|Forum Home > Murder Case Reviews > Joseph Meadows. Dudley.1855.|
Another murder with the use of a firearm, and the question is whether or not the crime would have taken place at all. had a bit more care been taken. Joseph Meadows, ( see More Ghastly Murders ) an apprentice Tin and Whitesmith, worked for Mr Joseph Rann, a small local Galvaniser. He shot and killed, Mary Ann Mason, in the kitchen of a beer house, in Kates Hill, Dudley, on Sunday 13th May,1855. But where did a mere apprentice, on low wages, obtain not one, but two firearms, and the ammunition.
Joseph Rann, his employer, was a well known and respected business man. He held strong views on the merits of proper Law and Order, which was why he was a member of the Earl of Duduleys Volunteer Yeomanry. The Yeomanry were a mounted unit, and as such, carried both Swords and Carbines, a much shortened version of the rifle of the day. They also carried Pistols, in a holster, fitted to the saddle. Even in 1855, the safe storage of these weapons was concern, and when not in use, regulations stated that they should be secured. Apparently, these rules did affect Mr Rann, or so he must have thought. For these were the very weapons, plus the powder and shot, which Meadows took to the beerhouse, early that Sunday morning. It was the Carbine from which the fatal shot was fired, and it was the pistol, ( recovered from Meadows pocket ) that he said he was going to shoot himself with. When examined, it was found to be unloaded, and uncapped. The Earl of Dudley called it a " foul crime ", but made no mention of the flouting of the rules in relation to Rann's conduct over the storage of the weapons. If they had been locked up, as they should have been, would poor Mary Ann Mason, now lying in the churchyard of Saint Johns, Kates Hill, murdered, have enjoyed a much longer spell on earth.
A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day. ( See my Blog entry )
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