Grisly goings on at Moreton Lodge
1897 – Fatal Accident At Eye
Thomas Phillips was 56 years old and a farm labourer, having a wife Mary.
One evening, Thomas was working in the hay barn along with Henry Cook and Joseph Williams. Steps were against a load of hay, and Thomas climbed up to the top and grabbed hold of the hay to help himself up – unfortunately he never made it on to the hay stack, and he fell back down to the stone floor.
Joseph Williams immediately went to his aid, and found Thomas bleeding from the nose but conscious.
Thomas went home and had some tea, then told his wife that he had worked hard and was “done now”. Later that evening the doctor was called, and he discovered that Thomas had a fractured skull and had fallen into a coma; there was nothing that could be done to save his life, but he was made as comfortable as possible until he died shortly afterwards.
At the inquest a verdict of Accidental Death was returned.
1901 – The Occasion of the Cantata at Eye
The occasion of the Cantata began with the breaking up of the Vicarage Home School; during the afternoon parents and friends gathered at the Vicarage, and the schoolroom had been decorated for the event.
There was an exhibition of a selection of the term’s work, which highlighted the standard and reputation of the school. There were paintings; wild flower collections; needlework and carving examples, with prizes being handed out to the children.
Tea was provided for a price, and this money combined with the offertory taken at the Cantata went towards the choir and organist fund.
The sacred concert began at 5.15 with a packed church, and the proceedings were declared to be absolutely delightful with Handel’s Largo the memorable feature of the occasion.
1912 – Maid spends an unpleasant night at Moreton Lodge
Fanny Brown was a 17 year old maid who worked for the Reverend Samuel Henry at Moreton Lodge.
Late one night, The Rev. Henry ran into Fanny’s bedroom, shouting that his wife had cut her own throat and that their baby was covered in her blood.
Fanny tended to the baby, and laid her down with two other small children before offering to go for help, the the Vicar stopped her saying that it would all wait until the morning; he then took off his clothes and went to sleep on Fanny’s bed.
Some time later the Rev. Henry got up and asked for some breakfast before he set off to Leominster for help, but Fanny was frightened by his demeanour so took the baby to some neighbours before making the meal – a meal which the Rev. did not appear to enjoy. It must have been really bad, because he then went to his study and shot himself, albeit not fatally.
When the police arrived, having been summoned by the neighbour, they found the Rev. holding his revolver, and his wife in her bedroom with her throat and wrist slashed.
Dr. Charles Robinson stated that evidence showed that she could not have committed suicide, and that death had been by the Vicar’s razor.
The jury quickly found Henry guilty of murder, but this was overturned when it was revealed that he was being treated by a doctor for mental problems.
The Vicar’s wife, Bertha Mary Henry is buried in Eye churchyard, and in 1925 Samuel Henry died aged 51 in Broadmoor.