Tragedy and more

1847 – Birth of Illegitimate Child Concealed

Ann Staunton aged 27 of Tarrington was charged with concealing the birth of her illegitimate child.  Some days earlier, Superintendent Shead had received an anonymous letter telling him of the occurrence,  and so he went to Tarrington and in the garden of Ann’s father’s smallholding he found the body of a male baby.

Ann was taken into custody and further charged with murder, but after the inquest which proved that the baby had never taken breath, this charge was dropped but the first one of concealing a birth remained’

At the Summer Assizes, Ann, who could neither read nor write, pleaded guilty to the charge of concealing the birth of her child, which she delivered herself and which instantly died.

She begged for mercy, and His Lordship said that the crime was one which called for severe punishment as an example to others, but because she had been in prison already for such along time he would give her just one month’s imprisonment with hard labour


1853 – Lady Emily Foley’s Association for the improvement of cottage gardens, and the benefit of their occupiers

The above society was formed and supported by Lady Emily Foley, as a benevolent plan of rewarding the industry, and promoting the neatness and cleanliness of cottagers in the parishes of Stoke Edith, Tarrington, Yarkhill, Weston Beggard, Dormington with Bartestree, Woolhope and Mordiford, being the surrounding parishes of her mansion at Stoke Edith Park.

For a couple of years the cottagers didn’t understand the advantages of the scheme and didn’t bother with it, but interest was drummed up and people were keen to compete for the prizes awarded for good management.

In 1853 exhibitors arrived early at the show room, bearing produce from their gardens which they then arranged ready for judging.

Lady Emily Foley provided a good dinner for some fifty competitors and their families  whilst their produce was being judged, and a great many prizes were awarded at a ceremony later in the day.

1867 – Riotous and Indecent Behaviour in Tarrington Church

Three Tarrington men – George Taylor;  Edwin Prosser and Henry Adams were charged with being guilty of riotous, violent and indecent behaviour in Tarrington Church on 8th March.

Adams pleaded guilty;  Taylor not guilty, and Prosser wasn’t in Court at the start of the case, but was summonsed.

The Evidence

The clerk at Tarrington Church, Silas Wood, said that he heard a commotion on the north side of the church whilst a service was being conducted, and on investigating saw Taylor hitting something.

Silas then found the other two defendants, Prosser and Adams, crouched down whilst Taylor hit them;  Taylor seemed agitated and told Silas and other witnesses that he had been provoked.

Silas told Taylor to pipe down, which he did for a while, but shortly afterwards he started getting agitated again so Silas told him to leave the church.  Taylor refused and had to be forcibly evicted by several men, swearing and yelling the while, and the Service had to be suspended.

The Consequences

When the Magistrate heard from another witness that Adams had been taunting Taylor he fined both of them £1 each including costs, or 14 days hard labour.

Initially Prosser was dismissed on the above charge, but later was charged under a different statute for molesting, disturbing and troubling the Rev Charles Smith.

Also, Taylor gave evidence in support of the charge, the effect of which was, Prosser was in the seat behind and pulled his hair then poked wire into his head.

Prosser was fined 13s plus costs of 7s or 14 days hard labour.




1910 – The Tarrington Tragedy

Mr. J. Powell, aged 60 a farmer of Sollars Court, Tarrington was accused of the murder of his cousin, Miss Ada Meek aged 36.

Evidence showed that on 14th April Mr. Powell and the dead woman were alone in the kitchen after breakfast when the sound of a gun was heard.  Miss Meek was found dead on the floor with wounds to her neck and shoulder, but Mr. Powell had fled leaving his gun in the kitchen.

The Defence convinced the jury, and Mr. Powell was found not guilty and discharged.