Yorkshire Gazette – Saturday 03 March 1860
The Double Murder at Bolton-Upon-Dearne.
Little more than three years ago, the murder of an aged couple, attended with circumstances of the most horrible atrocity, was perpetrated in the village of Bolton- upon Dearne.
On the night of the 4th of December, 1856, it will be remembered that Luke White, an aged person, who was the village postmaster, and kept a small druggist’s shop, while apparently engaged preparing his sermon for the following Sunday, heard someone come to his shop door, and ongoing to see what was wanted, was knocked down and ruthlessly murdered. His wife hearing a noise in the shop, appeared, whilst | going along the passage leading from the house into the shop to see what was the matter, to have been there met, and also murdered—both bodies being found in a large pool of blood in the forenoon of the next clay. The trace ‘of a robbery having been committed was visible, and the affair was enshrouded in an impenetrable mystery.
Although every effort was made by Col. Cobbe, and the superintendents of the neighbouring divisions of constabulary, not the slightest trace could be found to the perpetrators of this horrid crime, and coroner’s inquest, after sitting for a considerable time, was obliged to return an open verdict.
The only person to whom the finger of suspicion pointed was White, the village constable, but no motive could be shown on his part for the commission of the deed; nor could the slightest evidence be adduced to connect him with it. On the contrary, it was shown that the deceased had been one of his warmest patrons, and had that day been engaged getting up a memorial to Col. Cobbe in favour of White being permanently stationed the village. However, nothing coming to light, White left (he place, and has since been living, fit may be almost said to some extent as suspected man, his native town of Barnsley, in anxious expectation j that something would transpire which would unravel the mystery, and restore him to the position which he had formerly held in the estimation of the world.
Recently, however, we are glad to say, circumstances have transpired which are likely to throw some light upon the tragedy. It will be remembered that on the day the murder was perpetrated, an Irish hawker was said to have been in the village of Bolton, vending caps and small wares, but no clue could be obtained to him afterwards, nor could he in any way be shown to be connected with the perpetration of the murder.
During the past week |an Irish hawker, who said to be undergoing six years’ penal servitude at Portsmouth, has made certain statements to a companion relative to the affair. These were communicated to the governor of the gaol in which he is undergoing his imprisonment, and information has since been forwarded to Mr. Astwood, superintendent of the West Riding Constabulary at Doncaster, who bas long exerted himself to obtain a clue to the tragedy.
Mr. Astwood, we understand, has been to Portsmouth, and had an interview with the hawker, who has pointed out the guilty parties, stating that although he himself did not commit the actual murder, he was in the house when the two aged people were lying dead on the floor. The names of the perpetrators have not transpired, neither has the nature of the confession further than what we have stated, although the man we understand completely exonerates White from any participation the murder. The most active inquiries have been going on for some days, and information of the facts having been communicated to the Secretary of State, we are informed warrants have been issued for the removal of the prisoner from Portsmouth to York, and for the apprehension of the parties whom his statements have criminated. The hawker has given some particulars as to the articles he was selling in the village the time, and the persons to whom he sold them, and the police are now engaged making inquiries.
The case is exciting the greatest interest, and it is hoped that the mystery which the tragedy has so long been enveloped will now be cleared away.