Huddersfield Daily Examiner (10/Sep/1903) - Double Murder on the Marsden Moors

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.


In our first edition a brief report appeared of the murder of a gamekeeper on the Buckstones Moors and the shooting of his associate.

Further details appeared in our second edition.

We now present a narrative of the tragedy written by one of the Examiner staff, who obtained information on the spot.

This morning, intelligence was received in Huddersfield that a murder had been committed on the moors near Buckstones, which lies on the northwest of Marsden. The information was very scanty, and it was not fully reliable. The statement first made was that William Uttley, of Marsden, gamekeeper in the service of Messrs. J. Crowther, J. E. Crowther, and T. H. Ramsden, who have shooting rights over a section of the Marsden Moors, had been found partly buried on the moors, and that Robert Kenyon, son of William Kenyon, keeper, who lives at Buckstones, had been shot, but was alive at noon, and had been removed to his father's house.

The moment the information was sent to the County Police Office at Huddersfield, Superintendent Pickard and Mr. T. H. Ramsden started in a motor-car for the scene of the tragedy. The place of the tragedy was not known ; all that could be said was that it was on the moors, somewhere wide of Marsden and Buckstones.

Through the kindness of Messrs. Priest, of Lockwood, we were able to avail ourselves of their Daimler motor-car, and a representative of the Examiner drove to Buckstones with Mr. Walter Priest, and they reached there just before two o'clock, all but wet through, owing to having had to encounter a terribly heavy rainstorm going through Outlane, and rain all the way more or less.

Our representative was fortunate in meeting with Mr. John Crowther, of Golcar, the contractor for the new shooting-box which is being erected at Buckstones, for Messrs. Crowthers and Ramadan, adjoining the house which is occupied by Wm. Kenyon.

The facts appear to be as follow as near as we could ascertain them. Young Kenyon, who has seen service as a soldier in India, has lately been employed as a teamer for Messrs. Platt and Co., Oldham, but he was on a visit to Buckstones, staying with his father, and to relieve his father has taken part in game watching. On Wednesday afternoon he went out to range the moors, and he and his father were out in the evening. They saw a man on the moors, and Robert gave chase, and soon was out of sight, and the elder Kenyon, who is getting on in years, could not follow. He missed his son and went home, but as the son did not come home he went out again on to the moors looking for his son, but he could not find him. This morning, about eight o'clock, Mr. William Kenyon asked Mr. Crowther to go to Uttley's house and see if he could hear anything of him, and he and Mr. Kenyon and two young men named Wm. Quarmby, a returned reservist, of Linthwaite, and Fred Garside set out in quest of the missing Kenyon. The search party left the house at eight o'clock, and went along the moorland road towards Junction, and at the boundary turned on to the moor, the four dividing themselves into two parties, Mr. Kenyon, senior, and Mr. Crowther, about a quarter of a mile from the roadway, in a clough or gruff called Ben Cut, came across the body, not of Kenyon, but of William Uttley, who was lying on his right side on the heather, and it was at once seen that he was dead. An examination of the body revealed a gunshot wound behind the left ear, and the cloth of the coat on the upper part was burnt, as though Uttley had been shot at close quarters,

A message had been sent to Uttley's house to ask if Kenyon had been seen there, and the information was given that Uttley himself went out on the Wednesday afternoon, but had not yet returned. A messenger was sent by Mr. Crowther to Hey Green, which is between Blake Lea and Marsden, and a telephonic message was sent to the police office and to Huddersfield. Superintendent Pickard and Mr. T. H. Ramsden were informed of the tragedy, and they set off as speedily as possible in a motor-car for Buckstones.

Mr. J. E. Crowther, who was at Marsden, on receiving information, set out via Delph, and Mr. Superintendent Pickard and Mr. T. Ramsden and Mr. Hilton Crowther went via Outlane.

A search party had been instituted and set out for the moors prior to the arrival of Superintendent Pickard, and they came across the body of Robert Kenyon, nearly wholly covered with earth, stones, sods, and heather, and only his feet showing. Mr. Kenyon, senior, had with him Mr. J. E. Crowther's sheepdog, "Ben," and the animal was the first to give the alarm.

Afterwards, Superintendent Pickard and Mr. Crowther and Mr. Ramsden went forward on to the moors, and came to the spot in a deep gruff where the body lay. The body was uncovered, and it was found that a gun shot wound had penetrated the neck.

The body of Uttley was taken home at Marsden, and this afternoon arrangements were made for the removal of young Kenyon to Buckstones.

Uttley was about fifty-six years of age, and has left a widow and three children,

Police Constables Smith and Slack, with Superintendent Pickard, visited the place, and Superintendent Prosser, from the Saddleworth division, with whom were Sergeant Taylor and Police Constable Woollands, was also in attendance.

Old Mr. Kenyon, who is about seventy years of age, was so overcome by the terrible nature of the tragedy that he had to be taken home by some of the search party, and great distress was manifested at Buckstones by young Kenyon's mother and the other relatives who were there.

As our reporter was coming home in the motor-car belonging to Mr. J. E. Crowther, who kindly drove him and another Press representative to Huddersfield, the procession was seen coming up the moor bearing the body of young Kenyon.

In a short interview with Mr. Kenyon, senr, our reporter ascertained that it was in the afternoon, about 3.30, that he and his son went on to the moors, and when they had gone some distance in the direction of Marsden they saw on the moor top, a considerable distance away, a man coming in their direction. Young Robert Kenyon set off to intercept the man, and his father lost sight of him, and never saw him again until his dead body was found as already described. Young Kenyon had given his father his gun to carry before going forward, and thus had no weapon with which to defend himself in case of attack. The father remained on the moors until six o'clock, and then went home. He told his wife that he would turn out again if there son did not return at midnight, and he made arrangements whereby certain shots should be fired in the event of meeting with him, and left directions that if the son came home he was to fire a gun at a certain place to signal that he had returned. Midnight came, and the son did not return, whereupon the father set out to search for him. He remained on the moors all the rest of the night, but heard no shots fired, and did not succeed in finding his son. The old man told our representative that he must have passed during the night three or four times within fifty yards of the place where the body of his son was afterwards found, but the body, as already stated, was in a deep clough, covered with stones, sods, and heather, leaving only the boots visible.

Mr. Kenyon came home about seven o'clock and then spoke to Mr. John Crowther, a contractor, as to instituting a search party to go out and look for the son. The search party was so instituted, as before described, with the result that first of all the body of Uttley was found, and, later in the day, that of Young Kenyon.

Superintendent Pickard remained for a considerable time on the moor, along with Police Constable Smith, and preceded the bearing party which brought up the body of Young Kenyon to Buckstones.

The places where the murders occurred are in the Upper Agbrigg Division, and the coroner will be duly appraised of the circumstances. The place where young Kenyon was found is about a mile from the place where Uttley was found, and nearer Marsden.