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Forum Home > The Ultimate Crime. > John Jones. Hanged, 1870.

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Emmaual Marshall, John Jones.

The Denham, Buckinghamshire murder, of the Marshall family,1870.

Very late on the 22nd May, 1870, Blacksmith Emmanuel Marshall was clearing up and preparing to join his family, who were already in bed. The Forge was attached to the small Cottage in the village of Denham, in the county of Buckinghamshire, about one and a half miles from Uxbridge. A man, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, and with a beard, suddenly appeared in the small workshop, and an argument  began. It didn't last long, for taking an axe, the man proceeded to hack and batter the 45 year old Blacksmith to death. Covering the pitifull remains of Marshall with some sacks, the man made his way to the house, for the screams and crys from the blacksmith had alerted his family. Inside the house were Charlotte Marshall, 34, the blacksmiths wife, Mary Marshall, 77, his mother, Mary Ann Marshall, 32, his sister, ( who was due to be married on 24th May ) Mary aged 8, Thirza, aged 6, and Gertrude, aged 4. Distubed by the noise, they all came down the stairs in their night clothes. Charlotte, and her sister Mary Ann, were beaten to death with an Iron bar in the parlour. Mary, the grandmother was found in the entrance to the back parlour, beaten to death with a hammer, as was the youngest of the children, Gertrude, who was still in her arms, a vain attempt to protect her from harm. The other two children, Mary and Thirza, were huddled in a corner, also beaten to death with a hammer. Realising that he would stand out somewhat in his present clothes, he calmly selected Emmanuel Marshalls best suit, took his gold watch and a few pounds, and, locking the house, made good his escape. The horrific scene was not discovered until the monday, when another of the blacksmiths sisters, arrived with the wedding dress, which of course was no longer needed.

The House at Denham, where Jones killed the family.

For crass stupidity, this monster, deserved a gold medal. Not only did he not clear out of the district, but he was observed in nearby Uxbridge, splashing out on drinks and enjoying himself. Only after he had pawned the dead blacksmiths watch, did he depart the town, heading on a train for Reading. At his place of lodging though, it had been noticed that he had come back in different clothes than he went out in. It had also been noted that he seemed to have come into a bit of money, and when news arrived of the truely horrific happenings just up the road, two and two were swiftly put together. It did not take Inspector Dunham and his constables long in tracking down the culprit, to another lodging house in Reading. The man did not give up easily, he made an attempt to pull a loaded pistol from his pocket, and only the bravery of the Inspector, saved one of his men from being victim number 8. The man, who gave his name as John Owen, denied being responsible, but all the evidence said otherwise. More details on the man were rapidly uncovered.

His real name was John Jones, he was 38 years old, a Blacksmith by trade, and had been born in Wolverhampton, in 1832. His family, father John, a painter, and his mother, Fanny, had both moved to Wolverhampton from the Middlesex part of London, around 1829, and lived in the Springfield area until 1840, when they moved to the crowded tenaments of Great Bow Street, Birmingham. Their son, apprenticed to a blacksmith, soon took to wandering back to his family roots, and where he began to get into a great deal of trouble. He was sent to Reading Gaol for six months hard labour for larcency. Not learning a lesson, he was again committed around 1868, for stealing sheep and this time got 18 months. He had, only 3 weeks before the murders, been released from London's Coldbath Prison, again having been given hard labour for theft. Witness's said he spoke with a welsh accent, but then again, they had possibly never heard broad Black County Twang. At his trial, the bloodstained clothes he had worn were recognised, and he Pawn ticket found in his possesion was certainly  for Marshalls watch. After being found guilty, and while he was being transported to the prison in Aylesbury, he was lucky not to have been lynched by a mob, over 1,000 strong, who almost succeeded in storming the station platform. Arrogant  to the last, he threatened to smash in the executioners jaw for not attending him in his cell on the day prior to his expected demise. William Calcraft, who had seen and heard it all before, was unmoved, and on 8th August 1870, without speaking to this truely awful example of mankind, pulled the lever which sent him into, it was hoped, the deepest pit in hell.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

January 28, 2012 at 4:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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