The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Scene of the Crime

When Thomas and William Bradbury were discovered on 3 April 1832, the scene was horrific, as were their injuries. Both of these were described in gruesome detail at the inquest and in the newspapers. Do these descriptions give us any clues about what happened in the Bill o’Jack’s murders?

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The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Night Before

While we can be fairly certain of most of the events which followed the discovery of William and Thomas Bradbury at on 3 April, there is much less clarity about what happened the night before. Almost everything we know comes from the evidence of one man, Reuben Platt. He spent maybe a couple of hours with Thomas Bradbury that evening before the two went their separate ways . His description of their encounter with three suspicious men formed the basis of a frenzied hunt for suspects in the following days, and much speculation since.

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The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: The Morning After

On 3 April 1832, a young girl called Amelia Winterbottom made a horrifying discovery at the house of her grandfather in Saddleworth. As the news spread, it marked the beginning of the strange tale of a brutal double murder which both appalled and fascinated the people of the area. The 85-year-old William Bradbury and his 47-year-old son Thomas had been attacked the previous evening. This is the story of their final hours.

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The Bill o’Jack’s Murders: An introduction

At some time late on 2 April 1832, two men were brutally attacked in their home on the edge of Saddleworth Moor. They lived in a public house, known locally as “Bill o’Jack’s” which was beside the road from Greenfield to Holmfirth – the modern A635. The men – a father and son, William and Thomas Bradbury – died soon after. Their murderers were never found, but the mystery has continued to fascinate people in the local area and far beyond for almost 200 years. Perhaps interest has been sustained through a combination of the murders remaining unsolved, the remote location and the undeniable brutality of the attack upon both men.

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