Unsolved Murders

Issac Biggin

Age: 82

Sex: male

Date: 19 Oct 1909

Place: Cecil Farm, Stubley, Dronfield

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Issac Biggin was found injured after having apparently fallen down some stone steps into his cellar but it could not be determined how he had fallen although it was later thought that he had been hit and might have been pushed down.

His death was considered suspicious as a window to the farmhouse had been broken and was found left open and a deed box had gone missing. A light was also seen in his attic earlier even though it was thought that he never went up there.

It was alleged that he had been murderously attacked by burglars on the Saturday night, 16 October 1909. Issac Biggin died later on the night of 19 October 1909.

His son had left him at Cecil Farm at 8pm on the Saturday and had found Issac Biggin when he returned at about 10.40pm. When he was found he was unconscious and never regained consciousness.

When the doctor arrived at the farm, Issac Biggin was said to have been in a state of delirium. He was described as being only partly clad and in his stockinged feet and raving in a frantic manner. The doctor said that it was evident that he had been suffering from concussion of the brain as when he was placed in a chair he became sick. The doctor said that in addition to his head injury, Issac Biggin's right eye was terribly swollen and puffed up indicating that he had received a blow upon that part of his face.

Up until that point, nothing was known of the burglary, but when the doctor asked for a window to be closed to prevent a draught, a long, narrow window to the side of the house was found to be broken and partly open, and glass was found lying on the covered ledge inside.

When the police arrived a search was made and the deed box was later found between two haystacks. The wooden box was described as being a yard in height and about a foot and a half wide by a foot deep. It had been prised opened by forcing the back of it off. However, it was also found that all the papers, deeds and money that had been in the box were found intact. The money had amounted to £9 and the deeds, although a little damp from the nights dew, were unharmed.

A threshing machine proprietor said that on the Saturday night, at about 8pm, which was noted as being about the exact time that Issac Biggin's son had left Cecil Farm, had been driving a threshing machine past Cecil Farm and said that one of the men attending his machine said that he suddenly saw a man standing back in the hedge immediately opposite the house on the main road. It was said that the man was apparently hiding but that no great notice was taken of him at the time.

A theory was later put forward that burglars had entered Cecil Farm and that Issac Biggin had upon hearing them and going to investigate, been knocked down the cellar steps where Issac Biggin was later found by his son. It was said that the burglars had then taken a large wooden box from Issac Biggin's bedroom that had contained the deeds to Issac Biggin's property. However, it was noted that nothing else in the house had been disturbed.

When the police later examined the house they found that money and watches were left alone, including a bag in Issac Biggin's son's room that had contained £40. It was also thought strange that someone would break into the farm and apparently go straight for the deed box which was under Issac Biggin's bed without taking anything else.

Issac Biggin was a farmer and had lived at Cecil Farm, which was in the hamlet of Stubley, for about 60 years.


see Derbyshire Courier - Saturday 20 November 1909, p5-6

see Cork Examiner - Tuesday 19 October 1909

see Derbyshire Courier - Tuesday 26 October 1909

see Sheffield Independent - Wednesday 20 October 1909

see Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 19 October 1909