Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

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Lorna Allison
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Perthshire

Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by Lorna Allison » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:26 pm

Hello again

On reading info sent to me some years ago I discovered a letter from a local history researcher in Chislehurst to a 2nd cousin saying that our Blackney family, Blacksmiths in Chislehurst, married into the Ellis's and that two Ellis's were murdered in 1880.

My interest is aroused because my gt grandfather Richard Thomas Blackney married Harriet Ellis in 1875. I found a snippet re the murder in the Spectator archive which said that the gamekeeper husband and his wife were murdered in Petts Wood in 1880 by a chap whom they did not know - he just decided to do the deed apparently. The article does not give the names of the deceased and I am wondering if some clever person might have more success in accessing a newspaper report of the time which might give their names. This couple who would be my gt gt grandparents if they were Richard and Elizabeth Ellis. I do not know her maiden name and have no more info on them other than that he was a gamekeeper.

Grateful for any light on this subject.

Kind regards and Happy New Year :D

Lorna
Researching:

PAUL: Lanarkshire;
TORRANCE: Lanarkshire
CROSGROVE: Ayrshire, Glasgow
ALLISON: Glasgow
PRICE: Monmouthshire
CURZON: Staffs, Monmouthshire
TAIT, HUME, MIDDLEMAS,: Roxburghshire
PRINGLE: Glasgow, Central Belt, Edinburgh

SarahND
Site Admin
Posts: 5582
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:47 am
Location: France

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by SarahND » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:00 pm

Hi Lorna,
Looks like you're having fun digging out your old files! :D

I haven't looked for newspaper articles yet, but there are two Ellis deaths in Bromley district, Kent in the 4th quarter of 1880:
Edward Ellis born about 1807 and Elizabeth Ellis born about 1820.

There is a Richard Ellis who died 2nd quarter 1880, born about 1810, but he died in the Malling district of Kent and there is no other Ellis who died there in that year.

Are you sure that Harriet's parents were Richard and Elizabeth? She appears to be the daughter of Edward Ellis, gamekeeper and his wife Mary :? in the 1871 census.

Mary Ellis born abt 1810 died in the 4th quarter of 1871 in Bromley district, Kent but I don't see a remarriage of Edward between then and his death unless it was in some other locality.

Maybe that helps to confuse things further :lol:

All the best to you in 2014! [cheers]
Sarah

SarahND
Site Admin
Posts: 5582
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:47 am
Location: France

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by SarahND » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:13 pm

Ah, here we go from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, November 6, 1880. It was Edward and Elizabeth. Horrible story :(

DOUBLE MURDER IN KENT
Joseph Waller was charged before the Bromley (Kent) magistrates on Monday with the wilful murder of Edward Ellis and Elizabeth, his wife, by shooting them with a revolver at St. Paul's Cray Common, on Saturday night. The evidence of the police who found the bodies and apprehended the prisoner having been given he was remanded for a week.

EXTRAORDINARY CONFESSION
The Press Association is informed that the accused, Joseph Waller, has made a full confession of the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Ellis. He states he had no animosity towards the deceased, who had befriended him and given him employment. After wandering about several hours after leaving the Five Bells public-house at midnight, and having a loaded revolver in his pocket, he was tempted by an uncontrollable impulse, he says, to do some desperate deed. He fired off a shot in the wood and got Ellis out, saying he had seen poachers. Ellis came out with his truncheon, and lantern, and accompanied Waller about a quarter of a mile, when the latter shot the old man in the head and finished the murder with Ellis' truncheon. Waller then went back with the lantern and roused Mrs. Ellis telling her her husband wanted her as he was wounded by the poachers. Mrs. Ellis came down, and he led her in a direction away from where her husband's body lay. When they had proceeded 200 yards he shot her also and beat her to death. The accused was formerly in the Metropolitan police force.
The Coroner's jury has returned a verdict of wilful murder against Joseph Waller. Ellis had been fifty years gamekeeper to Mr. Berens.

SarahND
Site Admin
Posts: 5582
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:47 am
Location: France

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by SarahND » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:45 pm

Hello again :)

In the England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 database on FamilySearch.org there is a christening for Harriet Ellis in 1851 in Chiselhurst, Kent, father Edward Ellis and mother Mary. Can't find a marriage to see what Mary's maiden name might have been.

In the England Marriage, 1538-1973 database on the same site the marriage of Harriet Ellis to Richard Thomas Blackney is also given. Her father's name was indeed Edward.

There is also a browse-only database of Kent marriages which looks as though it has the Chislehurst marriages for the right time-frame, but it only allows you to see the images if you are in a Family History Center :?

All the best,
Sarah

Lorna Allison
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Perthshire

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by Lorna Allison » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:46 pm

Thanks so much Sarah

So I take it that it looks as though my second cousin has the parentage of Harriet wrong and her parents were probably Edward and Mary?

Mary probably died at some point and Edward married again to Elizabeth. The two poor souls murdered were then Harriet's father and her stepmother? I shall be getting in touch with a good few people if this is the case in order to put the record straight. It is ages since I delved into English BMDs but I will try to find a marriage of Edward to Elizabeth and then I think that would solve the problem.

You are a pal Sarah. Hope the wine was good this year :D

Regards

Lorna
Researching:

PAUL: Lanarkshire;
TORRANCE: Lanarkshire
CROSGROVE: Ayrshire, Glasgow
ALLISON: Glasgow
PRICE: Monmouthshire
CURZON: Staffs, Monmouthshire
TAIT, HUME, MIDDLEMAS,: Roxburghshire
PRINGLE: Glasgow, Central Belt, Edinburgh

Lorna Allison
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Perthshire

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by Lorna Allison » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:59 pm

Sorry Sarah, I see that I am getting a bit muxed ip #-o

You have already looked for a remarriage to Elizabeth without success. Well if you can't find it I certainly won't. I think that is probably what happened though and I shall have a think about the next move. Having just finished a nice New Year's Day meal it may not be tonight :D

Bye for now

Lorna
Researching:

PAUL: Lanarkshire;
TORRANCE: Lanarkshire
CROSGROVE: Ayrshire, Glasgow
ALLISON: Glasgow
PRICE: Monmouthshire
CURZON: Staffs, Monmouthshire
TAIT, HUME, MIDDLEMAS,: Roxburghshire
PRINGLE: Glasgow, Central Belt, Edinburgh

SarahND
Site Admin
Posts: 5582
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:47 am
Location: France

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by SarahND » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:07 pm

Hi Lorna,
Lorna Allison wrote: Hope the wine was good this year
Just drinking some 2009 wine that is not bad [raise-glass] so I think I'll not be looking any further for the Ellis family tonight either!

Cheers!
Sarah

Currie
Posts: 3819
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by Currie » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:05 am

Hello Lorna & Sarah,

The Illustrated Police News etc (London), Saturday, November 13, 1880
http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad28 ... 61da09.jpg

The Illustrated Police News etc (London), Saturday, November 20, 1880
http://i944.photobucket.com/albums/ad28 ... ab9bc3.jpg

According to the 13 November article about the inquest:—
“The first witness called was Mr. H. L. Wain, proprietor of the Bull Hotel, who identified the bodies, Mr. Ellis having been his father-in-law. He was about seventy-three years of age, and his wife about sixty. They were both of active habits, and Ellis had been gamekeeper to Mr. Berens, at Pett’s-woods, for fifty years.”

Waller was declared insane and was ordered to be “detained during Her Majesty’s pleasure”.

All the best,
Alan

(photobucket links removed - not working satisfactorily)
(links replaced 5 Jan - now OK)
Last edited by Currie on Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

SarahND
Site Admin
Posts: 5582
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:47 am
Location: France

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by SarahND » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:18 am

Hi Alan,
Too bad they didn't mention whether the wife was also his mother-in-law or if she was a recent acquisition!
All the best in 2014 to you,
Sarah

Lorna Allison
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Perthshire

Re: Double murder in Petts Wood, nr Bromley

Post by Lorna Allison » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:42 pm

Hello Alan

Brilliant! =D> =D> Thanks very much indeed. The illustrations seem not to want to copy to photogallery for me - is there a way you know of?

Hello Sarah

Yes, pity. I have the 1871 census image now and Harriet is there aged 20 with her parents and sister Sarah aged 26. In the 1861 census the girls were Harriet aged 10 and sister Elizabeth aged 15. In the 1881 census I have also found an Elizabeth Ellis, spinster aged 35 working as lady's maid in the Berens household. As that is the chap her father worked for for 50 years I presume that is the right Elizabeth. SO - the daughter who marrie HL Wain must be Sarah a twin of Elizabeth (?) or her age is wrong on the 1871 census or another daughter altogether.

Your snippet re the WAIN connection was just what I needed too Alan. Here is the relevant part of the letter from TA Bushell to my "2nd" cousin

"I have quite a corpus of material on your family during the XIXth century. They are included in my extracts from the Chislehurst Parish Church registers (wherein are more than 40 entries). and, in addition, the subsequent marriages connecting the Blackneys with the family of Ellis (two Ellises were murdered in Petts Wood in 1880), the WAINS (still, I believe, living in Chislehurst) and with * * of Bromley who provided me with much valuable information in the year 1961"

(left Mr Bushell's name in as he died shortly after writing this letter).

I shall now peel off and see what I can find out about HL Wain's wife.

Cheers

Lorna
Researching:

PAUL: Lanarkshire;
TORRANCE: Lanarkshire
CROSGROVE: Ayrshire, Glasgow
ALLISON: Glasgow
PRICE: Monmouthshire
CURZON: Staffs, Monmouthshire
TAIT, HUME, MIDDLEMAS,: Roxburghshire
PRINGLE: Glasgow, Central Belt, Edinburgh

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