Eustace Hinton Jones was a son of William Jones, a Southampton coachbuilder of international reputation. His coachworks at 40 Above Bar employed 80 hands at the time of the 1851 census. Eustace was a partner in the firm by 1863 and took over on his father's death a few years later.
He was, however, a most unusual business entrepreneur. In September 1866 he gave up the business, selling all the plant and machinery, along with the goodwill built up over several decades, to Arthur Andrews, who had taken over the Andrews Carriage Manufactory on the death of his father, Richard Andrews, in 1859. The best of the equipment was incorporated into Andrews's workshops at 14 Above Bar. No.40 Above Bar became home to W E Warren & Co, paper manufacturers and merchants.
This left Eustace free to concentrate on what was clearly his true calling, that of an author. His first recorded publication was Adams's Guide to Netley Abbey, published by John Adams of Oxford Street, Southampton in 1865. It went through a succession of editions up to the early twentieth century: the last rewritten and revised by Henry W Taunt, an Oxford photographer and publisher. In 1870 H. M. Gilbert and Alfred Randle, booksellers of Southampton, published The Romance of Sir Bevis of Hamtoun, newly done into English prose from the metrical version by Eustace Hinton Jones. The same year saw publication of The Sir Bevis guide to Southampton and Netley, similarly published by H. M. Gilbert. The following three works, published after Jones had left his native town, were in collaboration with George William Cox (1827-1902), historian and author who is the subject of an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. The first two were published by Longmans, Green and Company, of which firm Cox was literary adviser: Popular Romances of the Middle Ages, published in 1871 (with new editions in 1879 and 1887) and Tales of Teutonic Lands, published in 1872. The presiding genius of both works was Cox, determined to advance his radical and controversial theories on the origin and interconnection of myths. It was Jones who provided the bulk of the text, written in a vivid and dramatic style "imbued with a strong poetic feeling for the romantic character of the legends, and expressed in powerful and nervous English" (Daily News, 7 December 1872: review of Tales of Teutonic Lands). A shorter joint work, The Crisis of Osiris, or, the Cross of Life, was published by Thomas Scott of Upper Norwood in 1878.
More ephemeral publications appeared in Good Words, May 1867 ('At Dr Warr's'), Kettledrum, formerly Woman's World, in late 1868 ('Picture Parables' and some verses which the reviewer in Atlas, 1 January 1869, thought "limp sadly"), Tom Hardy's Annual for 1868 (a humorous article) and the Whitsuntide Annual for 1869 ('Gaslight and Sunshine', an amusing and ingenious piece which the reviewer in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, 6 June 1869, recommended to the consideration of young men about to marry). These no doubt are but the tip of the iceberg. In the 1860s and 1870s his endorsement of the American Mason and Hamlin Cabinet Organ was frequently used in press adverts.
Eustace Hinton Jones was educated as a boy at the small school run by the Reverend John Lumb and his wife Mary - daughter of Isaac Fletcher - at Monte Repos in Bitterne. He lived above the coachworks at 40 Above Bar for much of his time in Southampton. A second residence - 7 Weymouth Terrace on Western Shore Road - was taken in the spring of 1863. Directories of 1869 and 1871, after he had quit the coachbuilding world, see Jones living at 1 Springfield Cottage (Springfield Villa), Waterloo Road, Freemantle. By the time of the 1871 census he is living, with his wife Emma Harding Jones (whom he married in 1863), in Lincoln. He is described as "Author periodical and general literature" and sub-editor of the Lincolnshire Chronicle. He died on 2 March 1881 at Burghill in Herefordshire, his last address being in White Cross Road, Hereford. His personal estate was valued for probate at under £500.
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