Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

202               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
evening of the night (Saturday, the 27th November, 1869) on which he was to meet his accomplice. Whether he met him or not, who can say? but on the following Monday morning the fugitive burglar—for such he was—was found lying dead in a ditch at the back of Cuckfield with a fractured skull, and the instrument with which the blows were inflicted, called a "jemmy," and used by burglars, was afterwards found in an adjacent pond, into which it was doubtless flung immediately after the committal of the crime.
The police were unable to find any clue to the murderer —any, at least, sufficient to charge him with the crime. Both the murdered man (whose name was Greenhead) and the murderer had concealed their movements so well that they were never seen together. The accomplice referred to—a man named Rowland—was subsequently apprehended and convicted, at the Sussex Assizes, of a robbery at Croydon, where he lived, and was sentenced to a year's imprisonment.
Here, again, in the presence of an undiscovered crime, we may say, in the powerful language which Hood places in the mouth of Eugene Aram—whose crime was committed under somewhat similar circumstances to the above—one more murderer
Walks the earth Beneath the curse of Cain,
With crimson clouds before his eyes, And flames about his brain;
For blood has left upon his soul Its everlasting stain!
The late Editor of the Sussex Archaeological Collections, the Rev. E. Turner, in one of his latest contributions, expresses his satisfaction—and surely all humane persons will join with him in doing so—at the disappearance from our highways and byeways of those gibbets which used to mark the spot where a crime had been committed and where justice had exacted its most fearful penalty. To make it more durable and more terrible, the culprit used sometimes to be hung in what was called " chains"—that is, in a framework
Previous Contents Next