Unsolved Murders

Henry Richard Thomsett

Age: 72

Sex: male

Date: 18 Apr 1926

Place: Maple House, Stockbury, Kent

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Henry Richard Thomsett died from a gunshot.

He was shot in his garden at about 10pm and died a week later.

His daughter was charged with his murder but the prosecution later withdrew their case and she was discharged.

The medical evidence stated that the wounds could not have been self-inflicted. There were two wounds to the front of his chest and the doctor said that in the absence of any other permanent pathological cause of death he regarded it as a fair assumption that the wounds were the primary cause of death but did not consider them in their own right to be of a fatal nature. He was said to have died from shock from the wounds. One of the wounds was a clean puncture with no burning or smoke discolouration of the skin around it. The other wound had fragments of bone in its base.

The doctor said that the bullet had been fired from the side of Henry Thomsett and was not fired from close quarters although neither was it a practically spent bullet when it had struck him.

The defence requested that Henry Thomsett's stomach should be analysed and certain organs were sent to the Home Office pathologist but any theory of poisoning was as a result disposed of.

Henry Thomsett was a smallholder at Stockbury in Kent and a retired bailiff.

Earlier on the day of his murder he had been into Sittingbourne to transact some business in connection with some cottages that he held an interest in. On his way back home he also called at the Stockbury post office where he collected his old age pension and arrived home at about 7.30pm.

After getting home he had a hearty supper and after went out of the house through the back door to lock up the foul house at the end of his garden. After that he went back towards the house and as he was about to go back in he heard a rustling noise in a hedge that bordered the front garden and when he turned to investigate he was shot twice.

It was said that a figure then darted from the seclusion of the hedge and went across the front garden. Henry Thomsett was said to have then called out 'Don't you know that you have shot me?'


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


see Hull Daily Mail - Monday 03 May 1926

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Monday 26 April 1926

see Gloucester Citizen - Monday 26 April 1926

see Lancashire Evening Post - Monday 26 April 1926

see Sunday Post - Sunday 23 May 1926