Above: The Braddock brothers were gamekeepers on the Errwood estate in the early 1900s. 

I wouldn’t have fancied any burglar’s chances faced with these two with their shotguns and gun dogs!

Mike has sent me another press clipping from his collection. This one is dated 18th February 1847 and reports ‘a desperate burglary in which one of the burglars was killed’ at Errwood Hall.

The Hall was only completed a few years earlier, and it must have made a very tempting target for thieves, perched on a hillside in a fairly remote location on the border between Derbyshire and Cheshire.

The report states that the Grimshawe family were away in Southport at the time, and that the house had been left in charge of the servants, who were ‘seriously ill treated’ during the raid.

The report goes on to say; ‘…whilst they were ransacking the house, the gamekeeper came up and fired amongst them, killing one of the party on the spot.’

I’m sure I’ve heard about this killing before, and I seem to remember the story proved false. I’ll see if I can track down the facts. If anyone knows the full story, please get in touch.

Page update: Many thanks to Gail from the Whaley Bridge Local History Group for pointing me towards a page on their website about all kinds of myths and tales regarding Errwood Hall. It contains the following report from the Macclesfield Courier dated 6th February 1847, just a week after the initial story about the killing:

Alleged burglary at Errwood Hall

On the authority of the Superintendent of the County Police in this town, we gave currency last week to a rumour which prevailed of a man having been shot in an attempted burglary at Errwood Hall. We have since ascertained from the same source that there was not one word of truth in the rumour.

Ah well – it was a good story. I quite liked the drama of a gamekeeper blasting away at thieves who had terrified the servants! Perhaps the initial story had been put about by staff to discourage burglars.

Topic tags (click for similar posts): Crime & punishment | Errwood Hall | Valley folk