Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ratcliffe Highway Murders Map - Vignette #4

Ratcliffe Highway Murders Map - Vignette #4
'New Sanguinary Atrocities'

At the beginning of the month I was asked by the Gentle Author of Spitalfields Life ( and publishers Faber & Faber ( to produce a map marking the bicentinary this month of the horrific Ratcliffe Highway Murders (December 1811), with vignettes indicating the location and dates of the pertinent events as their anniversaries occurred.

The vignettes were inspired by the book investigating the case 'The Maul and the Pear Tree', by P.D.James & T.A.Critchley, first published by Faber in 1971.

The map beneath was an 1811 map of the area, provided for me by the wonderful Stefan Dickers, archivist at the Bishopsgate Institute.

This is the fourth vignette. It shows the next remarkable turn in the tale of the horrific Ratcliffe Highway Murders, when on the 19th December 1811, barely two weeks after the brutal murder of the Marr family at No. 29 Ratcliffe Highway, owner of the King's Arms pub Mr. Williamson, his wife Mrs Williamson and their servant Bridgit Harrington were found most brutally slaughtered.
The scene shown depicts resident of the King's Arms John Turner escaping the carnage below by dropping from his garret window using knotted sheets and crying 'Murder! Murder!' to raise the alarm.

New Gravel Lane is to-day called Garnet Street.

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