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Adams, Fanny (1859–1867), murder victim and source of a colloquial expression, was born on 30 April 1859 in Tanhouse Lane, Alton, Hampshire, the fourth of seven children of George Adams (b. 1830), a labourer, later a bricklayer, and his wife, Harriet Mills (...

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Arden, Thomas (c. 1508–1551), murder victim, was the son of Margery Arden of Norwich, also known as Mother Arden. His career shows that he was well educated, almost certainly as a lawyer. By 1537 he was an assistant to Edward North, clerk of the ...

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Bulger, James Patrick (1990–1993), murder victim, was born in Liverpool on 16 March 1990, the first child of Ralph S. Bulger (b. 1964) and his wife, Denise Matthews (b. 1965). A younger brother was born after his death, and his parents separated in 1994. The family lived in ...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by Michael Bevan

Clench, Andrew (d. 1692), physician and victim of murder, was the son of Edmund Clench of Ipswich. He matriculated from St Catharine's College, Cambridge in 1663, and was created MD at Cambridge by royal mandate on 29 March 1671. Clench was admitted a candidate of the ...

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Dighton, William (1717–1769), excise officer and murder victim, was born in 1717, though further details of his family and early life are unknown. His first post was in Gloucester in 1741; thereafter he worked in Evesham, Worcestershire, and Woodstock, Oxfordshire. By 1758 Dighton...

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Hunne, Richard (d. 1514), alleged murder victim, was a merchant tailor of the parish of St Margaret New Fish Street, London, and the son-in-law of Thomas Vincent, a leading member of the city's Lollard community. A wealthy man—Sir Thomas More later wrote that he was worth ...

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Jermy [formerly Preston], Isaac (1789–1848), judge and murder victim, was born on 23 September 1789 as Isaac Preston, the eldest son of George Preston, rector of Beeston St Lawrence, Norfolk. He was educated as a town boy at Westminster School, where his brother ...

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Stephen Adrian Lawrence (1974–1993) by unknown photographer Rex Features

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Lawrence, Stephen Adrian (1974–1993), murder victim, was born on 13 September 1974 at Greenwich District Hospital, the son of Neville George Lawrence (b. 1942), a jobbing tailor, builder's labourer, plasterer, and decorator, and his wife, Doreen Delcitia Graham (b. 1952), a bank clerk, part-time care assistant, office cleaner, and guide for schoolchildren with special needs. He had one younger brother and one younger sister. His parents, who had been born in ...

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McCrea, Jane (1752?–1777), murder victim and folk heroine in America, was born near Bedminster or Lamington, Somerset county, in the colony of New Jersey, the younger of the two daughters among the seven children of James McCrea (d. 1769), a Presbyterian minister, and his wife, ...

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Pakington, Robert (b. in or before 1489, d. 1536), member of parliament and murder victim, was born at Stanford-on-Teme, Worcestershire, the second or third son of John Pakington and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Washborne. Robert followed his elder brother John to the ...

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Martha Ray (1742?–1779) by Nathaniel Dance, 1777 Christie's Images Ltd. (2004)

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Ray, Martha (1742?–1779), singer and murder victim, was born near Covent Garden, London, probably in 1742, though some sources suggest 1745. When she was about fourteen her father, a stay maker, apprenticed her for five years to Mrs Sarah Silver, a maker of mantuas (cloaks) in ...

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Stewart, James, second earl of Moray (1565/6–1592), magnate and murder victim, was the eldest son of James Stewart, first Lord Doune (c.1529–1590), and his wife, Margaret Campbell (b. after 1541, d. 1592), daughter of the fourth earl of Argyll. In 1580 the young ...

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Thomas Thynne (1647/88–1682) by Sir Peter Lely, c. 1673 reproduced by permission of the Marquess of Bath, Longleat House, Wiltshire, Great Britain. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Thynne, Thomas [nicknamed Tom of Ten Thousand] (1647/8–1682), landowner and murder victim, was the only surviving son of Sir Thomas Thynne (1609/10–1669?) of Richmond, Surrey, and his wife, Stuart or Stuarta, daughter of Walter Balcanquhall (c. 1586–1645). He matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford...

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William [St William of Norwich] (1132/3–1144), supposed victim of ritual murder, known as the 'saint and martyr of Norwich', was supposedly the first victim of ritual murder by Jews to occur in England, and indeed in Europe. The accusation levelled against the Jews, the so-called ‘blood libel’, grew out of a popular superstition that they preyed on children, especially at the time of passover. The curious and highly questionable tale of ...