Unsolved Murders

John William Moorhouse

Age: 59

Sex: male

Date: 30 May 1935

Place: Newmill, Holmfirth

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

John William Moorhouse was found shot.

He had lived in Sinking Wood Cottage in Newmill near Holmfirth and was a woollen scourer.

He was found beneath a holly bush in a lonely wood between New Mill and Brockholes, two and a half miles from Holmfirth with his shot-gun lying across his body.

It was heard that he had been unemployed for five weeks but that he had found work at a nearby mill and was due to start on the day he died. It was said that he had been looking forward with pleasure to resuming work. His lunch was found on top of a poultry house near his cottage tied up in a red handkerchief and ready to take to work and a wad of 19 £1 Treasury notes were found in his pocket.

He kept a gun which he usually used for shooting magpies and other pests.

It was noted that he had been shot in the abdomen through his shirt, but that there was no corresponding hole through his waistcoat or trousers which were found to be fully fastened.

The Coroner said that it was just possible that John Moorhouse had fallen over his gun and knocked it against the ground causing it to discharge, but noted that it was strange that the muzzle should have found its way through his outer clothing before going off.

A theory was put forward by John Moorhouse's son that John Moorhouse had upon starting for work that morning with his lunch had seen a wood pigeon and had gone back for his gun and put his lunch on the poultry house and then gone off into the wood and that whilst carrying the gun had accidently shot himself.

An open verdict was returned.


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


see Leeds Mercury - Thursday 30 May 1935

see Leeds Mercury - Tuesday 28 May 1935

see Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Thursday 30 May 1935