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Watchfield High Street. It was somewhere along this road that the body of Thomas Bliss was discovered

The Watchfield Murder of 1829

At the beginning of the 19th century, Watchfield would have changed very little from what it had been for centuries - a very small, agricultural village. And yet this century would see two murders here, this one early in the century and another right at the end in 1893. (Please see listing number N120 for a full account of that murder, or go HERE for an abridged version).

When Thomas Midwinter Bliss was discovered dead in Watchfield High Street in the early hours of the morning in June 1829, it was clearly evident that he had been murdered. There was a large blunt force trauma to his head and he had been dragged along the dusty road for several yards.

Henry Pocock was suspected of carrying out the foul deed and he was arrested and charged. But the evidence against him was circumstantial and speculation in the newspapers prejudiced the case. Pocock was discharged at the Berkshire Assizes of 3rd August 1829, and the murder remained unsolved.

To read a copy of the Coroner's Inquest in the form of a letter to the Editor by the coroner please go HERE.


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