Recording a brutal murder

Recording a brutal murder

Above: The murder stone lies well-hidden beside the back road between Whaley Bridge and Disley. Three young men were soon identified as the killers. But only one was tried, convicted and sentenced to death. I’ve always thought the story of William...
Life for the killers

Life for the killers

Above: The Manchester Evening News announces the verdict: Life for the three of the convicted murderers. The ring-leader, Murray, was sentenced at a later date. Above & below: click on either image to view a pdf of each page. Like many other lovers of...
The Goytsclough murders

The Goytsclough murders

Above: I think this is where the toilets once stood, not far from the small packhorse bridge that now spans the Goyt. It seems incredible that such gruesome events took place in such a tranquil spot, and within living memory. Michael recently got in touch to ask...
‘Gruesome’ memorial

‘Gruesome’ memorial

Above: It seems that William Wood’s memorial stone, on the back road between Disley and Whaley Bridge, attracted controversy right from the start. Gail has unearthed a couple of press clippings which show there’s been a fair amount of local opposition to...
10. The execution

10. The execution

Above: This illustration shows Chestergate, one of Chester’s most ancient streets, around the time Dale was incarcerated in the nearby gaol.He may well have passed this way on the back of a horse-drawn cart, through crowds of spectators, to his execution....
9. Judgement of death

9. Judgement of death

Above: In time-honoured fashion, the judge would have placed a black cloth over his wig when announcing the sentence of death on Dale. From the newspaper reports, he was obviously in a very poor health. And even in those far harsher times, there was a great deal of...
8. The verdict

8. The verdict

Above: Dale was tried in the courtrooms at Chester Castle, a forbidding mass of grey stone buildings squatting beside the River Dee.  The castle still houses the Crown Courts, accessed though the impressive portico, which Dale would probably have passed through...
7. Macclesfield witnesses

7. Macclesfield witnesses

Above: Macclesfield Bank stood at the junction of Chestergate and Market Place. It was here that money stolen during William Wood’s brutal murder eventually ended up. Further testimony from the trial of Joseph Dale for the murder of William Wood. The...
6. The trial begins

6. The trial begins

Above: The conditions for prisoners at Chester Castle, where Joseph Dale stood trial for the murder of William Wood, were said to be extremely harsh. The trial of Joseph Dale for the murder of William Wood took place at Chester Castle. One of his co-accused,...
5. Suspects lost & found

5. Suspects lost & found

Above: Both suspects were incarcerated within the grim walls of Manchester’s New Bailey Prison.  The previous post covered the arrest of one of the murder suspects, 17-year-old Charles Taylor, in a Manchester pub. And the escape of his two co-accused,...