Berrow, Worcestershire

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Berrow
Worcestershire
Berrow Village Hall.jpg
Berrow Village Hall
Location
Grid reference: SO794342
Location: 52°0’23"N, 2°18’3"W
Data
Population: 236
Post town: Malvern
Postcode: WR13
Dialling code: 01684
Local Government
Council: Malvern Hills
Parliamentary
constituency:
Worcestershire

Berrow is a village and parish in the Oswaldslow hundred of Worcestershire, about seven miles east of Ledbury. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 236.

Parish Church

The parish church is dedicated to Saint Faith [1] and is notable for a plaque regarding a gruesome murder that occurred in the parish in the 18th century.

The Berrow Murder

On the night of Saturday 6th or early morning of Sunday 7 May 1780 [2] Edward Gummery, his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Anne, aged 9, and a visiting brother-in-law of Elizabeth's, Thomas Sheen,[3] were murdered in their home in Berrow. The perpetrators were never found.

Reports at the inquest suggested that the murderers were disturbed by a visitor, a man called Player,[4] at 4am. Player, having knocked, called out but received no answer. Concerned he raised his wife and having returned together found the front door now open. Having discovered corpses they raised the alarm.

Villagers began a search and detained six "tramps" [5] and two of these were later charged with the destruction of enclosure fences at Malvern Link but were not charged with the murders.

In 1809, James Taynton, an octogenarian road labourer from Malvern Link was admitted to Worcester Royal Infirmary with a fractured leg.[6] In his delirium he said a number of things which prompted further investigation and it was later ascertained that he was employed on the Malvern Link enclosures. The Berrow's Worcester Journal reported that he admitted to having been involved with the destruction of the Malvern Link enclosure. He was pressed by patients as to whether he knew anything of the Berrow Murder and reportedly said that the murderers were all alive and as old as himself.[7] After further inquiry from a nurse it was suggested that he had been more directly involved. He later said that the murders had been committed using bills.[8] He died shortly afterwards and no official investigation was made into his involvement.

References

  1. St Faith, Berrow - a church near you
  2. Berrow's Worcester Journal - 11 May 1780 Edition
  3. Berrow's Worcester Journal - 18 May 1780 Edition
  4. Berrow's Worcester Journal - 18 May 1780 Edition
  5. Berrow's Worcester Journal - 11 May 1780 Edition
  6. Berrow's Worcester Journal - 2 February 1809 Edition
  7. Berrow's Worcester Journal - 2 February 1809 Edition
  8. Berrow's Worcester Journal - 2 February 1809 Edition
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