Theft in Kenderchurch


1842 – Theft from Kenderchurch parish church

A robber removed a pane from a window in the church, and by putting his arm through the hole was able to open it.

He stole a rather lovely antique chalice.

1854 – Suicide at Kenderchurch

Thomas Lane of Kenderchurch lodged with Ann Davies, and having become somewhat infirm he one day refused to get out up and had all his meals in bed.

The following day, Ann heard a strange noise upstairs and upon investigation found Thomas leaning on his elbow in bed with blood pouring from a throat wound.  He was unable to talk, and the surgeon, Mr. Lane of Grosmont, was sent for.

He found Thomas in his bed and deduced that he had cut his own throat, but he was still alive and sensible and seemed to want to recover.  Mr. Lane, however, felt that recovery was impossible, although he sewed up the wound and went back to see Thomas later in the day.

The following morning, Thomas was dead;  a blood soaked razor was discovered on the windowsill.


The verdict of the inquest was “committed suicide while labouring under temporary derangement of mind”.


1861 – Burglary at Kenderchurch

James Wilson, 20, an illiterate labourer in a foundry;  George Lovett, 20, who could just about read,  Alfred Bright, 20, an illiterate blacksmith’s striker, and John Roberts, 15, “imperfectly educated”, all pleaded not guilty to breaking and entering Edwin Smith’s house – a farmer of New Invention Farm in Kenderchurch.

The were charged with stealing a loaf of bread, two pieces of bacon, one pound of sugar and one purse along with other articles on 7th September 1861.

Trial and Evidence

At the trial, Hannah Smith, wife of the above Edwin, said that on the morning in question they had all left the house making sure that it was securely locked, but when they returned in the evening the front door was broken open and they found that articles were missing.

A witness, Jane Smith, recalled meeting the four prisoners coming from the house in Kenderchurch on the morning of the burglary, as one of them asked her for a drink of water.

Superintendent Blossett set out in pursuit of the robbers and found them in Dowlais where he took them into custody after finding items on their persons, but they denied having broken into the Smith’s house.

They did however plead guilty to the indictment of stealing a pan of beer from Philip Gwillim of Longtown on the same day.


The evidence from witness stacked up, and the jury returned a verdict of guilty.  Each man was given six months imprisonment with hard labour for the first offence, and three months imprisonment with hard labour for the second offence.