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The Turnpike Murder

The Derby Mercury - Friday January 13th - 30th 1767

Leicester, January 24th.

On Monday night last five men were apprehended at the White-Heart in this town, and committed to Gaol by William Wright esq upon suspicion of the murder of William Sadler, the keeper of Quorndon Turnpike in this County, and on Tuesday morning last Mr Tilly, coroner for this county , summoned a jury to meet at Quorndon, to enquire into his death, and upon the Inquest it appeared, "That about six o'clock on Monday night last, five men on horseback came up to Quorndon Turnpike, and wanted to go through, saying they had a Dishley Ticket, but Mr Sadler who came to the Gate, said they should not unless they would pay, for that Ticket would not do, upon which words arose and they turn'd their horses and went on the back side the house, and then Mr Sadler went into the house for a stick, and as he was coming out again two men on foot who had been at Loughborough, hearing a noise, came up to the Gate and called to Mr Sadler to open it, and ask'd what was the matter.

He unlocked the gate and told them that five men on horseback refus'd to pay, they said "why don't you make 'em" he answered "how can one man manage five", and ask'd them to assist him. They told him they would , and just as they came through, the five horsemen, who had either broke or taken down the stile on the back side of the house, came round , riding up to the gate, and Mr Sadler catching hold of one of the horses bridles, they struck at him and drove him into the house, and afterwards fell upon the two other men and beat and abused 'em very much, and Mr Sadler's granddaughter who bolted the door after he came into the house says, he went up stairs and came down again, but never spoke to her, and soon after the opening the door to see if the five men were gone, Mr Sadler went out and took up his stick which he had dropp'd towards the hedge, but the men were gone, and as he was crossing the Turnpike Road back again, he dropt down and groan'd, upon which she went up to him and spoke to him, but he made no answer, then the two men came up very much beat and abus'd, she immediately sent for assistance, and had her Grandfather taken into the house , but he was dead. They tried to bleed him but there came but a few drops, and by the evidence of the surgeons who examin'd him afterwards, there did not appear any bruise or marks of violence upon any part of his body, and his head and stomach which were open'd were quite free from any bruise or extravasated (?) blood, and were of the opinion, that he had died apoplexy.

Its apprehended his being affrighted by the five men above-mentioned brought on sudden death, which was the verdict the jury brought in: And on Wednesday morning last the five men were taken from Gaol and examin'd before William Wright Esq and it appearing by the evidence before-mentioned that Mr Sadler died suddenly in a Fit, he discharged 'em, upon their paying 5s the penalty of the Act of Parliament for passing the Gate without paying, and a Guinea a piece to the two men that were abus'd, also a Guinea to the Constable of Quorndon.

 Submitted on: 2009-07-23
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 391
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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