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In the aftermath of the Royal Charter Gale, 25-26 October 1859, the Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian printed a report that the 'little smack called the Merlin, which was employed in carrying lime stones from Barry to Cardiff was lost, and the captain and his brother, and a man who used to help them on the beach, were drowned'. The MERLIN had been wrecked off Cold Knapp Point.

The burial records for St Mary the Virgin, Cardiff, for 1859 contain references to the interments of an Ebenezer Howells of Alice Street, age 17; Thomas Copper of Mount Stuart Place, aged 43 years; James Jones of Loudoun Square, aged 17 years; and John Jones also of Loudoun Square, aged 31 years, all on 29 October 1859. The ‘man who used to help them on the beach’ in the newspaper report above may refer to Thomas Cooper, he being older than Ebenezer Howells.

It is possible that the MERLIN’s were amongst the first burials at the newly opened Cathays park cemetery. The cemetery had been consecrated by the Bishop of Llandaff the day before, 28 October 1859. The burial plot references noted in the margin are C37, LL38 and MM1.

Extending to 35 hectares, Cathays Park is one of the largest Victorian cemeteries in the United Kingdom. It was laid out using the ideas of John Claudius Loudon with chapels, lodge and gateway designed by Mr. Robert G. Thomas of Newport, together with Mr. Thomas Waring, town engineer. The cost was £5,200. Victorians would visit and treat cemeteries in a similar way that we do parks today. They would spend their Sunday afternoons walking through the cemetery enjoying the peacefulness and the vast array of plants and trees, many imported from overseas. The site has continued to provide burial space to the people of Cardiff up to 1986.

Sources include:
Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian, Glamorgan, Monmouth, and Brecon Gazette, 29 October 1859, pg5, col 4,
Burials records for St Mary the Virgin 1859, pg220-1, Glamorgan Archives online database

Whereabouts in the Cathays Park might the graves of Thomas Copper (LL38), James Jones (MM1) and John Jones (LL1) have been located?

What were the key ideas that Loudon expounded about the design of new municipal cemeteries?
Curl, James Stevens, 1983, John Claudius Loudon and the Garden Cemetery Movement in Garden History

Does the Census Return of 1851 provide a more precise address for the Jones family in Loudoun Square? Did John Jones have any other relatives living with him?

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