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Higher Bamham Murder.


Back in the times when people were hanged for forgery, sheep stealing, and a multitude of other offences, a striking case of someone guilty of murder yet escaped the gallows occurred in 1814. An execution for rent had been ‘put in’ at Higher Bamham, and the sheriff’s officers went on a Saturday to levy distress. They found the door locked, and, having waited until the next day and still no admittance, they called upon the borough constables (then chosen annually from among the inhabitants of the town) to assist them in breaking the door open. The Constables (Samuel Jory, a Broad Street tradesman, Joshua Farthing, a sergeant of militia, and William Tapson, keeper of the Plymouth Dock, now the Newmarket Inn) went to Bamham on the Sunday, and were preparing to force an entrance, the farmer and his two sons being inside, when Samuel Jory was shot dead through the doorway. Not being daunted, the remaining constables made their way in and arrested the three, who were committed to the assizes at Bodmin charged with the murder.
They were acquitted on the grounds that no witness saw the fatal shot being fired. Samuel Jory was buried in St. Mary Magdalene Churchyard, with an inscription on his tombstone setting forth that he had been murdered in the execution of his duty, but the monument has now in some unexplained manner disappeared.

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