Unsolved Murders

Alexander Norval

Age: 75

Sex: male

Date: 5 Nov 1910

Place: 15 West Walls, Carlisle

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Alexander Norval was beaten to death at a warehouse.

A blood stained axe was found nearby on a barrel.

He had been a currier and was found dead in his workshop by police at 11.50pm on 5 November 1910. He was found lying at the bottom of some inside stairs.

His head had been smashed and battered. It was later cut off by the doctors at the post mortem and placed in spirits of wine for preservation.

Normally Alexander Norval would leave his workshop at around 1.50pm for the Great Corby train to go home but he didnt show up.

His son was tried for his murder at the Carlisle Assizes but was acquitted on 30 January 1911. The court heard that 18 months earlier the son had forged his fathers name on a cheque but he had found out and forgiven him and lent him money to carry on his betting business.

The son had last seen his father at the workshop at 1.10pm and said that he was fine. It was thought that Alexander Norval had been beaten to death by someone between 1.10pm and 1.50pm when he was due to leave.

Crowds of people visited the scene of the murder after it generated a greater sensation in Carlisle than any other event of recent years. The premises were situated on the West Walls and overlooked the western part of the city. The main railway lines from Carlisle to Scotland ran just below them and were in close proximity to the cathedral. The building had a gable end on to the thoroughfare and was three storeys high. There were also dwelling houses immediately adjoining but as far as was known no one heard anything.

Alexander Norval was a well known person in the Edinburgh and district leather trade circles and was regarded by acquaintances around the capital as a shrewd businessman. He made periodical journeys north from Carlisle to purchase tanned hides.

Alexander Norval left an estate valued at £100 and probate of his will was granted to his son.


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


see Dundee Courier - Monday 30 January 1911

see National Archives - ASSI 52/161

see The Scotsman - Wednesday 09 November 1910

see Derry Journal - Monday 30 January 1911

see The Scotsman - Friday 27 January 1911

see The Scotsman - Tuesday 08 November 1910

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tuesday 06 December 1910