“I’ll kill any man who tries to borrow Eliza’s pony and cart,” vowed stonemason Henry Bedingfield, 46. “In fact, I’ll kill any man who even looks at her.”

Which was all a bit presumptuous of him, since he was a married man, and Eliza Rudd, 45, who lived near him in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, was only his mistress.

By May 1879, Eliza herself was beginning to get worried about his jealous attention. She told him: “You shan’t borrow my pony and cart yourself, neither.”

Bedingfield went ballistic at that. Yelling and shouting abuse, he stormed off. Next day he went back to her home, cut her throat, and then botched an attempt to cut his own throat.

“He attacked me!” Eliza gasped at horrified witnesses who arrived in time to watch her die, while her lover lay groaning on the floor.

At Norwich Assizes four months later Bedingfield claimed: “She went for me before she took her own life.” The jury decided that it didn’t happen like that, and he was accordingly hanged on Wednesday, December 3rd, 1879, in Ipswich Prison, still claiming he was innocent. Victorian murder stories from True Crime Library.

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