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Tony Grist

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Bill O'Jacks And Tom O'Bills [Nov. 17th, 2005|10:25 am]
Tony Grist

Here lie interred the dreadfully bruised and lacerated bodies of William Bradbury and Thomas his son, both of Greenfield, who were savagely murdered in an unusually horrid manner, on Monday night Ap 2 1832, Wm being 84 and Tho 46 years old.

Throughout the land wherever news is read
Intelligence of their sad death has spread.
Those who now talk of far fam'd Greenfield hills
Will think of Bill o'Jacks and Tom o'Bills.

Such interest did their tragic end excite
That ere they were remov'd from human sight
Thousands on thousands came to see
The bloody scene of the catastrophe.

One home, one business and one bed
And one most shocking death they had
One funeral came, one inquest pass'd
And now one grave they had at last.

There are three separate, graveyards clustered round Saddleworth church and it took us two hours to find what we were looking for. The "Bill o'Jacks" murder was a national sensation in its time. I've searched online for a full account of the case and can't find one but, as I remember it, the father and son- William and Thomas Bradbury (known as Bill o'Jacks and Tom o'Bills) were hacked and battered to death (with a shovel) in the little inn they ran on Saddleworth Moor (a bleak and isolated place- think Wuthering Heights) Not only was no-one ever charged with the murder, but (I don't think I'm making this up) the room where they were found was locked on the inside, making it an "impossible" crime.

[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2005-11-17 03:43 am (UTC)
I LOVE stuff like this.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-17 03:57 am (UTC)
It's good isn't it. We felt such a sense of achievement when- in the furthest corner of the third graveyard- we finally stumbled across the grave.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-11-17 05:17 am (UTC)
This is so ...cool.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-17 05:59 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2005-11-17 10:28 am (UTC)
This is begging for a novel.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-17 11:08 am (UTC)
Yes, indeed!

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-17 11:08 am (UTC)
Axe, shovel- same thing. Same result anyway. :)
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2005-11-18 06:19 am (UTC)
EXCELLENT!!! Very grim and I do love bad 19th century poetry!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-11-18 07:54 am (UTC)
I love the way local patriotism creeps into the poem- "far fam'd Greenfield hills"- yeah, right!
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