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The Round Green Murder Trial - Final Witnesses

James Day [QGV10/4/152]
James Day [QGV10/4/152]

The Bedfordshire Mercury of 31st March 1868 recorded the trial of William Worsley for the murder of William Bradberry. The final witnesses were described thus:

The witness was then removed to custody, and Day, the man against whom no true bill was found on the charge, was then called.

James Day, an innocent-looking young man, 22 years of age, deposed: On Saturday morning, 4th [sic 3rd] of August, I was going along Harsey Bottom, near Round Green. Worsley pulled a winch out of his pocket and shoved it in the hedge. Close to the footpath. We were then inside the field.

Cross-examined: I was taken into custody with the other men. I stopped behind to look for a sixpence that I had dropped. Worsley halloed out, "Here lays a b - here; I was like to have fell over him, and knocked up against him". He came and told me this; he came about 50 yards towards me. I went with him to the spot, and I saw Bradberry laying there; Welch was not there then. Whilst I was feeling for a lucifer I said, "Here is a man lying here, properly gurgling". A man who came up struck a lucifer and held it over his face; I saw him bleeding. I ran back to Gazeley's and got some assistance. Welch was gone about ten minutes. Bradberry was taken to the house then; he was lying by the side of the road.

The former Royal Oak Round Green June 2010
The former Royal Oak Round Green June 2010

By his Lordship: I had been in their company at the Royal Oak; I was at Luton and saw them, and they asked me if I would go up to Round Green. When the house was shut up they said to me, "Come on". I didn't know where they were going. I am 22, pretty well. We all went and laid in some straw that night - about a mile off at White-hill; the straw was in a rickyard. Welch said, "We may as well go and lay down in this straw", and all three of us did so. I didn't ask why they didn't go home; we stopped till five o'clock and then came back to Round Green.

The Jolly Topers June 2010
The Jolly Topers June 2010

Kitt Tomson: I am a surgeon, practising at Luton. On the morning of the 4th of August I was called to see the deceased man Bradberry. He was laying on the ground, and I had him moved to the Jolly Topers immediately. I saw a large mass of cobwebs on the left side of his forehead; I had them removed. I then saw a small wound, a recent one, bleeding, and star-shaped. There was a small graze on the left side of the nose; those were all the wounds I observed. I saw he would die, and I did not disturb him; I stayed with him until four o'clock in the morning, and did what I could to relieve him. I left then to lay down, and when I came back I found him dead. Afterwards I made a post-mortem examination with Mr. James Benson. We found nothing else externally excepting a swelling on the back of the head on the right side, and of the left side of the neck, under the ear. We removed the scalp, and under the wound on the forehead there was a large mass of blood the size of a five-shilling piece, and the muscles of the neck were smashed, giving it the appearance of black current jelly. On examining the bones at the back of the head we discovered a fracture, extending vertically behind the right ear up to the crown of the head, getting smaller and less distinct as it ascended. We removed the skull and found a large quantity of blood in front and under the left side of the brain. We found no other marks of violence or disease; we made a complete examination. His death was caused by the wounds I have described. The clot of blood in front was caused by the blow behind. The winch produced would have caused such a wound. The space covered was more than one blow would have produced; one blow would not have caused the muscles to have been smashed. I cannot say how many blows there were. The wound upon the forehead was caused by a fall upon the ground, on his left side. The abrasion upon the nose might have been caused at some previous time. If the wounds had been made by a smaller instrument there would have been a great many blows to have produced the injuries. It appears to have been a very heavy instrument. I examined the wound as soon as it was light on the morning of the 4th. On the left side of the road there was a small pool of blood, and on the right side a larger pool, nearly opposite the other. Between them there was a continuous trail - not of blood but of dust, dragged up. On the right side some one had vomited. I found a button, which I gave to the police. The injuries could not have been done by a wheel; a wheel could not have got to where the wound was without injuring the surrounding parts. No fall could have produced it; a smooth instrument must have been used. The deceased never regained consciousness.

Cross-examined: The left pool of blood nearly touched the grass. His head was knocked down on the left side, so that he would have been walking about 6 feet from the road.

Mr. Benson was in court but was not called.

(The court adjourned for 20 minutes).

John Gazeley, recalled by his Lordship: I have a small bedwinch at home - 5 inches in length on one side and 3½ on the other. I don't remember lending it to Welch. I can't say whether my wife did; she is here - she can speak for herself. Welch married my daughter.

This being the whole of the evidence.