This account was researched by Janine Appleby



On Friday last, being market-day, our town was in a state of great excitement and interest owing to the announcement of a horrible murder having been committed at Stanley, in this county, and in the course of the day the following hand-bill was circulated, viz.:-


Whereas the dwelling-house of the two Misses Goddard, at Stanley, in the county of Derby, was burglariously broken into, and entered early in the morning of the 30th day of September, and both of the inmates inhumanly beat about their heads and faces, one of whom has since died from the wounds inflicted;-Notice is hereby given, that a reward of 100, will be given to any person who shall give such information as will lead to the conviction of the perpetrators of the above crime, on application to Mr. R. W. Birch, solicitor, Derby.

Stanley; September 30, 1842.

We are enabled to state the following particulars from good authority. The unfortunate victim was Miss Martha Goddard, of the age of 70, who had lived, together with her sister, Sarah (a few years younger), in Stanley, for above 40 years, without any other inmate in the house. The account given by the survivor is, that her sister was gone to bed, and she was sitting up, and about one o'clock in the morning of the 30th ult., she heard a noise, and on going to see where it was, she was met in the back kitchen by two men who had entered through the roof by removing some slates, and she was unmercifully beaten by them with an iron crow or bar on the face and head, and dreadfully disfigured, and one of her fingers broken. She escaped from them into her bed-room and fastened the door which they afterwards forced open, and demanded her money, particularly a 1 note, which they told her they knew she was possessed of, although she denied it. They, however, obtained from her two sovereigns and a few shillings, and then went into the bed room of her sister, who was found by the younger one, about an hour afterwards, lying partly across the bed, with her legs hanging down, weltering in blood; her head having been heavily struck and bruised, apparently with the same instrument. The younger one had not heard any noise in her sister's room, and she did not dare leave her own until she thought the men had gone away. Her consternation may be imagined on entering the room and finding her sister senseless. She attended upon her, and did not leave her till about day-light, fearing she might die in her absence, being in an insensible state, and in fact she never spoke intelligibly after the attack. She then went to a neighbour's about 200 yards distant, and a surgeon arrived, and she breathed her last about 7 o'clock the same morning.
    The survivor is not in a state to give the account so clearly as could be wished, nor is it ascertained what passed when the men were in the bed-room of the deceased, nor what was the reason of the deadly attack on both the sisters, as they were naturally quiet, harmless, and inoffensive, and not likely to have offered any resistance.
    The house was broken into by two men in April last, and the deceased accompanied them during their search, when they carried off some articles of silver, and a few sovereigns, and no violence was offered by them. The house was entered through the same roof as on the previous occasion about a month ago, when very little property was taken, and the sisters did not know of this entry until the doors were found open, when they got up. The three robberies are thought to have been committed by the same parties.
    Arrangements had been made, and two proper parties had agreed to sleep in the house after the second entry, but the deceased, in particular, persisted in preventing it. They lived in close retirement, and never kept a servant, and were very kind and humane, and much respected by their neighbours. Their father was the vicar of Tideswell, in this county, and they possessed a comfortable independence.
    Two men are now in the county gaol for further examination on a charge of being concerned in the outrage and we sincerely hope that justice will overtake the offending parties.


On Saturday morning, an inquest was held on the body before Henry Mosley, Jun., Esq., and a respectable jury, at the White Hart, in Stanley. The following evidence was adduced:-

Sarah Goddard, of Stanley, spinster, says, that the deceased, Martha Goddard, was my sister; she was about 69 years of age, and unmarried; she and I lived together, we kept no servant; on Thursday night last, my sister went to bed about 10 o'clock; I sat up a great deal later; about half-past twelve o'clock on Friday morning I was sitting by the fire in the house-place and heard a noise like mortar falling, the sound came from the coal-house, the door of which was open, and just as I got to it there came out of it two men, who knocked me down, and afterwards went up to my sister's room; when I was able to get up again I went up stairs to my room, and the men came into it and knocked me down again with heavy iron bars; they beat me very much about the head and hands, and broke one of my fingers; I have no doubt they killed my sister with the iron bars they had in their hands, they were very stern savage men, they stayed in the house about an hour and a half, and they then left it; soon after they had gone I went into my sister's room and found her lying bleeding, on her back across the bed, with her legs lying down; I put her legs on a chair, and stayed with her till about 5 o'clock, when I went out and alarmed the neighbours; when I first went in my sister said to me "Sally, Sally, a man, a man;" and she moaned; I cannot describe the men.

William Scattergood, of Stanley, farmer - Yesterday morning, Friday the 30th September, about five o'clock, as I and my wife were in bed, I heard Miss Sarah Goddard, who lives about 100 yards from our house, knocking at our door, and calling out that some men had taken her sister's life. My wife and I got up, and went down stairs, and found miss Goddard had gone away, and we both went to her house, and found her in the kitchen, and she said to us, that they had killed her sister, and we must to up stairs and look at her. My wife and I did go up stairs, and found deceased, Martha Goddard, lying on her back across the bed with her head towards the window, and her legs projecting from the side of the bed, and resting on a chair
which was about a foot from the bedside; her hands were both before her, she did not move; her eyes were closed; I saw her draw her breath; I did not see then any wounds, but she was completely covered with blood from the top of the head to below her middle; there was also a great deal of blood upon the bed clothes, and on the floor; she appeared perfectly insensible all the time I saw her. About a quarter-past five o'clock, Mr. Boden, the surgeon, of Smalley, was sent for, and he came about seven o'clock, or soon after. The house in many places presented the appearance of having been ransacked; everything was in disorder. I understood from Miss Sarah Goddard that two people had broken into the house in the middle of the night, and had robbed it, and had knocked down both herself and her sister with crow bars, and that the men had entered by making a hole through the roof of the coal-house; I looked at this hole soon after I got to the house yesterday morning; it was then in exactly the same state as when the jury saw it this morning; I don't think a bit of mortar has been disturbed since; on the outside of the coal-house the same small ladder which was placed there to shew the jury this morning, was standing yesterday morning, no feet marks were seen near the ladder; there could not be any on account of the grass; Miss Sarah Goddard, yesterday morning, when she came to fetch us, was herself covered with blood; but her face was not quite so black as it appears now; I have known the two Miss Goddards more than 60 years; the two sisters lived together, and kept no servant; they have the reputation of possessing considerable property.

Catherine Harshorn, wife of Timothy Hartshorn, of Stanley, collier, states-I have known the deceased Martha Goddard, a long time; I live within 100 yards of her house, and near Mr. Scattergood's; I have heard the evidence of Mr Scattergood; I went to Miss Goddards' yesterday morning, immediately after he and his wife did, my husband having told me Miss Goddards' house had been broken into again, which he had just heard himself from Mr. Scattergood; when I got to the house I went up stairs and found Mrs. Scattergood crying, and the deceased lying across the bed precisely as described by Mr. Scattergood; she appeared insensible and completely covered with blood; I assisted Mr. Boden, the surgeon, in washing her; there were three holes at the end of her forehead, and one at the back of her head, I saw the holes the two men, that Miss Sarah Goddard stated, had broken into the house and got in at; they were in the same state as when the jury saw them this morning, and the small ladder shewed to the jury was reared against the outer wall of the coal-house, just under the hole in the roof; the Miss Goddards' were considered rich people; their house was broken into at the same place about three weeks ago, and robbed, and it was also robbed several months ago.

Robert Boden, of Smalley, surgeon-Yesterday morning, between 6 and 7 o'clock, I was sent for to see deceased, Martha Goddard, who had been much injured as I was told by some housebreakers. I went to her house directly, and arrived about 7 o'clock; I found her lying in bed in the manner described by Mr. Scattergood and Mrs. Hartshorne; she was insensible, and had lost a great quantity of blood; I found three wounds above the left eye, each an inch and three quarters long; in two of them the scull was fractured, in the other it was not; this latter wound appeared to be the result of two blows; the other two wounds of one blow, but all with the same instrument, which must have been a heavy iron one, and used with considerable violence; there was also another wound near the top of the head, apparently inflicted by the same instrument, and in which also the scull was fractured; there was a considerable contusion on the right side of the neck; there was a wound on the left wrist, and on the
left forefinger; a bruise on the back of the left hand; the ring finger of the right hand was fractured; I have no doubt the fractures of the skull were the immediate cause of the death of deceased, which took place in about half an hour after I got to her, during the whole of which time she was quite insensible.

The Jury returned a verdict of "Wilful Murder against some person or person unknown."

The following letter has been received by Sir Henry S. Wilmot, Bart., by which it will be seen, that government offer a reward of 100, (in addition the reward of the same amount offered by the friends of the deceased), for the discovery and conviction of the murderer or murderers:-

Whitehall, 3d October, 1842.

Sir-I am directed by Secretary Sir James Graham to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st inst., relative to the murder of a lady named Goddard, at Stanley, about four miles from Derby, on Thursday night last;-and I am to inform you, that in this case a reward of one hundred pounds will be paid by the government (in addition to the reward of like amount offered by the friends of the deceased), to any person who shall give such information and evidence as shall lead to the discovery and conviction of the murderer or murderers; and Sir James Graham will advise the grant of her Majesty's gracious pardon to any accomplice, not being the actual perpetrator of the murder, who shall give such evidence as shall lead to the same result.

I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient Servant,

To Sir Henry S. Wilmot, Bart.,
Chaddesden, Derby.





On Thursday last, Samuel Bonsall (or Bonser) and William Bland (of Heage), were examined before Sir Henry Wilmot, Bart, and John Radford, Esq, on the charge of being implicated in the murder of Miss Goddard. They were taken into custody at Heage, on Thursday evening, and on Wednesday were taken before John Radford, and Jedediah Strutt, Esqrs, at Belper, when they were remanded and on Thursday morning were conveyed to Stanley.

Bonsor (who is a collier apparently an active man of about 32 or 33 years of age, and dressed in fustian trowsers and jacket), conducted himself with great sang froid, and frequently laughed, attempting a display of innocence and quietude to which his varying colour and forced demeanour gave a strong contradiction. Bland (who was dressed in a blue smock-frock) was very silent and thoughtful; and his conduct presented a striking contrast to that of his fellow prisoner.

It appears that it was through the medium of two women with whom Holmes, a travelling chimney-sweep, and one named Domino co-habited that information of the real murderers was first conveyed. This Holmes had often been employed by the Misses Goddard, and he is accused by the prisoner Bland of striking the first blow at the deceased.

On Saturday evening se'nnight, during a conversation between Domino, Holmes, and their two women, the subject of the murder was introduced; and knowing that Holmes had been connected with the former robberies Domino intimated his suspicions of the guilt of Holmes. To this, at first, he made no reply; and Domino immediately said "why, thou show'st guilt." He subsequently confessed that he, Bonsall, and Bland, were the parties, but that he had nothing to do with the murder, with which he particularly charged Bonsall. In consequence of this, Domino and his woman communicated with Hawkins, the constable, and Bonsall and Bland were taken into custody.

The wife of Bland (who had an infant at her breast) and her mother, were in attendance at Stanley. She freely acknowledged that her husband admitted to her a few minutes before he was taken into custody, that he was one of the party, but he denied having any connection with the murder, stating that he heard cries of Miss Goddard "to spare her life," and was grieved when he knew what had taken place. He told her that Homes (the sweep) struck the first blow, and that Bonsall followed it up. She also states that about 7 o'clock on the night of the murder, Bonsall called at their house, and he and her husband went away together.

Bland stated that he was innocent of the capital charge, and at the proper time would tell all. Bonsall endeavoured to be collected, but his face changed colour repeatedly, and on being taken to Miss Goddard's the alteration was very apparent. Miss Sarah Goddard (the surviving sister), identified Bonsall as the man who "looked stern and savage at her" and "shook his fist;" she also distinctly stated that he was the man who knocked her down, and afterwards beat her with a jemmy (an iron instrument.) She said she had never seen Bland before, and this fact is certainly corroborative of his

wife's statement. The conjecture is, that the deceased Miss Goddard identified "the sweep," when in her room, and that was the reason why he (or they) murdered her. But this, of course, is merely conjecture.

The parties were remanded and sent to Derby gaol. In taking them through the village of Stanley the yells from the crowd were terrific, and several attempts were made to seize Bonsall, who would certainly have been met with rough treatment had he not been protected by the officers. He attempted to laugh, but his whole demeanour had undergone a change since his appearance before Miss Sarah Goddard. Bland's demeanour was much the same as at first, though he was considerably moved when he encountered his weeping wife.

On Friday last, Bonsall and Bland, underwent another examination before the Magistrates at Derby, and were again remanded. The following handbill, offering 50 reward for the capture of Holmes, the sweep, was issued immediately afterwards:-


Whereas, John Holmes, alias Starbuck, alias Jack the Sweep, lately residing at Heage, in the county of Derby, is charged with the wilful murder of Miss Martha Goddard, at Stanley, on the 30th of September last;- Notice is hereby given, that a reward of fifty pounds will be paid to any person who shall apprehend the said John Holmes, alias Starbuck, alias Jack the Sweep, and lodge him in her Majesty's gaol for the county of Derby - application to be made to Mr R W Birch, solicitor, Wardwick, Derby.

N.B. John Holmes is, apparently, between 27 and 30 years of age, and about 5 feet 6 or 7 inches high; complexion and hair light,; mouth rather on one side; nose a little turned-up; rather round-shouldered; and hangs his head down. Is a sweep, and usually dressed as such. He is also a tinker and chair-bottomer, and has travelled with a knife-grinder's barrow.
Derby, October 7, 1842


On Saturday, Holmes, the sweep, was taken at Leek. It seems he left the scene of the murder for that place, his parents residing there, and that he sent his boy to them to enquire what he should do. It appears he had previously visited them, and made them acquainted with his being concerned in the murder. The parents, in their wisdom, went to the constable of the parish, to ask him, as a friend "what would be the best thing for Jack to do, as he was then waiting in the wood?" to which he replied that he had better go to their house and fetch his budget. The parents then communicated with Holmes, and he returned to them for his bundle, when the constable appeared at the proper times and immediately took him into custody. He was brought to Derby gaol on Monday morning to await his examination before the magistrates.

The three men are not cully committed for trial, the evidence not being entirely collected, although we understand, there is now quite enough to convict them. Indeed, Holmes, we are told, has made a general admission of guilt, and implicated the other two.

The two persons named in our last paper, Keeling and Green, who were charged with being concerned in the burglary, have, of course, been set at liberty.


(Before Mr Baron GURNEY)


This being the day appointed for the trial of the murderers of Miss Martha Goddard, of Stanley Hall, the utmost excitement prevailed. At a very early hour in the morning every avenue leading to the Court was filled by persons anxious to hear the evidence and see the murderers. Indeed, we never remember to have seen greater and more intense interest excited, and that among individuals of all classes, than on this occasion. By seven o'clock the greater part of the Court was filled, and some time before not a seat could be obtained: it being with the utmost difficulty that persons connected with the trial, and those representing the newspaper press, could gain admittance. We are certainly within the mark when we say, that very many hundreds must have gone away unable to hear a syllable, or even get within the Hall. The windows on the roof of the Court were also thronged with spectators, who were content to remain in the inconvenient situation for the sake of hearing, now and then, a few words, rather than go away unsatisfied. Several times a violent rush was made at the doors of the Hall and Courts previous to their opening; and in one instance with success, as one gave way, and the intruders succeeded in effecting an entrance.

At 9 o'clock Mr Baron GURNEY entered the Court, and immediately afterwards the prisoners were placed in the dock.

Samuel Bonsall, 26, William Bland, 39, John Hulme alias John Holmes, alias Starbuck, alias Jack, 24, were charged with having on the 30th day of September last, at the township of Stanley, feloniously, wilfully, and of their malice aforethought, killed and murdered one Martha Goddard, at Stanley aforesaid.

The prisoners were also charged with burglary at the house of the Misses Goddard, and with stealing money and a variety of articles of wearing apparel, &c. To both charges they severally pleaded Not Guilty.

The following was the Jury sworn to try the case:-

John Alsop, Foreman, Robert Dyche,
Samuel Barker, Wm. Bagshaw,
George Hoon, Samuel Holland,
John Brightmore, George Percival,
Wm. Bambridge, Sampson Hodgkinson,
Henry Blackwell, John Dunn.

Mr Serjeant Clarke, Mr Whitehurst, and Mr Fowler, were Counsel for the prosecution. Mr Miller, defended Bonsall.

Mr SERJEANT CLARKE, then rose to address the jury. He said it was his duty to lay before them the evidence, and to state to them the circumstances under which he proposed to bring the case home to the prisoners at the bar. That a horrid murder had been perpetrated could not the disputed; the question was, were the prisoners the men who had committed it. It appeared that Miss Martha Goddard was a maiden lady advanced in years, who had resided with her sister at Stanley Hall, about six miles from Derby. They were ladies of good connections, and were, he believed, daughters of a clergyman, a former vicar of Tideswell, and connected with some of the best families in the county. They were ladies of property, and of eccentric character. This was shown by the circumstances of their residing without any domestic servants - they employing persons in the village of Stanley when they required assistance - and also of the fact of their living in separate rooms of their house. The jury might very easily conceive that individuals of this description were likely to be marked out by men disposed to commit a robbery, they supposing from their position in the world, that money was kept in the house. With regard to the surviving sister, she was in a state which rendered her incapable of giving evidence in Court. She gave irrational answers to questions proposed to her, and it was not his (the learned counsel's) intention to call her; but she was in attendance if required by the prisoners, and would be examined if such was their wish. She had made statements in reference to the murder of her sister; but as it was not intended to put her in the witness box, these would not be mentioned. There was, however, a large body of evidence to lay before the jury. The two Miss Goddards had resided for the last 40 years in their house at Stanley, and on the morning of the 30th September last, Miss Sarah Goddard appeared at the house of the witness, who would be called, in a mangled and mutilated state. The witness went immediately to Miss Goddard's house, and there he found the other sister, Martha, not quite dead, but very much wounded, so that she died an half an hour after. He also discovered that the house had been broken apart, and an entrance made through a shed, a sort of lean-to. From what he saw, there was no doubt that murder had been committed. The prisoners lived in Heage, in Derbyshire. Hulme is a sweep, and a travelling tinker; the other two are colliers. On the 29th September they were seen together more than once, and on the evening of that day, between eight and nine o'clock. Bonsall was at Hulme's house and asked him if he was ready; after which they made certain preparation; they took a razor-clasp knife, two heavy staffs loaded with lead, and a heavy crow bar two feet long, and Hulme and Bonsall left, professing they were going to Bland's house. They did go to Bland's and all soon after left; and the jury, connecting these facts with other evidence would infer where they went ultimately. On the following morning, the 30th September, they were seen at 3 o'clock by another witness, coming from the direction of Stanley with a large bundle in their hands. A boy, in the employ of Sweep Hulme, would prove that Hulme came home carrying a large bag which contained various articles of dress, several of which would be identified as having belonged to the late Miss Goddard. Suspicions having arisen as to these men - that they had committed the murder - Hulme left the place, having secreted the things stolen. The other two prisoners were apprehended, and a boy in his employ, removed the articles secreted in a garden; to a sough near to Ambergate, where they were hidden. On some of these articles there were according to the boy's statement, shop tickets, a rather odd circumstance of itself; but not as to those who knew that the Miss Goddards often left there bits of paper on drapery which they had purchased. This boy would tell the Jury all that passed, and he (the learned counsel) would therefore not repeat it, further than to say, that he thought they would find there was no doubt of the prisoners guilt. Each prisoner had made a statement respecting the murder; Hulme before a Staffordshire magistrate, and Bland before Sir Henry Wilmot, a magistrate of Derbyshire. In these statements they each admitted being engaged in the robbery at the Misses Goddards'; but each sought to throw the charge of murder on the other. A person named Salt, who was in jail in Bonsall's cell a short time, would relate as would another person, also in the same cell, certain conversations they had with Bonsall; and the jury would find that Bonsall admitted he was at Miss Goddards', but denied having committed the murder, seeking to cast its perpetration on another of the prisoners. With regard to the law of the case, if any number of persons went out to commit a felony, and to resist with violence, if violence was used and murder ensued, all where equally guilty. Now; before the prisoners went out, they made preparations; taking with them a razor-knife, and staffs, which proved the design to resist with violence, if needed, while engaged in the robbery. The jury would recollect the resistance expected could only be from two aged ladies; and they would draw their own conclusion from the taking the weapons alluded to. They would find, however, that one of the Miss Goddards did make some resistance. He (the learned counsel) should also show that marks of blood were seen on the prisoners clothes. Each prisoner in the statement he had made had detailed the particulars of the murder as though he were an eye witness; and yet each of them sought to throw the commission of the act on each other. He (the learned counsel) left these facts to the jury; they would hear the evidence, and he was quite sure would pronounce a righteous verdict.

William Scattergood, was the first witness called, and was examined by Mr WHITEHURST.-He said, I live at Stanley, which is nearly six miles from Derby. I knew Miss Martha Goddard, who lived with her sister, about 100 yards distant from my house. About five o'clock on the Friday morning, the 30th September, Miss Sarah Goddard came to our house, and from what she said I went directly to her house. I found Martha Goddard on a bed up stairs covered with blood in her night clothes, and her feet on a chair. Life was not quite gone, but she could not speak. There was a hole in the roof of her coal-house large enough for a man to get in at. The house had been broken in before.

Catherine Hartshorne, examined by Mr FOWLER- I am wife of T. Hartshorne, of Stanley. About 5 o'clock in the morning of the 30th September last, I went to Miss Goddard's house; I went up stairs; I saw Miss Martha Goddard; her body was on the bed, and her legs on a chair, she was covered with blood from the crown of her head to below her knees; the bed-room was in great confusion; the evening before I saw the deceased in good health; she had then on a brown apron, a white gown, and white muslin handkerchief.

Robert Boden examined by Mr. CLARKE-On the morning of the 30th September I went to Stanley Hall, about 7 o'clock, and saw Miss Martha Goddard, she was lying across a bed and her feet on a chair by the bed side. There was a great quantity of blood on her face and hands, and a large quantity on the floor. I examined her\: there was a wound above the left eye one inch and three quarters in depth, and several fractures on the skull. Great violence must have been used. An iron crow bar would be likely to cause them. She was bruised on the right side of the neck, and there was a wound on the breast, and the ring finger was broken. She lived about half an hour. There was quite enough violence to cause death. The wounds seemed to have been made in rapid succession. I examined the surviving sister, she was bruised; she had two wounds on the left side of the head, and a fracture of the middle finger of the left hand.

Henry Hutchinson (clerk to Mr Birch, who is clerk to the Magistrates.)-Was present when the prisoner Bland's examination was taken. Witness was here shown the deposition which bore Bland's mark, and which he said was the same.

By Mr. MILLER-There was a reward of200L offered, and a promise of pardon tendered, except to the man who committed the murder.

The Clerk of the Arraigns then read over the statement made by the prisoner Bland when before Sir H. Wilmot, Bart.; the prisoner having been in the usual way cautioned in respect of it. The statement was to this effect, that the prisoner Bland, declared his innocence of the murder, though he admitted having been at Miss Goddards' house. He said that Hulme, the sweep, got into the house first, and met Miss Sarah Goddard, and said to them, "dam her, I had to knock her down before I could get through." They all then went up-stairs. The house was plundered, and the things in the chests of drawers were taken out. The lady up-stairs (Miss Martha Goddard) called out from her room, "Sally, come Sally;" when Bonsall replied "dam you, I think I have cranked you at last." They then left, and Bland's deposition further stated that they met a man in a lane who said they had got something they had no right to. They had only 19s. 6d., so the other prisoners told him.

George Adamson, assistant clerk to the Staffordshire magistrates, proved the depositions made by Hulme. The substance of it was that, on his examination at Leek, on the 8th of October, after the usual caution had been give, Bonsall came to his house at Heage, and asked him if he would go to Stanley to get some money, as there was plenty there, and he consented, and they eventually went, in company with Bland. On arriving at Miss Goddards' house (continued the deposition) Bonsall took off some slates from a building at the back of the house, and he went in, and let in Bland by the door. Bonsall abused the lady who was up by striking her; he drove her up stairs; she gave him two sovereigns; he told her if she did not give him more he would cut her throat, and he pulled out a knife. I went into a bed-room, where a lady was in bed, following Bonsall, and I saw him knock her brains out with a crow-bar as she was getting out of bed. We plundered the house and brought away a great number of things and then went home to Bonsall's house at Heage. The murder was committed about 12 o'clock at night. Bonsall afterwards said he would bury the linen as the murder was talked about. I got 14s. for my share.

William Salt, shoe-maker, of Ashbourn, who was in the county gaol for not complying with an order of bastardy.-He described a conversation which took place between him and Bonsall, on Bonsall being brought there and placed in the same cell with him. On enquiring what he was brought there for, he said "For murder, by 'God." In the course of the following night he communicated to witness that he had been asked by Hulme to go to Stanley and rob a house, but that he declined to do so; but said he would go and rob a tan-yard, as he knew a shoe-maker at Belper who would buy from them. They afterwards agreed to go to Stanley. Hulme said "Bland was the lad for a job of that sort." Bland went with them, and they all left at 7 o'clock; they got to Miss Goddards' house about 10 o'clock, and saw there was a light in the house, and one of the old ladies came out with a candle. Having waited some time, Hulme began unslating a building, and went in, when he was met by the old lady, who flew at him with a poker, and he knocked her down twice; he let the others in, and they drove her up stairs to a bed-room before them. The lady said, "Man, man what do you want, I've given you money, tell me what else you want, and I'll give it up?" Hulme replied, "You old b----, we want one of those five pound notes." Hulme had a stout piece of wood crammed with lead for a weapon, and Bland a poker turned up at one end; Bland said, "don't strike so hard," to which Hulme replied, "She'll be
too much for me." They plundered the house of a quantity of articles and then went away; they met a man on their road home in Woodhouse-lane who said to them, "You've got what does not belong to you;" Hulme proposed to murder him, but Bonsall said "No, we've had enough for to-night," and he was allowed to pass on. The weapons they carried were buried in a garden where they would not they said be found till the garden was dug.

By Mr. MILLER for Bonsall.-Witness had been in gaol before, six years ago, for being concerned in a drunken row, on a 5th of November, and had been summarily convicted for taking a piece of wood for a bonfire; remained about six weeks in gaol after Bonsall was committed, and had heard one of the turnkeys speak of the murder; told the governor of what had passed between him and Bonsall a few days afterwards, and had then heard of no reward having been offered.

By Mr. WHITEHURST-Had heard of no reward before he told Mr. Sims.

Mr. Sims, the governor of the gaol, said, the last witness had made the communication to him about two days after Bonsall's committal.

John Brown, also a prisoner, on a charge of having stolen a cow, for a time occupied the same cell with Bonsall and Salt. This witness corroborated the last in the material points, and added that Bonsall said Hulme had an iron bar for a weapon, and Bland a piece of wood heavily loaded with lead; while in bed the prisoner Bonsall said Hulme got the slates off and got in first, and that he met the lady at the door and knocked her down and let the others in; she ran up-stairs, and he then saw blood running down each side of her face; she said to them "What do you want, you have all the money I had, take meat, but spare my life;" Bonsall held the door while Hulme searched the room; there was another woman in bed, who attempted to get up, and Bland struck her over the head with the iron crow bar; Bonsall said "he also struck the woman, and they were all in fault." They rummaged the house and took various articles away, and he took 15s. from a draw himself; they searched down stairs, and while doing so Hulme left them to see how the woman up-stairs who was struck was going on, and on returning he said she was nearly "croaked," meaning nearly dead; they then went away with the things; when near some houses, they met a man; he said to them, "You've got something you ought not to have;" Hulme wanted to turn again and kill him.

By Mr. MILLER-Is certain Bonsall said they all struck the woman; slept in the same cell for three weeks with Bonsall, and frequently talked of the murder; heard of the reward in the cell, but does not know from whom; Salt and he did not talk of the reward that he remembers; heard Bland had made a confession, and that hopes of pardon had been held out to him; told the governor of the prison some weeks after the conversation took place; had been in York gaol two years ago on a charge of horse stealing; was never in before that time.

Joseph Roe, a farmer, at Smalley, saw the three prisoners between Stanley and Heage, at a quarter or half past two on the morning of the murder; they were going towards Heage, and each carried a bundle. Asked them if they had fighting cocks in their bags? Bonsall said "what do you say?" and witness repeated the question, adding "I think you have got something in those bags that you should not have." Bonsall then said, "let us turn back and kill the b---. I then said, "come on then." Bland replied to the others, "Oh! Come along, we've done enough for to-night." They went on 10 or 15 yards and again stopped looking at me; but went on, and I saw no more of them. I have not the least doubt of the prisoners being the men.

By Mr. MILLER-Had known Bonsall before, but not to speak to him.

Richard Dronfield a lad of seventeen had been in the employ of Hulme, who was a sweep and tinker at Heage. On the evening of the 29th of Sept., between seven and eight, Bonsall came in and said "are you ready," and Hulme said he would be in a minute or two. He got his supper while Bonsall waited for him. One expression used by Hulme was "if there is any lover they must Jew him out of it,"-(lover is a cant term for money.)-Hulme put a bag in his pocket and two short staves heavily run with lead at the end, and Bonsall put a crow-bar in his pocket. Hulme whet a knife, made out of a razor blade and put that in his pocket also, and they went out together. Witness, who slept on the squab, saw them return by the fire light and thinks it was about two or three o'clock. Hulme carried a bag full of things like a rag gatherer. They broke up the fire so as to give a good light, and began looking for blood on their clothes. Bonsall's left hand was bloody, and they scratched blood off their sleeves with their thumb nails. They emptied the bad and there was a blanket, two shawls, gown pieces, linen, and a great many other things. The staves they had taken with them they threw into the fire and burnt. On some of the things which were new there were little bits of tickets, and these they burned. There was a piece of new stuff a kind of pink and black, and Hulme said "this will make thee and me some waistcoats." One of the shawls, he said, was worth thirty shillings, and the other he intended his woman to wear. The blanket was to have been used as a soot bag; there were some stockings marked G; they took the things up stairs and Bonsall then left the house, and Hulme went to sleep on the floor before the fire; witness went to sweep chimneys at six o'clock, and on his return all three prisoners were in the house, coming down stairs; Hulme went to the door and said, "all's clear, you may go now." On the following Saturday Bonsall came and told Hulme, that they were suspected, on which Hulme said, they must "plant" the things. Bonsall went away and returned between ten and eleven, and brought a spade; Hulme gave him the things, which he took away, and came back and said "he had buried them in John Rogers's garden." On the Sunday night about midnight, Hulme called witness up, and they went together and dug up the things out of Rogers's garden, and went with them in the direction of Amber-gate, which is two miles from Heage. The things were very heavy, and Hulme, after considering, said, there was a little danger in taking them forward, and he hid them in a sough; witness then accompanied Hulme to Leek, in Staffordshire, where they went to the house of Hulme's mother, and stayed till the following Monday, and then came back to Heage, and Hulme hid himself while witness went to Bonsall's house, and there ascertained that Bonsall had been apprehended; he informed Hulme, who said, "they would have something to do to catch him." They again went to Leek, and Hulme hid himself in a wood, while witness went to Hulme's mother, to ascertain if any thing was the matter there. On the road Hulme had told him that Bland and Bonsall had killed the woman, and not him; that they hit her seven or eight times, and that Bonsall said to Bland, "d-m it stand out of the way, I can do her." Hulme was induced through a stratagem to visit his mother, and was then taken into custody.

Witness after this wandered about the country for two months, and was at last apprehended.

By Mr. MILLER-Told a person named Simpson where the things were, and took him to the place; but Simpson had not told him about the reward till after the things were found. He was fetched from near Wirksworth, and the things were hidden between that place and Heage, and on the road to the latter place, they passed through Mr. Hurt's park, at Alderwasley, and it was there he first told Simpson where the things were, and on arriving at the place, Simpson took them and carried them away. Had never been in a gaol, or before a magistrate in his life.

The prisoner Bland asked the witness if he knew him, to which he replied that he had never seen him previous to his coming down the stairs at Hulme's after the murder.

Joseph Simpson is a needle-maker at Heage.-Hulme lived next door to him. Heard a report of the murder, and on seeing Hulme after witness had been to Derby and had heard a great deal about it, he said to him, "well Jack you've made a pretty job of it" to which he answered "a bad job." I told him that Derby was in an uproar about Miss Goddard being murdered, and he replied, "surely not; I'll go and tell Bonsall, and Bonsall must tell Bland." He further said "nobody can swear to us, as nobody was there." Hulme is also known by the name of Starbuck. I was afterwards sent in search of Dronfield, and on Sunday the 20th November I met him between Wirksworth and Kirk Ireton. Witness then described the sough at Amber-gate where he found the things hidden by Hulme, which things he gave into the hands of Mr. Hawkins, a constable of Heage.

By Mr. MILLER-I had no conversation with Dronfield about any reward.

By the JUDGE-My wife heard the conversation which passed between Hulme and me.

Elizabeth Simpson, the prosecutor's wife, was put into the box, but Hulme did not, nor did the other prisoners ask her any questions.

George Potter, who lives at Stanley, went to Miss Goddard's house on the morning of the murder, and saw some slates were removed from the roof of the coal-house. The day before in the afternoon at two o'clock he was passing, and saw that they were then not taken off.

John Hawkins, constable of Heage, in consequence of a communication from Simpson, went on the 4th Oct. to Bland's house and apprehended him; and on the same day he also apprehended Bonsall. In Bland's house he found on the top of the stairs an apron, and in Bonsall's house, he found a pair of trowsers, a quantity of cotton print, and a new flannel shirt. Searched Hulme's house but did not find anything. On the 20th November he received a number of articles from Simpson-[These articles were produced in Court, and consisted of shawls, a handkerchief, &c.]

The boy Dronfield was recalled, and identified three shawls as some of the things that were in the bag which was hidden in the sough at Ambergate. He also owned some printed linen and other articles.

Mary Fisher knew the late Miss Martha Goddard, and she identified a cotton shawl and a yellow handkerchief as that lady's, from the articles produced in Court. She had seen Miss Goddard wear them.

Paul Fisher, husband, of the last witness, who lives at Stanley, identified a lavender coloured shawl as Miss Goddard's, and had seen her wear it two months before her death; before the house was the second time robber.

George Potter was recalled and he identified a coloured shawl as one that Miss Goddard had worn only a week or ten days before she died.

Samuel Taylor, constable of Belper, produced the brown apron found in Bland's house; and Mary Cotton identified it as being one that was worn by Miss Martha Goddard. She also identified a yellow handkerchief from the things produced in court, to which other witnesses had spoken, as belonging to the deceased lady.

Elizabeth Grundy, who lives with her father at Stanley, was acquainted with the Misses Goddards. In July of last year she purchased several yards of print for them. Witness identified the brown apron already produced as belonging to Miss Martha Goddard.

George Potter again called.-Has seen articles of drapery at Miss Goddards with the shop tickets remaining on them.

Catherine Hartshorne recalled-She identified the brown apron alluded to. Miss Martha Goddard wore it the evening before she was murdered.

Elizabeth Wainwright.-Lives at Heage; remembers the 29th September last; saw the three prisoners on that evening between 7 and 9; lives near to Bland's house, and when the door is open can see into it. Saw Bonsall go to Bland's house at 7 o'clock; and saw all the prisoners leave at 9; saw them again between 4 and 5 o'clock the following morning go to Bland's house. They had nothing with them, only the sweep had a brush.

The prisoner Bland asked how she saw them; to which she replied, through the window.

Dr. Forester examined by Mr. Serjeant Clarke.-Saw Miss Sarah Goddard on Friday last. She was not fit, from deficiency of understand, to give evidence. In a private room she might perhaps give some rational answers, but he was quite of opinion she was unfit to be called into Court with respect to the present trial.

The Judge to Mr. MILLER.-Do you wish Miss Goddard to be called?

Mr. MILLER.-Most assuredly not my Lord.

The prisoner Bland said he wished Miss Goddard to be examined.

The JUDGE said, as she had not been before the Grand Jury she could not then be examined; but the prisoner might if he choose, call her when he made his defence. This however was not done.

Benjamin Potter was in prison for an assault on a constable. He deposed that at the time he went to be tried at the sessions, Bonsall gave his two letters with instructions to get them conveyed to his father. (The letters were produced and witness identified
them). These letters were to the effect, that Bonsall's father was to endeavour to obtain some one to come and swear to an alibi in his favour, so as to remove the charge, if possible, from him.

By Mr. MILLER.-How do you know that these letters are the same as you saw?

Witness, I know the paper from its being a leaf from out of a Bible.

Henry Cheetham said, the last witness gave him a letter to convey to Bonsall's father. It was taken from him by one of the turnkey's of the prison.

Edward Whit, a turnkey, proved this fact; and the letter, and other paper taken from the witness, as described.

Joseph Payne, another turnkey in the Derby prison, found the two letters under Bonsall's bed in gaol.

This was the case for the prosecution.

Mr. MILLER then addressed the jury on behalf of Bonsall in an impressive speech, which occupied more than an hour in the delivery. He urged them to consider well the deep responsibility which devolved upon them-to lay aside, if such were possible, all that they might previously have heard in reference to the case under their consideration-and to be guided solely by the positive, and absolute, and unimpeachable testimony which bore against the prisoner; for, if they found him guilty-no matter whether in reality he was guilty or not-except upon evidence which was legally admissible, and which was entirely above suspicion, they would, for such indeed was the law, themselves be guilty of murder. The learned Counsel at great length went through the evidence, particularly commenting upon discrepancies in the statements of Salt and Brown, contending that these discrepancies, coupled with the promise of a reward which had been held out to any one who could convict the perpetrators of the murder, rendered their declarations unfit to be relied on. He also dwelt with much stress on the evidence of the boy Dronfield as insufficient to warrant their find a verdict of guilty.

The learned JUDGE then summed up the case to the JURY. With regard to the law, if any number of persons went out for one common purpose-a purpose agreed upon before-no matter who struck the fatal blow, they were each an all equally guilty of murder; and the Jury would decide how far this applied to the prisoners at the bar. In cases where men went out to rob only, and, after the robbery was committed, one of them stayed behind to commit a murder, then the others were not guilty of the greater crime. His Lordship referred, with much particularity, to the confessions made by the prisoners, and went over such of the evidence as was necessary to be again brought before the jury to enable them to arrive at a right decision. He remarked upon Salt and Brown's testimony and on the important evidence given by the boy Dronfield, who had been in the employ of the prisoner Hulme, and who his Lordship said, had made his statements with every appearance of truth. Now what, asked the learned JUDGE, was the common purpose of these men? For what purpose did they take with them such weapons as were stated in evidence to have been taken by them? Making provision of this sort to rob two ladies who were without servants was a circumstance of strong suspicion against them. The Jury would not take the declarations of each prisoner as against each other: but would judge from the other evidence which had been called, and return their verdict accordingly.

The jury retired in the care of a bailiff, and, in about a quarter of an hour came into court, and returned a Verdict of GUILTY AGAINST EACH OF THE PRISONERS.

The learned JUDGE then immediately passed Sentence of Death upon them in the following words:- Samuel Bonsall, William Bland, and John Hulme, you stand convicted, on the clearest evidence, of the awful crime of murder-of murder committed on an aged and helpless female, who trusted at the hour of midnight to the security of her own house-and, committed, too, under circumstances of an aggravated character. You are all guilty-you must all abide the consequences. Make use of the short time which will be afforded you to implore that mercy from God which, in this world, you cannot receive. The sentence of the Court upon you is, that you be taken to the place from whence you came, and from thence to a place of execution, and that you be severally hanged by the neck until you are dead, and may God Almighty have mercy on your souls.

The prisoners received their sentence with much apparent indifference. When the JUDGE addressing them said, "May God Almighty have mercy on your souls," Bonsall replied in the hearing of several gentlemen, one of whom was our informant, "There is no God."

The trial lasted 7 hours.



Since sentence of death was passed on these miserable men they have been locked up in separate cells, each under the care of two officers of the County Prison who are relieved at stated periods, so they are not left to themselves for a moment, night and day. On the night after their trial they slept soundly as though nothing of importance had happened to them; and, since then, their demeanour has not shown any very marked sign of sincere penitence. They have been visited by their own request by one of the Wesleyan Ministers in this town, the Rev Mr Vevers, who calls upon them two or three times a day; and they are also under the spiritual care of the chaplain of the prison, the Rev G Pickering, who is unremitting in his attentions and exertions to bring them to a proper sense of their awful situation.

Hulme, the sweep, appears to be the most penitent of the three and is most disposed to communicate with those around him. Each of the prisoners yet endeavours to fix on the other two the actual guilt of the murder, apparently with the hope that even now the last penalty of the law may be avoided. Bonsall, as yet, has not made any confession, alleging as his reason that he considers it enough if he confesses to God; and he declines to say either Yes or No to any enquiry made of him. It is, perhaps, however needless to state, that no doubt is entertained by any one of his having been one of the murderers: and his conversation evidently betrays his having had a guilty participation in the worst features of this appalling case.

Bonsall states that the crow-bar with which some of the murderous blows were struck was taken from a house near to Matlock, at a not very distant period, for the purpose of committing an atrocity of an equally heinous nature to that perpetrated at the house of the Misses Goddard, which, however, was providentially defeated owing to a casual circumstance, or it is probable that robbery in that neighbourhood attended with the murder of another aged and suffering female would have been added to the black catalogue of crime. Up to the trial Bonsall flattered himself with a hope of escaping death, believing that his punishment would be limited to imprisonment, and even to this moment these wretched criminals cherish this expectation - a forlorn one - of a reprieve being extended to one or more of them. Notwithstanding the near approach of their execution, and with the note of preparation for their ignomious exit sounding in their ears, the prisoners enjoy uniform good health, and sleep soundly. Their relatives and friends have had interviews with each of them, and Bland's wife and child have taken their final farewell of him. The scene, we are told, was a very affecting one to those persons who happened to be present.

The prisoners attend chapel every morning, and conduct themselves with propriety. In singing the hymns, and in the responses, Bonsall's voice is usually heard much above the rest, although it is to be feared that his heart is not greatly interested in the exercise in which he is engaged.

The drop is now erecting on top of the water-tank on the left side of the entrance to the prison, and an executioner - a practised person - is engaged to discharge his dreadful duty.

The execution will take place as stated in our last paper, at 12 o'clock at noon, on Friday next.



On Friday morning last, Samuel Bonsall, aged 26; William Bland, aged 39; and John Hulme, aged 24; who had been convicted on the clearest and most indisputable evidence of the wilful murder of Miss Martha Goddard, at Stanley, underwent the last penalty of the law in front of the county prison. At a very early hour the town of Derby was inundated by thousands of persons from the neighbouring villages, and from a considerable distance, to witness their ignominious exit. The number assembled up to the time of execution could not be less than 35,000 to 40,000.

The three prisoners persisted, until a short time before their death, in their former statements, which were to the effect that, they were all present at the house of the murdered lady, at the time of the robbery, but, each individually denied having participated in the actual commission of the murder. On Friday morning, however, previous to attending the last solemn religious service immediately previous to the execution, BONSALL AT LENGTH CONFESSED to his spiritual adviser, the Rev. G. Pickering, THAT HE WAS THE PERSON WHO ACTUALLY KILLED THE UNFORTUNATE LADY by striking her with a crow-bar. The other prisoners made no further confessions or statements than those of which the public are already in possession.

At a few minutes before 12, the hour appointed for the execution, the Under-Sheriff, Mr Simpson, attended by a cavalcade of javelin men, arrived at the prison and made a formal demand of the bodies of the culprits; and shortly after 12 the mournful procession from the condemned cells to the drop commenced its progress, headed by the chaplain of the gaol, reading the burial service. During this time the whole of the unfortunate men appeared deeply engaged in mental prayer, and their behaviour was altogether of a nature becoming men in their awful situation. The process of pinioning took place in an apartment near the top of the gaol entrance, the fatal machine having been erected on the left side of the top of the lodge gates. During this ceremony the culprits prayed audibly; and the ejaculations for eternal mercy uttered by Hulme in particular were heart-rendering to hear. The procession from this point shortly reached the scaffold, and but a few minutes were occupied in the necessary preparations. The executioner (Haywood, of Appleby), appeared to understand his repulsive business, and as the last word of our impressive funeral service was pronounced the drop fell, the three criminals, and Hulme in particular, loudly and earnestly ejaculating, "Lord have mercy upon me! Christ have mercy upon me!" Bonsall appeared to die almost instantly, and the bodily sufferings of Hulme and Bland were of very brief duration.

While passing through the yard the prisoners confined crowded to the various gratings to catch a glimpse of the mournful procession as it passed, which so overpowered them that they were affected to tears. This attracted the attention of the wretched culprits, who made a halt. Bonsall addressed them thus, "God bless you lads!" "God bless you lads!" "Take warning lads; take warning!"

The concourse of persons was by far greater than on any similar occasion in Derby. The crowd, as seen from the scaffold, presented a densely packed mass of human beings covering the whole spacious area in front of the prison, and extending through the whole of Vernon-street, and into Friar-gate. The roads, gardens, yards, windows,

housetops-in fact every possible situation commanding a view of the drop-had its separate crowd of gazers. Notwithstanding the assemblage was so immense, the utmost decorum prevailed. There was no shouting or groaning, but we heard no one express the least pity for the fate of the wretched criminals, of whose guilt not the slightest doubt can be entertained.

Mr Bally, of Manchester, and another artist were observed in the lodge sketching the lineaments of the executioner, whose expression of countenance was in perfect unison with his horrible calling. Mr. W. Barton, a Derby sculptor, was also in attendance for the purpose of obtaining casts of the melefactors' (sic) heads after death.

We understand that Bonsall admitted having been frequently engaged in the commission of robberies; and there is every reason to suppose that the other two were, to a great extent, practised thieves. Bonsall declared that he and another person, whom for an obvious reason we do not name, agreed to murder a female who kept a toll-gate between Matlock and Bakewell, and that the crow-bar with which they murdered Miss Goddard was stolen from a forge near to the former place for that purpose. He said that they arrived at the toll-gate and saw the woman sitting by the fireside; and that, just as they were about to enter the house (which they could very easily have done it being early in the evening), a carriage drove up and caused them for a few minutes to hide themselves in the garden, during which time better thoughts came over them, at least as regarded Bonsall, and that they ultimately left the premises without committing any depredation; he, as he stated, refusing to join in the commission of the murder. Had it not been for this providential interposition the female alluded to would, there is every reason to believe, have been deliberately and brutally murdered.

We were exceedingly sorry to observe placards in various parts of the town accouncing (sic) that the theatre would be opened at two o'clock, "to accommodate the country people." This was an offence against propriety and public morality, and, deserves every reprehension. Such a proceeding may for the moment perhaps bring a few extra shillings to the caterers of this species of amusement, but it is sure to create-and deservedly so-disgust in the estimation of all right thing person; and ultimately to materially injure those who are interested in this species of property.


1841 Census, Stanley

Martha Goddard 65 Independent means
Sarah Goddard 60 Independent means

William Scattergood 70 Farmer
Ann Scattergood 70
Ann Timperley 15 Farm servant

Ann Hartshorn 65 Farmer
Timothy Hartshorn 45 Agricultural labourer
Catherine Hartshorn 45
Timothy Hartshorn 13
Sarah Hartshorn 9

George Potter 25 Farmer

Paul Fisher 35 Farmer
Mary Fisher 35
Frances Fisher 15
Emma Fisher 10
Isaac Fisher 8
James Fisher 6
Samson Fisher 3
Alick Fisher 1 month
Sidney Bloor 25

Sarah Rowe 75
Mary Cotton 15

Henry Grundy 55 Farmer
Mary Grundy 45
Mary Grundy 20
Elizabeth Grundy 20
William Grundy 20 Agricultural labourer
Joseph Grundy 20 Agricultural labourer
Richard Grundy 15 Agricultural labourer
James Grundy 15 Agricultural labourer
Sarah Grundy 14 Agricultural labourer
John Grundy 11 Agricultural labourer
Dorothy Grundy 9
Griffen Grundy 5
? Daft 30 Independent means
George Hartley 5

Baptism at Denby

25 June 1815, Samuel, son of William and Sarah Bonsall

1841 Census, Heage

Rodgers Brook

John Spray 35 Labourer
Mary Spray 30
James Spray 9
Mary Spray 5
Samuel Spray 4
Elizabeth Spray 2
John Spray 1 month
Samuel Bonsar 25 Coalminer


William Bonsall 43 Coalminer (Samuel's father)
Hannah Bonsall 40 (Stepmother)
George Bonsall 20 Collier (Brother)
Hannah Bonsall 13 Cotton spinner (Half-sister)
William Bonsall 7 (Half-brother)
Elizabeth Bonsall 10 (Half-sister)
Rebecca Bonsall 3 (Half-sister)
Sarah Bonsall 2 (Half-sister)


William Bland 35 Frameworker
Ann Bland 35
Eliza Bland 3
William Bland 1

Baker's Hill

John Broughton Rodgers 70 Nail man
Hannah Rodgers 65
Oliver Rodgers 20
Hannah Rodgers 15
Mary Rodgers 9

Baker's Hill

Joseph Simpson 20 Labourer
Elizabeth Simpson 25


James Wainwright 30 Coalminer
Elizabeth Wainwright 25
David Wainwright 4
Sarah Ann Wainwright 2