About The Book
This fascinating look at murder and crime in Rotherham in the Victorian era will amaze and appal in equal measure. Many of the crimes contained herein were the result of desperate poverty or an abundance of cheap gin. Some were the result of severe mental illness, such as the woman stabbed to death because she was mistaken for the devil. Some have astonishing co-incidences, including the tale of the cursed watch and the two separate murders that occurred in the same cottage. All, however will astonish anyone with an interest in the darker side of Rotherham’s history. Published March 2010
Chapters One I thought she was the devil – this is a sad case of a man with such severe mental health problems that he attacked and stabbed a woman in the street because he thought she was the devil and had spent all his money
Chapter Two Murder Cottage – this unbelieveable story of two separate murders of people who lived in the same cottage, one an old woman who was killed by some young men and an old man going out to his regular pub and returned only to die from his wounds
Chapter Three Open all Hours – this case involved the stabbing of a man and his wife who was the pillar of the community and the bungling of the investigation by a police constable
Chapter Four Sale of Poisonous Medicine – these are cases of people who self medicate with fatal results.
Chapter Five Confession from the grave – this unbelievable tale is about a girl who made a dying statement incriminating her boyfriend who had slit her throat
Chapter Six Fatal Stabbing – a night out which led to a house party, but when one of the guests is asked to leave, he comes back with a knife
Chapter Seven Poacher Murder – a common tale of the murder of a man employed to protect his masters land and a group of men who thought they could get away with it.
Chapter Eight The Cursed Watch – this same watch passed down through a family and resulted in the death of both its owners many years apart.
Chapter Nine Murder at Canklow – the body of a young man found at Canklow was at first ignored thinking he was ‘sleeping off the effects of drink’ and which led to a lot of people congregating in the murder field and taking home bloodstained straw as a keepsake.
Chapter Ten Child Murders These are stories of murder of illegitimate children by their young mother’s and the terrible neglect of a child until it died.
Extract From the Book
Some unfortunate single women who found themselves pregnant might abandon their babies at birth in the hope that they might be found and adopted by kind childless families. Such a child was found and taken to the Rotherham Workhouse where the Guardians of the Poor requested that the man who found the child report to them on the circumstances. On 11th May 1840 a Thomas Genn of Tinsley appeared at the board room at the workhouse to relate how on the previous Saturday at 5 o clock in the evening he went to fetch some cows out of one of his fields at Tinsley in the parish of Brinsworth. He reported that he heard a cry from a hedge where there had been some hay laid for the cows and that under the hay he found a male child with an old napkin wrapped around his body, a cap on its head and a piece of flannel laid over its face. The clothing found on the child might suggest that its mother was trying to keep it warm and the cloth on its face might prevent the hay falling into its mouth and eyes, but of course this is pure conjecture. As a result of Mr. Genn’s evidence advertisements were placed around the town offering a ‘handsome reward’ for the discovery of the person who had left the child in such a position.Later it is recorded in the workhouse minutes that a reward of ten shillings was given to a woman named Ellen Connelly for giving information which led to the apprehension of Margaret Hogan who was the mother of the child.