Newsletter Button Image

Explore the catalogue

Search for exact term:
Bower Woods at Watchfield. Photo by Neil B. Maw
The article in the Derby Mercury

Murder at The Bower

Article from the Derby Mercury, 11th October 1765

British Newspaper Archive © 2015 Brightsolid Newspaper Archive Ltd


On Monday se’nnight a most inhuman Murder was committed in the Parish of Shrivenham, Berks, on the body of Richard Slade of Sparsholt, a poor laboring man, by one Isaac Blanckett, a disorderly fellow. The deceased was found laid upon his back, with his throat cut in so shocking a manner, that his head was nearly half taken off. Blanckett is committed to the County Gaol at Reading, by virtue of the Coroner’s Warrant. Richard Slade had the misfortune to lose two houses by the late fire at Ramsbury, and having obtained permission to collect the charity of well-disposed persons, had happened to stop at Shrivenham, where, at a Public House, he unfortunately fell into the company of Blanckett, from whence they departed together, and went as far as a place called The Bower, which is surrounded by a Wood, where the above murder was committed. Blanckett is not quite twenty years of age, but appears to be a most dissolute and abandoned wretch.

The knife with which this murder was committed, and which was most providentially left upon the poor man’s breast, is like to prove a sufficient evidence against the prisoner, since it is extremely remarkable; and being kept in hopes of its being known, has this week been positively sworn to by an inhabitant of Wootton Bassett, to be Blanckett’s knife. It seems also, that upon the prisoner’s returning to Shrivenham, after committing the fact, sooner than could be expected, he was taxed with not having been at Longcott, though he positively asserted it. This may probably afford another circumstance, to corroborate his guilt.


  • Year:
  • Place:
  • Ref:
  • Item Ref:
  • Find it:
    Online Only



Do you know?

We are always on the look-out for more information about Shrivenham and district. If you have old photos, know of historical facts, old documents (especially deeds) please contact us...

If you would like to view any item please email us to make an appointment, details on the Home page.