Unsolved Murders

Robert Kenyon

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 9 Sep 1903

Place: Buckstones Moor, Marsden

Source: find.galegroup.com

William Henry Uttley and Robert Kenyon were shot on Marsden Moor where they were gamekeepers.

They were found roughly buried beneath a heap of stones and riddled with gun shot.

A farmer was tried but found not guilty.

It was thought that the shot used to kill the men used smokeless powder and mixed shot.

The surgeon found that below the wound in William Uttley's neck and on the left shoulder the skin was tattooed by blueish-black marks which were in his opinion due to the presence of grains or black powder. He took out a large number of pellets from his body as well a small portion of a substance like wadding from the base of the skull which he said resembled examples of wadding found at the farmer's house. He said that the wound on the left side of the neck must have been caused by a shot fired at close quarters of about a yard or less away. Another shot on the back or side was probably caused by a shot fired at an angle of 45 degrees upwards from a distance of about 9 yards.

The shot taken from Robert Kenyon's body and William Uttley's brain was mixed three and fours whilst the shot taken from William Uttley's back was all of one size, No. 5.

Evidence was heard that the farmer was taken home by his son on the day of the murders in the back of a cart covered by a coat and that he had easy access to the moor. The farmer admitted to having been out on the moor that day but denied the murders.

The police found a watch and handkerchief that had belonged to Robert Kenyon in a hole under a bush 5 days after the murders. The court heard that in relation to the cleanliness of the handkerchief that the items had probably been put there after the murders, and possibly after the time that the farmer was arrested, based on the fact that there had been torrential downpour on the moors since and yet the handkerchief was still clean.

Newspaper articles stated that it was common knowledge that the farmer had no part in the murder, that the murders were not the work of poachers and that someone knew more than they were saying.

Police later offered a £300 reward for information.


*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.


see Marsden Community Association

see "The Marsden Moor Murders.-Yesterday." Times [London, England] 16 Oct. 1903: 5. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 Mar. 2013.

see Western Daily Press - Thursday 17 September 1903

see Lancashire Evening Post - Friday 16 October 1903

see Worcestershire Chronicle - Saturday 10 October 1903

see Leeds Mercury - Tuesday 20 October 1903

see Leeds Mercury - Saturday 31 October 1903