Unsolved Murders


Age: unknown

Sex: male

Date: 19 Jan 1905

Place: Blackdown, Sussex

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

A skeleton was found near the summit of Blackdown, Sussex near the Surrey border. A revolver and a purse with gold was found nearby.

There was a bullet wound right through the temple. A small revolver, a gold watch and £6 in money were found in the clothing.

A doctor said that the body must have lain undisturbed for many months and was probably that of a man advanced in years.

The copse where he was found was strictly preserved for shooting purposes and so usually left unvisited.

The man who discovered the body said that he was hurrying through when he saw something that looked like a bundle and when he bent down to see what it was he saw it was a skeleton with the skull almost severed from the body, which he said gave him a dreadful turn.

Amongst the items found was a railway ticket bearing the figure '10' and a word that appeared to be 'Lewisham'.

It was determined that he had been a gentleman of means due to his clothes and the silver mounted umbrella found by his side, but no papers or cards that could have thrown light on who he was were found.

The copse was noted as being within a few yards of Tennysons Walk which was largely used by the public and only a short distance away from Aldworth which was the home of the late Poet Laureate who walked daily during his life quite close to the spot. The walk was also popular with local lovers.

It was also noted that a large mound, surmounted by dense rhododendrons which hid the background of undergrowth from sight was no place safer from interruption or search to be imagined for anyone planning a murder or desiring to take a life far from the risk of observation.

It was also noted that during the summer months hundreds of admirers of the late Lord Tennyson visited the district and it was probable that the dead man could have once numbered in that happy band.

Later a man from Rowlands Castle near Havant, Hampshire called at Haslemere Police Station to say that he believed the man to be an elderly and well connected friend who had been missing since April 1904. He said that when his friend was last seen alive he had had a silver mounted umbrella and a sum of money in gold in his possession. He said that he was a highly strung gentleman of pronounced literary tastes and it was thought likely that he might have been an admirer of poetry and that he might have chosen that spot to commit suicide. The article states that the body had still yet to be identified.

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

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Thursday 19 January 1905

see Dundee Evening Post - Thursday 19 January 1905