Murder – or was it?
1855 – Mrs Hill Loved Legal Proceedings!
It would seem that Mrs. Hill of Holmer was forever bringing cases to court, and would have been deemed a nuisance if they didn’t find it so funny.
She usually went to the City Magistrates Court with her cases, but in August 1855 she appeared before their Worships at the Shirehall, prompting the observation in the press that she was “perhaps thinking that she would be unjust in favouring the City Magistrates so frequently with the light of her countenance, without honouring the county gentlemen with an occasional visit.”
This time, she wanted the Bench to bring proceedings against the landlord of the New Inn for letting her husband drink there, when to her mind he should be at home with his family.
The Magistrates were patient “proof that they are blessed with considerable powers of endurance”, and sighing, told the landlord that he should send for the police if Mr. Hill refused to go home when asked.
1861 – Attacked by a Bull at Holmer
A bull belonging to Charles Bulmer of Holmer attacked a group of men, and Benjamin Davies was so badly injured that he died in the infirmary two weeks later.
1862 – Two Babies Found in Pond at Holmer
Mary Ann Green, wife of John Green a labourer of Holmer, was walking along a footpath on the farm of J. Walker Esq. at Holmer, when she passed a horse pond and stopped to watch some ducks.
She noticed something else in the water and shouted to a nearby man to ask what he thought it was – he said that he had just chucked some horse entrails in (lovely!) and thought that that was what she had seen, however she insisted that she thought it looked like a child.
Both of them went to investigate, and did indeed find not one child, but two. They immediately alerted the police, and Sergeant Cope of the County Constabulary rushed to the scene and ordered the tiny bodies to be taken to the nearby New Inn.
It was supposed that the babies had been in the water for roughly 9 days, and they were full term.
A woman was arrested, but after a medical examination proved her innocence she was set free. Then an aunt and niece were taken into custody – Sarah Goode, a respectable middle aged woman, and Elizabeth Goode, a pretty and ladylike woman of 21.
The trial was somewhat inconclusive, although from witness statements it seemed glaringly obvious that Elizabeth Goode had been pregnant – and then wasn’t! However, because the post mortem could not prove whether the children were born alive, the inquiry had to be stopped with a verdict of “Found dead in a pool, but whether they were alive or dead when placed there, there is no evidence to show”
Superintendent Wilson was not happy, and intended to investigate the case further so the prisoners were taken to Hereford. I have yet to discover the outcome.