmonds listened at the bathroom door for the sound of splashing. All waa silent, and impelled by a horrible foreboding, she opened the door and looked in. The sight which greeted her eyes would have appalled the stoutest heart, and it was no wonder that she should give utterance to a loud scream and sink back half fainting. The body of Mr. Taylor, clad in a red dressing gown, lay across the doorway, just inside. His bock rested against the side of the room nearest the front, and his head was turned away and hung over. The whole of the roof of the skull was blown away, and the body was lying in the middle of a pool of blood and brains. The gun with which the fearful deed had been committed — an ordinary fowling piece — was lying across his feet with the muzzle pointed towards him. The wall against which deceased was leaning was spattereed with blood over almost its entire surface. Tho deceased must have placed the muzzle of the gun against his forehead and pressed the trigger with his foot. It is difficult to conceive a suicide carried out with more deliberateness of purpose. Campbell, one of the men working in the road, at once ran off for Dr. Grace, who promptly attended, but a glance was sufficient to show him or any one else that death must have been instantaneous. Mr. Fuller, who was sent for as soon as possible, ig not able to asoribe any motive for the crime. He was out with Taylor yesterday, evening, and they called on Mr. Lewis M'Donough, a fellow clerk; with whom the deceased parted from Fuller, saying they wanted to walk down to the office. Taylor is believed to. have returned home about midnight, but tho next that Fuller saw of him was at five o'clock this morning, when he (Taylor)' woke \ him and told him he he had a very bad toothache. Nothing has yet transpired to show that Taylor contemplated self-destruction. It is, however, known that he had been in depressed spirits for some days, and also that he has been, to some extent, involved in debt lately. As a rule, he appears to have been a steady, well-con-ducted young man. About ten days ago he went to Wanganui, and stayed there five days, without leave' from the head of his department. We understand with regard to this that, whatever rebuke was intended to be administered, nothing had been said to him as to any punishment up to Saturday. Mr. Taylor's family are now residing in Riverton. The unfortunate young man was a prominent member of the Star Boating Club, and had been rowing stroke in one of the crews for the Senior Four-oared race, to come off at the end of this week. He has occupied his situation at the Treasury about five years. It is reported that the inquest, which will take place to-morrow, is not unlikely to reveal some definite motive for the desperate action.

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Bibliographic details

DETERMINED SUICIDE BY A CLERK IN THE TREASURY., Evening Post, Volume XVIII, Issue 119, 17 November 1879

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DETERMINED SUICIDE BY A CLERK IN THE TREASURY. Evening Post, Volume XVIII, Issue 119, 17 November 1879