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Forum Home > Murder Case Reviews > Joseph Jones. Quarry Bank.1906.

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A native of Pensnett, Staffordshire, where he had been born in 1847, Joseph Jones had been a hardworking man all his life. ( See Foul Murders ) He had held down a steady job, at Noah Hingleys Ironworks in Netherton, being trusted in both stock taking, and the weighing of the bar Iron the firm produced. The wage level he earned, had enabled him to save money, which he had used as a deposit on a house in Quarry Bank, and for which in 1906, £100 was still outstanding on the mortgage. He did though have a failing, he was very much attached to the drink, and as he now found himself out of work, he was also short of beer money. Much against his better judgement, he sold his interest in the house to his son-in-law, Edmund Clarke, who also lived with him. Joseph did not especially like Edmund, for reasons that became clearer, as his trial for murder opened. Edmund Clarke appeared to be a piller of the community, Sunday School teacher and Choir member being mentioned, but behind the scenes, a different Edmund emerged. Ethel, Josephs daughter, had married Clarke some six years before, they had two young children, and at the Magistates hearing, let slip that Edmund had hit her a few times. On one occasion, the row with Ethel became that heated that she had picked up the poker to defend herself. She did stress in court, that Edmund had never done anything to her to warrent calling in the Police. He had also attacked Joseph, over a row about money, not once, but on a number of occasions, causing noticable injuries. Joseph, for his part, had made a threat to go upstairs and chop off Edmunds head. Not that any of this was any excuse for murder, Edmund had built up a nice little haulage business, and the families life, unlike others in Quarry Bank, was at least comfortable, or so it seemed. It may have been during one of these many rows, that mention was made of sending him off to the Workhouse, a fear most older folk of the time greatly feared. But it was the sale of the house itself, in 1905, that sparked of many of the disagreements. So it was a quite different picture to that in which the case was reported, and all this was taken into account by the Jury at Josephs trial, when they recommended him for mercy. Weighed down with all that had happened to him, poor old Joseph, possible goaded beyond endurance, just gave up and first slashed his son-in-laws throat, then battered him with the poker. Maybe a better charge would have been Manslaughter, rather than Murder, for not many were expecting the sixty year old to be hanged. Ethel Clarke, the grieving widow, doesn't seem to have shed too many tears over Edmunds violent death, so perhaps, the words which she let slip in court, were all true, and the real reason for Edmunds death was extreme provocation.


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

November 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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