Following the addition of a new newspaper on the British Library's newspaper archive site, I came across an article from 1818 which tracks the investigation into a murder in Finsbury Park (Hornsey Wood as then was).
The enquiry takes in the Jolly Butchers (Wood Green), The Queen's Head (Harringay) and the Black Boy (West Green).
The account is quite evocative of this time gone by and is worth a skim for those interested in our local history. The full article is attached below.
I'm always amazed how far people walked in those days. Hornsey Wood House was an entertainment mecca for folks from the city from the eighteenth century. Most travelled by foot. If that's not far enough imagine a routine walk to the City from Southgate after seeing friends.
I too thought about the walking. Today he would be in a car or a taxi. I wondered if there had been any alternative, such as a coach service, but it was late at night when he left The Jolly Butchers and had such a service existed perhaps it would have ceased by then.
For those who could afford it, there were coach services, for example to Hornsey Wood Tavern at weekends. But most could only afford to walk.
And he was just a boy with probably little or no money of his own. Easy pickings for thieves.
When I was growing up in Harringay back in 1940 to 50s, coming from a large poor family, I use to walk miles everyday. I found that by walking I discovered all new places of interest and all those addresses in that murder were places I’d see on my walks, it was sad to read the tragic story of that poor young gentleman, and the terror he must have suffered. I hope that those vile murderers were eventually caught ,!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for your research Hugh. Eddie
I grew up in Harringay in the 40s and 50s too, Eddie. We walked everywhere at all hours of the day and night. I still think it's the best way to explore. I can still see those streets and shops in my mind. I often marvel at how lucky I was not to be robbed - or worse - but it never happened.
Yes they were the good old days Geraldine, when nothing seem to matter apart from the bombing. We had no fear because there was no threat to one’s safety wherever you went. I loved my times at Woodlands Park, Finsbury Park, Clissold Park and all the other Parks I discovered on my walks. If I ever went on a Tram or Bus that was also a Wonderfull experience, which only happed If I had money, which was almost never. One of my best discoveries was the Tube at Manor House or Turnpike Lane, for 1 Penny Platform Ticket I use to spend most of my day travelling between Station’s and seeing all the different suburbs, I was very lucky I never got caught it because it was illegal ha ha.
Eddie - I am still in touch with a couple of schoolfriends. One said recently, "Do you remember when we used to go round and round on the Circle Line?"
Another gem uncovered Hugh. Where is/was The Iron Bridge ? Wonder if any persons were charged with the murder and who they were ? If this was a Cluedo case i would have to suspect the landlady had some dealings seeing as she had noticed and warned of the wearing of that watch. Over to you Colonel Hugh ! But a tragic tale.
From what I could work out, John, the iron bridge was the one just north of Hornsey Wood, now part of Finsbury Park.
Fascinating reading this. Which paper was it Hugh?
I can recall that one of my colleagues on the Hornsey Journal did a retrospective series on local murders and this was among them. The lack of a police force produced some interesting sidelines. The family and friends did the sleuthing themselves. A friend organised the dragging of the river. There was no post mortem that we read of. And the description of locations would require some good local knowledge to make any sense.