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Murder in Blackgrove Wood 1821

Places > Tilsworth > Crime

Bedfordshire Notes and Queries Vol. 1 1886

In the churchyard is a stone with the following remarkable inscription. It is an object of curiosity to all visitors, and probably has been frequently copied, though I have never yet seen it in print. Master Horne, the old parish clerk, told me that he was one of the first. If not the first, to discover the body of this unfortunate woman, whose identity has never to this day been discovered; nor was the murderer ever discovered. It appears that the murderer and his victim were seen to walk in the direction of Blackgrove Wood, which is within sight of Tilsworth Church. I have been told however, that a man named Evestaffe confessed to the murder on his death bed. He had been tried I believe, on suspicion, but there being no evidence to convict, he was acquitted.

This stone was erected
by subscription
Found murderd in Blackgrove Wood
AUG, 15th 1821.

Oh pause my friends and drop a silent tear
Attend and learn why I was buried here
Perchance some distant earth has hid my clay
If Id outlivd the sad, the fatal day.
To you unknown, my case not understood
From whence I came. Or why in Blackgrove wood
This truths too clearand nearly all thats known
I there was murderd! and the villians flown
May God, whose piercing eye pursues his flight
Pardon the crime, but bring the deed to light.

Page last updated: 4th February 2014