Sarah Thomas

Chaos reigned at the home of 61-year-old Mrs. Jeffries in Bristol on March 4th, 1849. The old lady lay beaten to death in the living-room, her dog had been killed and thrown down the lavatory, and the house had been ransacked. Her servant, Sarah Thomas, 18, had gone off to her parents’ home. When police

John Logue

Farmer George Graham, of Ballymachrennan, County Down, rued the day when he hired John Logue, 21. The young farm labourer was an inveterate thief and when he made off with a sheep, farmer Graham turned him in to the police. Logue was sentenced to four years for the theft, and spent his time in prison

Edward Jones

When a gamekeeper is murdered in the execution of his duty the most likely culprit is a poacher. So it was when gamekeeper David Evans was murdered on an estate in Northop, Flintshire, on March 11th, 1840. The police quickly pulled in “a notorious poacher,” Edward Jones, 47, and a jury just as quickly convicted

Catherine Foster

How exciting life was in Bury St. Edmunds in the mid-19th century! That at any rate was the view of Mrs. Catherine Foster. Although she was only 18 and had been married less than a month, she was already fed up with matrimony, and thirsting for all the wonderful things her dream town of Bury

Vincent Walker

When a wife walks out, there’s no knowing what might happen next. Ship’s carpenter Vincent Walker was sure he knew what was happening when his wife left their matrimonial home in Hull. She had gone to live with her friend Mrs. Lydia White, and Walker was convinced that Mrs. White was encouraging her to sleep

William Chadwick

Pawnbroker’s assistant Walter Davies, 21, was cleaning out his shop cellar in Atherton, Bolton, when William Chadwick, 23, entered the shop and began stealing everything in sight. Mr. Davies raced upstairs to the shop and a fight started. Chadwick stabbed Mr. Davies in the neck, causing him to fall back down the stairs to the

John Smith and John Wiles

Prisoners in Taunton Prison were paraded on the morning of Wednesday, April 23rd, 1851, and ordered to watch a double hanging immediately outside the wall, as a deterrent. On the scaffold were John Smith, 32, and John Wiles, 56, who attacked Mr. and Mrs. William Wilkins, septuagenarian owners of a general store in Nempnett village,

Josiah Mister

When the rather aptly named Mr. Ludlow went to the annual fair at Ludlow he generally stayed at the Angel Inn, and always in room 17. But on August 20th, 1840, there was a mix-up at the inn, and Mr. Ludlow had room 13. In room 17 was a Mr. MacKreth, and Josiah Mister, 25,

Luigi Buranelli

Boarding-house landlord Joseph Lambert didn’t like his tenants having affairs with each other, even though he was having an affair with one of them himself. So when one tenant, Luigi Buranelli, 31, an Italian tailor, began making love to Mrs. Jane Williamson, who rented the room next to his, Lambert asked them to leave. Buranelli

Richard Bishop

A squabble over money ended in murder in Sydenham, south-east London. It began when Richard Bishop, 21, a petty criminal and shopkeeper, started shouting at another man just before midnight on April 3rd, 1868. A neighbour, Alfred Cartwright, 24, complained about the noise which had woken him up and Bishop punched him. The police were

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