Unsolved Murders

Isabella Hewitt

Age: 72

Sex: female

Date: 30 Dec 1904

Place: 5 1/2 The Crescent, York

Source: www.truecrimelibrary.com

William Hewitt and Isabella Hewitt were killed in in their home between 27-30 December 1904.

Their adopted son who also lived with them was tried for their murder but acquitted after it was found that all the evidence was circumstantial.

They were found by their neighbour beaten to death in their home on 30 December 1904. Their heads had been beaten in and a blood stained mallet was found nearby in an old clothes basket in the pantry.

William Hewitt and Isabella Hewitt maintained their step son, who was 35, and received money from his parents on his behalf.

After their murders were discovered the police remained at the cottage day and night to guard it. On the 31 December 1904 the step son returned to the property and was arrested. When they asked him what he was doing there he said 'Just having a look around' They found William Hewitt's watch and chain on him but nothing else had been taken from the house. In court the prosecution said that it was significant that when he was arrested he did not ask why and just said 'All right, don't handle me so roughly'.

When he was in the cells at York he said 'There would not have been any trouble but for my father, who is in London. I know for a fact that he has been keeping me for the past two years. They wanted to stop the clock on me, but I would not have it'.

He had argued with them earlier about money that had been sent for him by his relatives that they had held back.

A Boot at the Royal Station Hotel said that at midnight on the Wednesday he had left work and was passing the Blossom Street end of The Crescent when he hears a noise as if some fighting were taking place in one of the passages which ran from it. He said he heard someone shout 'Oh, don't, don't'. He said that it was the voice of a gentleman but that he didn't hear anything more for 5 minutes and then he saw a man come from the passage and down The Crescent alongside the palisading walking very fast and then head off towards Micklegate Bar. However, he said that the man wore a Billycock hat and he didn't see his face and he was about 40-50 yards away.

A cook who also lived in The Crescent said that on Tuesday night on her way home she saw the step son saying that he was wearing a blue-grey suit and a black hat.

When police examined the step sons clothes they found blood on the trousers and coat but none on the shirt or vest.

The coroner said that William Hewitt and Isabella Hewitt were both very much in arrears with their rent which they had explained by the fact that the step son was living with them which took all the money they had. She also said that the step son had lost his position in Castleford and was living with William Hewitt and Isabella Hewitt because they could not get him away. It was noted that they had tried to get him away but whenever they succeeded he always returned after a brief absence.

It was also heard that Isabella Hewitt had complained that she had her husband were frightened to death by their step son and because of that she had slept under the cart in the shed on many nights.


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


see Dundee Evening Post - Tuesday 10 January 1905

see Yorkshire Evening Post - Monday 16 January 1905

see Dundee Evening Post - Wednesday 04 January 1905