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Martha Bodger

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Martha Bodger

Post by Karen on Tue 16 Nov 2010 - 11:45

THE MURDER AT CHIGWELL.

Yesterday morning Joseph Morley, 17, was re-examined at Stratford on the charge of wilfuly murdering Martha Bodger at Chigwell on Tuesday. The court was densely crowded, the greatest amount of interest being taken in the case; but as soon as the prisoner was put in the dock Inspector Cudmore asked for a remand, as the Treasury had taken up the prosecution. Formal evidence was then taken, and Inspector James Cudmore then deposed to seeing the body of the deceased, her throat being cut. There appeared to have been a struggle, and there were cuts on the fingers of the deceased, and her hands were covered with fresh blood, some being on the legs, which were naked. Witness requested Dr. Jameson to examine the body of the deceased. Witness then entered the back bedroom, which he was informed had been used by the prisoner. There were three fresh spots of blood on the carpet, and there were spots of blood all down the staircase, on the staircase door, in the back kitchen and scullery, and one the scullery door, while there was one spot on the window blind in the front room. All of these appeared quite fresh.
Mr. Atkinson said he should defer his cross-examination, and the Bench then remanded the prisoner, who, during the hearing, was continually glancing anxiously about the court.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, Sunday October 16, 1887

BRUTAL MURDER AT CHIGWELL ROW.

Early on Tuesday morning, at Barkingside, Chigwell row, a horrible murder was committed, the victim being a young married woman, well known and much respected in the neighbourhood. The scene of the tragedy was a cottage, forming one of a row known as Beale's-cottages, Romford-road, Barkingside, which has been occupied for some time past by a James Mears Bodger (a gardener in the employ of Mr. F. Green, J.P., of Hainault), and his wife, Martha. Bodger went to work early, leaving his wife in bed, and when he left Joseph Morley, a blacksmith, was having his breakfast downstairs. Shortly after six o'clock loud screams were heard issuing from Mrs. Bodger's bedroom by James Briant, who lives next door. Briant hurried to where Bodger was at work, and told him that there was something the matter at home, and that he had better go back at once. Bodger immediately returned, gained admission to his house by the back way, and on going upstairs found his wife lying in a pool of blood with her head nearly severed from her body. Her baby, which was lying at her side, was covered with blood, but happily was not in any way hurt.
Morley, who is only 17 years of age, was subsequently arrested, and on Wednesday was charged at the Stratford petty sessions with the murder. The husband of deceased was the first witness, and his evidence bore out the statement given above. When he returned to the house with Briant he said he found his wife lying across the bed covered with blood. She was in her nightdress. The witness said: After I went downstairs I saw that the door was just the same as it was when I went to work. It was shut, but not locked. It is a spring lock; when you go out it locks the door, and you can't get in without a key. I told my neighbours she was murdered, and they said, "Oh, never," and asked, " Is the child dead?" I then ran upstairs, and saw the little thing in the bed laughing at me. I took it away from its mother's arms. I saw that my wife was quite dead. The child was covered with blood. I took it into the next-door neighbour's. The child was six months old. In further evidence the husband said that he afterwards went to the shop where the prisoner was employed, and charged him with having killed his wife. Prisoner replied, "No; I did not, Jim." He had never had any reason to complain of prisoner's conduct. - Inspector Saunders described the position in which he found the body of the deceased. The head was nearly severed from the body. There were two cuts on the fingers of the left hand. The bed and floor were covered with blood, and there was every appearance of a struggle having taken place. Witness saw the accused standing on the road, and asked him if he had committed the murder. He replied, "No; I don't know anything about it." Witness found a cut on one of his fingers, but prisoner said it was caused by a fall from a bicycle. Witness told him he must apprehend him, and he replied "Very well; I suppose I must go." Subsequently blood spots were found on his shirt and on his coat. When charged at the station he made no reply. - The prisoner was remanded.
Mr. C.C. Lewis opened an inquiry, on Thursday, on the body. James Mears Bodger, the husband, repeated the evidence he gave at the police-court. - The inquiry was adjourned, to allow a post-mortem examination of the body to be made.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, Sunday October 16, 1887, Page 2


Last edited by Karen on Tue 16 Nov 2010 - 13:29; edited 1 time in total

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Martha Bodger

Post by Karen on Tue 16 Nov 2010 - 12:57

The remains of Martha Bodger, the young married woman who was murdered at Chigwell row on Tuesday last, were interred at Chigwell Cemetery yesterday afternoon.

Source: The Echo, Monday October 17, 1887

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Re: Martha Bodger

Post by Karen on Tue 16 Nov 2010 - 12:58

THE CHIGWELL-ROW MURDER.

RESUMED INQUEST TODAY.

This morning, at the Old Hainault Oak Tavern, Chigwell-row, Mr. C.C. Lewis, the Coroner for the Southern Division of Essex, resumed the adjourned inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Martha Bodger, aged 24, a married woman, the wife of James Mears Bodger, an under-gardener in the employ of Mr. Frank Green, J.P., of Hainault Lodge, Dagenham. The deceased, it may be remembered, was found dead in bed on the morning of the 11th inst., and her appearance and that of the bed and room left no doubt that she had been foully murdered. The evidence already given showed that at about six o'clock on the morning in question, the husband took a cup of tea upstairs to his wife, who was in bed with her daughter, a baby six months' old. When he left the house to go to his work, a young blacksmith, named Morley (who is now under remand on the charge of wilful murder) was in the front room downstairs preparing his breakfast. As Bodger went out he enjoined Morley not to forget to close the street door. Soon after Bodger had left the house the neighbours heard screams, and a man named Bryant, with his niece, Day, went to the front door, but they could see nothing. Bryant, who also worked at Mr. Green's, on arriving there, spoke to Bodger about the occurrence. He at once returned home. Failing to get in at the front door, an entrance was effected by the back, and on going upstairs he found his wife lying across the bed, with her throat cut. Her child was by her side laughing. When accused of the crime the prisoner protested that he knew nothing about it, and when a cut on his finger was pointed out, he said that was caused by a fall from a bicycle. At the station he was stripped, and blood was found on his clothing. On the deceased's body being examined, four deep cuts were found in her throat, and an incised wound on the right side of the mouth. The woman's fingers were also terribly cut. There were no marks to indicate any attempt at criminal violence; but it was evident that there had been a terrible struggle. The body was covered with blood, and the bed-clothes, the floor, the walls, and the door were stained with blood. A razor found broken down-stairs was identified as belonging to Mr. Bodger, who deposed that he kept it downstairs in the kitchen, and that Morley had seen him use it.
Mr. J.W. Atkinson watched the case on behalf of Morley - the accused.
The evidence already given was read over. Bodger added that he did not know the time when he left home in the morning. When half way to work he heard the six o'clock Epping horn. On Monday he was with Morley until bedtime, and was sure he did not have his bicycle out. He had not complained of a fall. He had not noticed cuts on Morley's hand.
Henry Barton, a lad, said that on Tuesday morning, he was going to work, when he stopped at a cottage adjoining Bodgers' to call a lad named Mansfield. While there, he saw Joseph Morley leave the cottage. He pulled the door after him, and walked down the road. After passing Beale's-cottages he quickened his pace. Witness called out as he passed, "Hallo! Joe!" but he did not answer. Maria Day stood at her uncle's front door, and the man Bryant was at the time in his garden. It was between six and a quarter-past when he saw Morley leave Bodger's cottage. He did not notice if Morley had anything tied around his hands. He saw Bryant leave, and walked down the road with him.
Frank Messent, blacksmith, said he had employed Morley for eight months. Bodger's house was two hundred yards from his shop. On Monday he was working from six in the morning till six at night, but witness did not see him between one and two, the dinner hour. On Tuesday morning he went to work at half-past six o'clock - that was later than usual. He noticed nothing whatever peculiar about him. He answered the morning greeting in the usual way. He had been there half an hour when Bodger appeared. Bodger said, "Frank, I shall accuse Joe of murdering my wife." Witness said, "Never, Jim;" but Bodger said, "We have, Frank. Do come." Witness called Mr. Drake up, and together with Morley walked up to Bodger's house. Upstairs witness saw the deceased lying across the bed with her throat cut. There was blood on the bed and on the walls. On the floor, between her feet, was a razor handle. The witness, Drake, and Morley returned to the blacksmith's shop. Morley made no remark on the way. Five minutes after witness said to Morley, "Did you murder this woman?" He said, "No." Witness added, "If you know anything about it, say so," and he again answered, "No." Afterwards he noticed a biggish spot of blood on the breast of his coat; it was the size of a florin. Witness said, "Joe, this looks rather bad for you." He answered that he had cut his finger by falling off a bicycle in the evening. He went to the closet. Witness followed. On the 13th he saw Inspector Cudmore take a neckerchief from the closet. Dr. Jameson examined Morley, and pointed out the spots, which he pronounced to be blood. Morley again accounted for the blood by speaking of the bicycle fall. The doctor examined his hands, and found a cut on each. Witness kept observation on Morley till the police arrived. During that time Morley made no statement.
In reply to the Jury, witness said he noticed no blood on Morley's face. In reply to Mr. Atkinson, he said that Morley, when he arrived at his work, did not appear excited at all. Neither on Monday nor Tuesday did Morley have his hand bound up. He did not notice the slightest change in his manner when Bodger accused him of murder. He was calm all through, and made no attempt to escape.
(The report will be continued.)

Source: The Echo, Tuesday October 18, 1887, Page 3

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Blood Neckerchief

Post by Karen on Tue 16 Nov 2010 - 19:05

THE MURDER AT CHIGWELL.

Yesterday the prisoner Joseph Morley, 17, a blacksmith, was again brought up on remand charged with the wilful murder of Martha Bodger, by cutting her throat with a razor, on the morning of the 11th inst., at Beale's-cottages, Romford-road, Barkingside. - It will be remembered that the prisoner lodged at the house of the deceased's husband. The prisoner was employed close by the cottage, and on the morning of the 11th inst. Mr. Bodger left his wife in bed to go to his work. The prisoner was then in the house, and apparently about to go to business. A short time after the husband's departure screams were heard by the neighbours, and the prisoner was seen to leave the house and go to his work. The front door was fastened, and the neighbours then sent fro the husband, who, on entering the house and proceeding upstairs, found his wife lying across the bed in a pool of blood. There was a fearful gash in her throat, and her hands were also cut. There was blood all over the room, and on the walls; also in the prisoner's bedroom and downstairs. On the floor near the deceased was found the broken handle of a razor, and the blade was afterwards discovered under the carpet. The prisoner was at once detained at the place of his employment, and, the police arriving, blood was found on the prisoner's hands and clothing. There was also a cut on his hand, but he accounted for that by saying that he had fallen from his tricycle. In addition to the evidence which has already appeared in the papers, the husband of the deceased was yesterday cross-examined at considerable length. He said that the prisoner knew where he kept his razor, and on Sunday he shaved himself with the one found in the bedroom. The prisoner saw him put this away. A stranger would not be able to find the razor unless shown where it was placed. The razor when put away on the Sunday was quite whole, and not broken. - Mr. Messent, the prisoner's employer, said that prisoner went to his work that morning in the ordinary way. He did not notice anything particular about him, neither did he see any cut on his hand the day before. After his being accused of the murder prisoner went down to the closet, and remained there three minutes. On the following day a portion of a neckerchief was taken from the soil, which had blood on it. The remaining portion was found in prisoner's pocket. - The Bench committed the prisoner for trial.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, October 23, 1887, Page 12

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Re: Martha Bodger

Post by Karen on Tue 16 Nov 2010 - 19:17

THE DAGENHAM MURDER.

At the Old Hainault Oak tavern, Chigwell-row, on Tuesday, Mr. C.C. Lewis resumed the inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Martha Bodger, aged 24, a married woman, the wife of James Mears Bodger, an under-gardener in the employ of Mr. Frank Green, J.P., of Hainault lodge, Dagenham. The evidence already given was then read over. Bodger added that he did not know the time when he left home, but when half-way to work he heard the six o'clock Epping horn. On the Monday he was with Morley (charged with the murder) till bedtime, and had not noticed cuts on Morley's hand up to the time of leaving the cottage. - Henry Barton, a lad, said on Tuesday morning, as he was going to work, he stopped at the cottage adjoining Bodger's to call a lad named Mansfield. While there he saw Joseph Morley leave the cottage. He pulled the door after him and walked down the road. Witness said to him as he passed, "Hallo, Joe," but he did not answer. It was between six and a quarter-past when he saw Morley leave Bodger's cottage. - Ernest Drake, landlord of the Old Hainault Oak, said Morley lived with him during Mrs. Bodger's confinement. He discharged him from the place in consequence of an allegation by the servant that he had attempted liberties. - Inspector Cudmore produced a broken razor, two handkerchiefs, and other articles owned by Morley, and found in Bodger's cottage. The jury returned a verdict of "Wilful murder" against Morley.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, October 23, 1887, Page 4

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Morley Executed

Post by Karen on Thu 18 Nov 2010 - 1:01

THE PROVINCES.

ESSEX. - EXECUTION AT CHELMSFORD. -

The youth, Joseph Morley, aged 17, was executed on Monday morning in Springfield prison, Chelmsford. The prisoner lodged with a married man named Bodger at Chigwell-row, and shortly after Bodger had left his home early on the morning of Aug. 11 Morley went into Mrs. Bodger's bedroom and cut her throat with a razor, death being almost instantaneous. In an interview with his father on the day following his conviction, the culprit admitted his guilt, and afterwards wrote a full confession, which, however, has not been made public. His father, a labourer, living at Newton, near Sudbury, bade a final farewell to the condemned lad on Saturday, when a most distressing scene took place, the prisoner weeping bitterly. The execution took place at eight o'clock in the morning. The condemned lad submitted quietly to the pinioning by Berry, and walked to the scaffold without assistance, but sobbing all the time. As the cold and damp rope was placed round his neck a perceptible shudder passed through the body. As the lad, who stood exactly 5ft., weighed barely 8st., the executioner allowed a drop of 7ft., and from the time Morley stepped on to the scaffold until the drop fell only 45secs. elapsed. Death was instantaneous. The chaplain, the Rev. W.F. Lumley, stated that the lad died extremely penitent, and his last request was that the letters received by him in prison might be buried in his coffin with him - a request with which Mr. Lumley complied.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, November 27, 1887, Page 8

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Uncontrollable Impulse

Post by Karen on Thu 18 Nov 2010 - 1:14

At Chelmsford lately a youth, only seventeen years of age, called Morley, was condemned to death by Mr. Justice Field for the murder of Mrs. Bodger, a young married woman, at Dagenham, the wife of a gardener. Morley, who lodged in their house, had in the husband's absence cut her throat with a razor. In a confession of his guilt Morley states that the crime was not premeditated, but in cutting Mrs. Bodger's throat he yielded to an uncontrollable impulse. He further states that he was led to commit the crime in consequence of his reading an account of the recent clerical murder in Suffolk, and that he had long taken a morbid interest in perusing narratives of murders and crimes.

Source: The Guardian, November 16, 1887, Page 6

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