The murder of Judith Pearce.

Discussion in 'Wiltshire' started by 3femmes, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    Judith Pearce, born Judith Hull in 1762 in Sutton Benger, Wiltshire is my 6th Great Grandmother.
    Judith was murdered in her home where she was living with her granddaughter Elizabeth Cottle aged 12 or 14 depending on the story you read. A vagabond was arrested and executed for her murder carried out by 4 hatchet blows to her head. Perhaps erroneously tried and convicted too but that is a side issue.
    I have received a message from a possible relation of the Pearce family asking if I can establish where the granddaughter's surname comes from. I cannot.
    In each account of the murder it says Judith's 12 year old ? granddaughter Elizabeth Cottle moved in with her to settle Judith's nerves. They were living in Brookside Cottage. Elizabeth escaped the murderer's clutches and ran as fast as she could through the darkness to her Great-Uncle's house in the village. the girl's two uncles William and Thomas, her aunt and two neighbours, Daniel Powell and John Price hurried back and found Judith dead.
    I will give you my findings and ask if anyone can unravel the Cottle granddaughter.

    Judith Hull 1762-1820 Married Walter Pearce. 1757-1797. They married in Sutton Benger on 27 Jan 1782.
    They had the following family.

    Walter Pearce Senior 1782-1865
    William Pearce 1784 (Uncle mentioned)
    Sarah Pearce 1787
    James Pearce 1789-1861
    Thomas Pearce 1792 (Uncle mentioned)
    Catherine Pearce 1795-1833

    Walter Pearce Senior married Sarah Woodard on 13 Oct 1803.

    Their children
    Thomas Pearce 1809-1810
    Elizabeth Pearce 1809-1869 (Correct age but not surname)
    Mary Anne Pearce 1811
    Thomas 1814-1835
    Walter Pearce Junior 1822-1891
    James Pearce 1823-1889.

    Catherine Pearce 1795-1833 married Thomas Blizzard in Seagry Wiltshire on 21 June 1819 and the lived in Great Somerford. Was she visiting and the aunt that is referred to? Catherine had had her first daughter on the 10 May 1820 so would she have been there with her young baby?

    That leaves Sarah as both the option for Aunt and for marrying a Cottle. Can anyone find evidence that Sarah married a Cottle and had a daughter Elizabeth?

    James Pearce is not going to have a daughter Elizabeth Cottle unless from an earlier marriage.
    In the 1841 census I learned he was living with a Catherine Pearce who must be Walter Pearce's sister 1757-1797 and Elizabeth Blizzard 12.

    Walter and Catherine I believe are the children of Valentine Pearce and Betty Pearce though Im not confident. Both born 1729. Valentine in Stanton St Quinton and Betty Chippenham.

    Looking for the Cottle solution but as always if you can fill in any gaps that would be wonderful.
    Best wishes to all from Stage 4 lockdown Melbourne region Victoria.
     
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  2. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    We are all going to love getting our teeth into this one. :nailbiting:
     
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  3. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    Great news. I'm just proud I managed all by myself to post this request in the correct spot! Go me!!
     
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  4. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    The only Elizabeth Cottle I can find is baptised at Monkton Farleigh, not too far from Sutton Benger, in 1805 to William Cottle and Mary.
    Then Eliza Cottle in 1810 to Job Cottle and Elizabeth in Melksham. Other than that, nothing. My searches are limited though.
     
  5. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Better than mine in Cornwall
    Name: Hugh Cottle
    Spouse: Elzth Pearce
    Marriage Date: 1803
    Parish: Marhamchurch Cornl 23

    Could the grandtr have been mrs Cottle in that era?
    edit
    Did Walter Pearce have other brothers?
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
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  6. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    Wendy, I have siblings for Walter.
    Walter Pearce 1752-1759
    Catharine Pearce 1760-1842 (Found her on james Pearce 1941 census. No birth record for her. Still named Catharine Pearce at 80)
    Deborah Pearce 1763
    Prudence Pearce 1769-1803

    So this Elizabeth not likely to be in this family unless Im missing another brother.
     
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  7. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    Are there more siblings, perhaps a brother between Walter in 1752 and Catharine (not verified with birth certificate) in 1760? That's possible.
     
  8. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    Have you seen the lengthy report in the Salisbury and Winchester Journal of the 19th March 1821? It names the granddaughter as Elizabeth COCKLE - not that it helps 'cause I can't find an Elizabeth Cockle who would fit the bill.....
     
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  9. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Of course it may be that Judith took in a child, surname Cottle or any thing else for that matter and thought of his/her child, Elizabeth, as her granddaughter.
     
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  10. janetbooth

    janetbooth Top Dog Stalwart

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    How about this family in the 1851 census of Great Somerford, Wiltshire (HO107/1835, folio 201, page 11):

    Jacob COTTLE Head Mar 78 Pauper (Agl Lab) Wilts Hillmorton
    Sarah do Wife Mar 63 do Sutton Benger
    Katherine do Daur Un 33 do Great Somerford

    Not having too much luck at the moment finding a marriage between Jacob COTTLE & a Sarah though, nor a baptism for a daughter Elizabeth.

    Janet
     
  11. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    No I haven't! How exciting! I will try and find it now and have a read.:)
     
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  12. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    I have read the article in the Salsibury and Winchester Journal.
    A couple of points of interest.
    Above I quoted from my book that the neighbours that hurried back to Judith were Daniel Powell and John Price. In the article it reads Daniel Powell and John Pearce.
    William Hull is a witness at the trial. Judith's brother. So is he Uncle William rather than William Pearce? I assumed William Pearce as my book ties William and Thomas (Pearce) together.
    Elizabeth Cockle also mentions she has seen the accused previously at Mr RD Hull's barn place. Is Rd short for Rodney? Who is he then?
     
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  13. GrannyBarb

    GrannyBarb Custodian of the Family Accounts

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    RD might be Richard?
     
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  14. janetbooth

    janetbooth Top Dog Stalwart

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    There is a Richard HULL born c1781, Grocer, married to a Hannah in the 1841 census of Sutton Benger. Baptism at Christian Malford, Wiltshire (pretty close to Sutton Benger) on 12 August 1781 for Richard son of Thos & Ann HULL.

    Janet
     
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  15. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    And Richard died in 1870
    Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette 23rd June 1870
    On the 6th inst at Stargrove House, East Woodhay, Hants., Mr Richard Hull, late of Sutton Benger, Wilts., aged 89 years, deeply regretted by a large circle of friends.
     
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  16. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    Ignore me please. i have to have a rethink on my reply.:D;):rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
  17. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    I think there are Hull's in Sutton Benger and another family in Christian Malford and somewhere there is a mix. There are soooo many Thomases.
    My Thomas Hull married Jane Box in Sutton Benger and they have all their children there. Can anyone find Thomas' christening in Sutton Benger? There is a Thomas Hull born in 1740 in Christian Malford and this should be around the correct time but he marries Ann Skuse. His mother is Catherine Box.
    So the Thomas that is married to Ann actually has a sister Judith but not my Judith Pearce. Not my thomas married to Jane.
    I like the Richard Hull from Sutton Benger though. Just have to find where he fits. Once again there is a 1724 Richard in the Christian Malford Hull family so there are a number of names similar in both families. It doesn't make it easier in my humble opinion.
     
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  18. janetbooth

    janetbooth Top Dog Stalwart

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    Well, just to confuse things further, it does look as if the Richard HULL in the 1841 census of Sutton Benger is most likely to be the one baptised in 1781 at Christian Malford. In the 1841 census Richard has an Emma HULL, aged 20, living with him. I cannot find Richard & Hannah in the 1851 census so far, but in the 1861 census of East Woodhay, Hampshire, Richard HULL born c1781 at Malford, Wiltshire, is living at Stargroves Farm, described as a Landed Proprietor, together with wife Hannah, unmarried daughters Mary A, aged 54 born Sutton Benger, Emma, aged 41 born Sutton Benger and son Richard, aged 38 born Sutton Benger. National Probate Calendar entry for Richard HULL formerly of Sutton Benger but late of East Woodhay, Gentleman, who died on 6 June 1870 at East Woodhay. Will proved by Henry HULL, Richard HULL, both of East Woodhay, & Joseph HULL of Sutton Benger. Ancestry hold quite a few Wiltshire Wills for HULLs of Christian Malford so there may be a few clues to be gained from looking through them.

    I haven't found a baptism for a Thomas HULL at Sutton Benger (Ancestry do hold both the parish registers & bishop's transcripts of Sutton Benger, but there appear to be 2 baptisms at Christian Malford. One on 8 January 1737/38 for Thomas son of Thomas & Catharine HULL and a "job lot" of baptisms on 20 January 1746/47 for Thomas, Joseph, William, Ann, James & Bishop, sons & daughter of Joseph HULL, parish register entries available to view on Ancestry. Perhaps this latter Thomas migrated to Sutton Benger.

    Janet
     
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  19. 3femmes

    3femmes Active Member

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    The Thomas Hull that marries Jane Box in Sutton Benger and has all his children in sutton Benger is also the one who returns to Christian Malford upon his death and is buried in Christian Malford on 25 October 1823 having I now believed being born there in 1743. Still finding parents. I will check the Wills on your excellent suggestion. many thanks.
     

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