Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community archives > Luton > LutonIntroduction > The Round Green Murder Witness Statements

The Round Green Murder Witness Statements

The Bedfordshire Mercury account of the trial, on 16th March 1868, of William Worsley for the murder of William Bradberry at Round Green on 3rd August 1867 continued thus:

The following witnesses were then called: -

John Conder, examined by Mr. Abdy: I am a surveyor's clerk at Luton. I prepared the plan produced, which is correct. The distances are marked.

Cross-examined by Mr.Metcalfe: The width of the road is about 30 feet. There is a footpath on the right side, going from Luton, and this is divided from the road by a water channel. On the left side there is a greensward, 8 or 10 feet wide.

Serjeant Tozer: I think, my lord and gentlemen of the jury, I didn't mention that is shall show you the body was drawn across the road.

The former Bell Hotel (a later building than that of 1867) June 2010
The former Bell Hotel (a later building than that of 1867) June 2010

Thomas Anderson: I was ostler at the Bell Inn in August last. I was in the taproom that night. I saw Bradberry there; he went in about 10 o'clock. I served him with four pints of beer and half an ounce of tobacco. I saw him go out about 25 minutes past 11; I saw him no more. Abraham Milemore was there. Bradberry had a bundle and a basket, and kept them on his shoulder at all times.

Cross-examined: He called for four pints of beer, but gave much of it away to other people.

Abraham Milemore: I live in Luton. I remember Saturday, the 3rd of August last. I was at the Bell with William Bradberry at night. We had been there together. He went away about a quarter past eleven. I left him outside, and he turned homewards. He had a flag basket slung before and a bundle behind. He was right enough for drink when he left me.

The Old English Gentleman June 2010
The Old English Gentleman June 2010

James Riddle: I keep the Old English Gentleman, on the Hitchin road. I saw William Bradberry on the night of the 3rd of August; he came to my house, and had one pint of beer. He left a 5 minutes to 12, I saw him go towards Round Green. I noticed that he had a flag basket, but I did not notice a bundle. He paid me twopence for the beer; I saw no other money of his.

Cross-examined: He did not seem the worse for liquor. He appeared about 40 years of age.

 The former Royal Oak Round Green (a later building than that of 1867) June 2010
The former Royal Oak Round Green (a later building than that of 1867) June 2010

John Gazeley: I keep the Royal Oak public-house at Round Green, 150 yards from where the body of Bradberry was found lying. I knew Worsley and Welch. I saw them come to my house with James Day on the evening of the 3rd of August, with others. They left about 5 minutes to 12; they went out together. Day came back to fetch a lucifer as he had lost 6d. As he came back the second time he said a man was found lying in the road, and Worsley had kicked against him. I went with a light directly, and in saw a man lying on the footpath at the side of the road. I fancied he was dead. I asked who he was, and a man who was lodging with me said "I believe its poor Will Bradberry". I said, "Lift him up", and Worsley lifted him up and held him for some time. I saw blood running from the back of his head and from his forehead. Worsley was not sober.

Cross-examined: Welch was not the worse for drink, nor James Day. Worsley was three parts drunk.

George Balls: I was at the Royal Oak on the night of the 3rd August. I saw Worsley, Welch and Day there; I saw them leave, and go towards the Hitchin road. I went as far as the chapel, and then turned homewards; there was no one on the road. The landlord said it wanted about four minutes to 12.

Cross-examined: I bid Worsley "Good night" just before I got to the chapel. Welch went on first, and I saw no more of him. Day and Worsley were together, and I bade them "Good night". I saw no more of them that night.

Daniel Kilby: I remember the night of the 3rd August. I know the chapel near Round Green. I was standing there talking to a female friend about seven or eight minutes before 12 o'clock. I know Lawrence and Scrivener; they went long the road which goes from Luton to Stopsley; I had been standing there three or four minutes then. I heard someone else walking along the road; I don't know who he was. I then saw Worsley, Welch and Day walking along the road towards Stopsley, Worsley and Welch passed me, and Day felt on the ground for something. Day remained while I was standing there. I heard something like scuffling on the road with shoes two or three minutes after Worsley and Welch had passed. I was standing near Ramridge Green. I heard one of them say, "Come on, Jimmy, if you're coming, you b - fool". Day said, "Yes, directly". I went home afterwards, towards Luton, past the Royal Oak.

Cross-examined: I saw Balls going towards Ramridge-end. I heard him say, "Good night, my old pigeons", to Worsley, Welch, and Day; they were down the road then. Day dropped the money opposite the chapel door, and was then with Worsley. I don't know that Welch went on first.

Re-examined, at the request of his Lordship: I believe it was Welch who called out "Come on, Jimmy". I know his voice very well.

The Bricklayers Arms High Town June 2010
The Bricklayers Arms High Town June 2010

George Layton: I was bailiff to the County Court at Luton on the 3rd of August. On the night of that day I was at the Bricklayers' Arms public-house. I was going home towards Stopsley, and got to the chapel about a quarter-past 12. I heard someone say they had kicked against the d-, and they had liked to have fell over him; I was against the chapel then. When I had got 60 yards I saw a man lying on the ground, and one man standing by the side of the head and another at his feet. I heard the party repeat the same words as I heard before; Worsley said it. I believe it was the same voice I had heard before, The body laid with the head towards the road, and the feet towards the hedge. Worsley stood at his head. I said, "For goodness' sake fetch a light or I will"; I struck a lucifer. The blood was running freely from the back of the man's head and ear,. He was lying on his back. One of them said he would fetch a light. I went with Burgess to fetch one as well. I said, "There ought to be some responsible person here", and I went to Stopsley, and roused some one, but he said as he was not constable he should not trouble with it. I went home, then, knowing that there were several people with the man.

Cross-examined: I didn't fear getting into trouble. I thought an officer in the law should be there; that was what I meant by a responsible person.

The former King Harry June 2010
The former King Harry June 2010

James Burgess: I live at Round Green. I was at Luton on the 3rd August; I was at the King Harry at 25 minutes to 12. I went then to Round Green. I met a young man named Howe and a man named Read, and bade them "Good night". I got home about 10 minutes to 12. At a quarter after 12Layton came to my house and asked for a light, as a man had got hurt. My house was 100 yards off the spot where I found Bradberry lying, and Day and Worsley attending by him. We took him to the Jolly Topers. Blood was running down him. I fetched Mr. Tomson to see him. I stopped with him all night, and he never spoke all the time; he died at 20 minutes past eight next morning - Sunday, the 4th. He bled from the temple and the back of the head.

The Jolly Topers June 2010
The Jolly Topers June 2010

Cross-examined: Welch was not there when I saw the man lying in the road.

Richard Howe (an elderly labouring man, and deaf) was next called, and, when the oath was administered to him he would not kiss the book, but said, "My memory is so bad I almost forget what I have said".

The Crier of the Court: You must kiss the book.

Howe stood still in an idiotic manner, and held the book in his hand without putting it to his lips.

The Judge: Tell him if he don't kiss it, I will send him to prison directly.

The Crier of the Court: The Judge says if you don't kiss the book he will send you to prison directly.

Witness at once kissed the book, and deposed: I was at the King Harry on the night of the 3rd of August. I left at 25 minutes to 12, and went by Round Green to Stopsley. James Burgess caught me on the way. He went to his house, and I went on to where Bradberry was found. I passed the spot at 5 or 10 minutes to 12. No one was there then.

John Lawrence: I live at Stopsley. On Saturday, the 3rd of August, I was at the Royal Oak with Benjamin Scrivener, and left at 5 minutes to 12. I passed the chapel and went along the road. I passed no one going there. I went in the middle of the road with Scrivener. It was a dark night. I saw Welch, Worsley and Day at the Royal Oak, and I left them there. I got home at 20 minutes past 12.

Benjamin Scrivener: I am a labourer, living at Stopsley. I was with Lawrence at the Royal Oak on the night of the 3rd of August. Worsley, Welch and Day were there. I left there at about 10 minutes to 12. I left because the landlady said it was time to go. I passed the chapel on my road to Stopsley. I passed the spot where Bradberry was found. I saw no one there.

George Read: I live at Luton. I was at Stopsley on the 3rd of August. I went back to Luton that night at half-past eleven, and met Richard Howe and James Burgess at a place called Turner's Knoll between Luton and Round Green. I met nobody else on the road. I passed the Royal Oak at a quarter to twelve.

William Day: I am a labourer. On the night of the 3rd August I returned from the Wheat Sheaf at Stopsley, and I got to the chapel at half-past twelve. I saw a light and some men standing there. I asked what was the matter. Worsley said, "Here's a man run over". I had met nobody on the road. Bradberry was lying on the right side of the road. I asked who it was, and Worsley said he'd be d - if he know'd.

William Hucklesby: I live at Stopsley. I went to the Cooper's Arms at Round Green on the night of the 3rd of August. I met Gazeley. I went towards Stopsley and found Bradberry lying on the road with other men standing near. I said, "That's Bradberry". He was smothered with blood. Worsley picked him up, and he could not stand. He said, "I kicked against his head, and I was like to have run over him".

Cross-examined: I didn't see Welch there. I went away to give information to the constable.

Henry Humphreys: I am gamekeeper to Mr. Sowerby, Putteridge Bury. I was at Luton on the 12th of August, when I had a charge of poaching against Worsley. Revells was with me. Worsley said, "Well, Revells, what are you going to do with us?" Revells replied, "You'll know that soon enough". Worsley said, "I don't care a d - about your job if old Bradberry's job was settled". I said. "If you know anything about it you had better say so, and ease you mind". He made no reply.

Cross-examined: Bradberry's job had been talked about a good deal at the time. I knew that Worsley was one of the men who were with him when he was found on the road.

James Revells: I was at Luton on the 12th of August. I heard Worsley ask if I had a summons against him. I said he would know that time enough. He asked for a penny to get him some beer, and we gave him one each. After this he said he didn’t care a d - about having two months for our job; if he could get over Bradberry's job.

George Peters (in military uniform): I am a soldier now; I was a sawyer in August last. I went into the Wheatsheaf on the night of the 3rd, and afterwards I went along the road, I saw Bradberry lying there. I helped carry him to the public house, and remained with him all night. Burgess and his daughter, Worsley, Welch and Day were there; Battams and Fensome were there also. Worsley said, "Well, the poor b - is about done; we may as well say a short prayer over him". I was a witness at the Coroner's inquest, and was in the room with the other witnesses. Worsley said to Welch, "Is that the b -?" Welch said, "I'll do for him if I have a chance". Layton had just come in, and they pointed to him when they spoke.

George Smith: I am now superintendent of police for the Biggleswade division, and in August last I was inspector of police at Luton. Superintendent Samuel Pope, of Luton, is ill at the present time, and is incapable of attending to-day to give evidence. After the murder of Bradberry I made a search in a field close to where Bradberry was found. Mr. Pope was with me. About 155 yards from where Bradberry laid, along the side of the hedge, I found a shirt, a wideawake [hat], a piece of ribbon and a piece of paper. The hedge was by the side of the road nearest Stopsley. They had been put in from inside of the field. This was on the 28th of August. We went 90 yards straight down to the other hedge, and we found a shirt, a waistcoat, and a pair of breeches close to a tree. The same day I received from a labourer named Young a purse, two pieces of pocket, which I afterwards matched with the trousers belonging to Bradberry. The things were all found on one day - on the 28th. I produce the clothes of the deceased which were found.

Thomas Young: I am a labourer, living at Stopsley. I was at work on the 21st August, in a field, and found a purse. That is the one produced. I was Mr. Smith, of Round Green, when I found it. It was about 50 or 60 yards from where the body was found lying in the open field.

Isaac Marriner: I am a police-constable at Luton. I found a knife in Mr. Queenborough's field, 500 or 600 yards from where Bradberry was found, in the next meadow but one to where he was found. It was about 13 yards from the road, laying in the open field. I looked at Bradberry's trousers that he wore on the night of the 3rd, and noticed that the pockets had been cut out. I examined the road, and found blood on both sides of it, and marks of blood as if the body had been drawn heavily across the road; I examined the place as soon as it got light in the morning. I was at the Jolly Topers at one o'clock that night.

Edith Coles (who was much moved): I am the wife of William Coles, labourer, at Lilley. William Bradberry was a cousin of mine. On the night of the 3rd of August he left home at Lilley to go to Luton to buy some clothes. I didn't see him again alive. Mrs. Sarah Bradberry, his aunt, is not able to come today; she is 73 years old. She is very nervous, very lame and very poorly.

By his Lordship: She was not here on Friday or Saturday.

Francis William Barker: I am an apprentice to Mr. Charles Beecroft, draper, Luton. William Bradberry was at his shop on the night of the 3rd of August. I sold him a pair of trousers and a striped cotton shirt; he paid me 10 shillings 6 pence altogether. Those produced are those I sold.

Superintendent Smith, recalled by the Judge: Mr. Pope found the shirt and breeches in my presence.

Barker: The piece of paper produced came from our shop - it has Mr. Beecroft's name on it (part of a paper bag).

Edward Robert Beecroft: I am  the son of Mr. Beecroft of Luton. On the night of the 3rd of August I sold Bradberry a hat, a shirt, and vest. Those produced are like the ones I sold; I cannot swear to the hat, as it has no marks upon it, but I can to the others. I gave him a piece of ribbon like that produced to put round his hat. He had a flag basket, but I noticed nothing else. He tied the clothes up in a bundle.

His Lordship wished to ask whether Sarah Bradberry was not under recognizances?

Serjeant Tozer: She has not given evidence before the magistrate.

Mr. C. A. Austin: She is subpoenaed my lord.

His Lordship: People cannot stay away when they please. Is she really unable to attend, brother Tozer?

Serjeant Tozer believed such was the case.

The Judge wished it to be understood, as persons present might be led astray, that witnesses had no right to stay away when summoned.

The site of the Tiger Beerhouse in Taylor Street June 2010
The possible site of the Tiger Beerhouse in Taylor Street June 2010

Mary Ann Worsley: I am sister-in-law to Worsley, the prisoner. My husband keeps the Tiger beerhouse, at Luton. Prisoner came to my house on the night of the 3rd August, about nine o'clock, and again at eleven o'clock. He also came on the Monday after. I went into the back kitchen after he had gone, and saw my grate winch lying there. I asked the children whether they had had it to play with. I had no other winch but that in the house. I had not seen it on Sunday. It properly lies in the bar cupboard. It then laid on the floor, against the table. I had seen Worsley on the Wednesday before the 3rd; he came to have some beer. He said he should have the winch some day, but I said "No, you shall not, because I often want it to screw the grate up". The winch produced is the one (a heavy piece of iron, with a wooden handle - a formidable weapon).

Cross-examined: He meant that he wished to borrow it, I suppose - not have it altogether. He is a married man. We both live in Layton-street, Luton, though his house is not very near mine.

By his Lordship: The cupboard door was open when he said he should have the winch. He picked it up at the time he aid he should borrow it.