Brutal Murder at Croft

Singular Murder

A coroner’s inquest was held on 17th inst at Croft, in Lincolnshire, on the body of Elizabeth Evinson, aged 70. It appeared that the deceased and her sister, Ann Fairweather, occupied and obscure cottage a short distance from the road leading from Wainfleet to Skegness; that about ten o’clock on Sunday night they were alarmed by a man forcing himself through the bedroom window upon the ground floor, carrying away the lead, glass and everything else that obstructed his entry.

The survivor, in her fright, crept into the other bed to her sister, when the burglar commenced tying each of their hands together with tar-marline, and next all their four hands, as well as their feet, and fastened them to the bedstead; he next ordered them to lie down, and covered them completely over with clothes from both beds, tucking them tight under their heads.

In this state they remained until Tuesday morning, when a boy, calling at the house to show a seal, heard the faint moaning, and gave the alarm, when the bodies were found as above described. Mrs Evinson being quite dead, and Mrs Fairweather in a state of great exhaustion.

A fellow was apprehended in Swineshead, in the act of uttering base coin, and on the searching of his person seven silver tea-spoons, and other articles were identified and sworn to by the survivor, and there can be no rational doubt but he was the guilty wretch.

Verdict – Wilful murder against Thomas Johnson, alias Henry Hersy, who is committed to take his trial at the approaching assizes.

Source: The Era (London, England), Sunday, February 26, 1843

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