Charlotte Dymond was the belle of Bodmin. Buxom and pretty, the 18-year-old milkmaid at Lower Penhale Farm flirted outrageously with all the young men of the village, and they all fell in love with her. One of them, Matthew Weekes, 22, who was a labourer on the same farm, had dreamed of marrying her for six years, but his chances were next to nothing. He had few teeth, a pronounced limp, and his face was hideously pockmarked.

Charlotte’s playful antics with the other village men incensed Weekes. On Sunday, April 14th, 1844, he plucked up courage to ask her to go for a walk with him, and somewhat to his surprise she accepted. They took the path to Lanlavery Rock, on the far slopes of Rough Tor, and then along the road to Camelford. As they walked, Charlotte talked coquettishly about all the young men she liked, and the wretched Weekes felt the fires of jealousy searing his flesh.

They came to a gate leading into a field. Weekes later described what happened next.

“I told her I had seen her in a situation with some young men that was disgraceful to her. She then said, ‘I shall do as I like. I shall have nothing more to do with you.’

“I took out my knife and then replaced it. But on her repeating the phrase, I made a cut at her throat from behind. She immediately fell backwards, the blood gushing out in a large stream, and exclaimed while falling, ‘Lord have mercy on me!’

“While she was on the ground I made a second but much larger cut, although she was almost dead at that time. After standing over her body for about four or five minutes, I lifted up one of her arms and it fell to the ground as if she were dead. I pushed her body a little further down a bank. I took her bonnet, shawl and shoes and covered them up in a turf pit. I put her gloves and bag in my pocket and threw away the knife.”

Charlotte’s body was found two weeks later. Weekes was tried for her murder and hanged on Monday, August 12th, 1844, outside Bodmin Prison.

Later, the villagers paid for a monument to be erected on the spot where Charlotte died. Legend has it that she haunts the murder scene, and that her ghost is often seen, too, at Lower Penhale Farm.