“The Berkswell Murder”, 1845

On Wednesday 19th November 1845, Thomas Tranter, a 60-year-old farmer described asĀ  living near Docker’s Gate in the parish of Berkswell, was found murdered in an outbuilding adjoining his home.

The door was locked from the outside and he was found face down in a pool of blood in the doorway, with a sack over his head and a blood-stained bill hook and axe lying next to him. Death was apparently due to a fracture of the skull, caused by a single blow from a blunt instrument, believed to be the head of the axe, which bore some of Thomas Tranter’s grey hairs. Mr Arthur Sargeant, surgeon from Meriden, declared that it would have been quite impossible for the wound to have been self-inflicted.

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