As it happens, I’m running a bit short on time so I’m going to keep things brief and shoot from the hip today. Because sometimes it’s good to live on the edge…I think. Anyway, the article you’re about to read is one I found Monday evening while on the hunt for something else entirely. Definitely not the first time it’s happened; in fact, given the frequency with which it has, from now on I’m taking it as a sign from above. And if you’re worried at all that it won’t be interesting, stop that foolishness. You know me better than that.
The Daily Examiner – Monday, 22 September 1890
A Lunatic Captured
On Saturday afternoon last, as the Rev. F.E.J. Lloyd and Mrs. Lloyd were taking a quiet walk on the Lower St. Peter’s Road, they noticed a woman running in the direction of the city, the hair of whose uncovered head was streaming in the wind. Recognizing that she was none other than an escaped lunatic, Mr. Lloyd ran off in pursuit of her, and after a very exciting chase succeeded in capturing her near the entrance to the Exhibition grounds. The poor woman struggled violently, and refused to retrace her steps. By this time Mr. Robt. McMillan, of this city, drove up, and at the request of Mr. Lloyd he drove to Falconwood and apprised Mr. McPhail, who sent a keeper to take her back. Mr. Lloyd was able, but with much difficulty, to bring his captive about a mile along the road in the direction of the Asylum. When Mr. McMillan arrived at Falconwood he found that the Superintendent, having just discovered the fact of the escape of one of the lunatics, was about to telephone the intelligence to the City Marshal, and much credit is due to Mr. Lloyd for his timely aid and successful capture.
Dare I say…Godspeed?
As exciting as the Daily Examiner made it out to be, strangely, it was the only newspaper that covered the incident (I checked), a fact that brings into play the possibility of sensational journalism. In any event, here’s a map of the area where the story plays out, taken from Meacham’s Atlas. It predates the event by a decade, but it does show Falconwood highlighted to the right, and what would become the Exhibition Grounds to the left. (The former began life as a private estate before its conversion and expansion into a mental health facility in 1879, to replace the decrepit York River Asylum in Brighton; the latter is where we now gather to watch harness racing.)
As a responsible historian, I did a spot of background research to get a sense on some of the key players involved, and was quite surprised by what I found on our priestly protagonist. Frederick Ebenezer John Lloyd was born in South Wales in 1859, attended theology school, and received his first appointment as deacon to the Flowers Cove Mission in Newfoundland in 1882. It was during his three years on the Rock that he met his first wife, Joanna Genge (Mrs. Lloyd, above), with whom he fathered four children. In 1886, he was raised to the priesthood (Anglican), and the next year arrived on the Island, where he served a number of parishes over a six-year period.
Not long after his apprehension of the “lunatic”, Joanna passed away (1891), and in 1893 Lloyd upped stakes and relocated to the United States where he and his second wife, Ada Anna Green, led something of a nomadic life, bouncing around a variety locations with their eight children. Their travels eventually took them to Oregon where, in 1905, Lloyd was elected Bishop Coadjutor of that state. He held the position shortly, after which he resumed his ministerial duties, taking a brief break in 1913-1914 in order to sit in the Illinois General Assembly. He would go on to lose his second wife, and marry a third time before passing away in 1933, aged 74.
Certainly an interesting bloke.
Now as you might expect, the only player not readily identified is the hapless female asylum patient, and if you’re thinking I’m going to unmask her here and now, no dice. Would if I could. This anonymity might have been imposed by the Daily Examiner out of respect for her circumstances, although if I had to guess I’d say it had more to do with the fact that her status as an “escaped lunatic” was really all that mattered in the end. Or perhaps I’m just being cynical. I can get like that sometimes.
Anyhow, that’s all for now. See you on Friday!
PEI History Guy