Bethel Eli Parkinson

Bethel Eli Parkinson was the son of Samuel Parkinson and nephew of David Parkinson.

He was a waggoner [1851] / a farmer and dealer in horses and cattle [1858].

In 1850, he married Mary Mann [1831-1???] in Bradford. Mary was a power loom weaver [1851].

The family lived at

On the morning of 13th January 1858, William Shackleton of Commons Farm, Wadsworth, noticed a dark object lying in one of his fields. Later in the day – around 4 pm – he went to investigate and found Bethel Parkinson's body. He had been stabbed with a carving knife and his skull had been battered with a heavy coping stone [weighing 20 lbs] which had been taken from a nearby wall. The whole left side of his body had been

hacked in the most horrible manner

On 14th January 1858, the body – as yet unidentified – was taken to the Hare & Hounds, Old Town and put on display in the hope that someone might recognise the victim. It was here that his father, Samuel, recognised the body.

On Sunday 17th January, thousands of people went to view the scene of the crime.

Bethel had been attacked as he was crossing Midgley Moor carrying a large sum of money.

Joseph Shepherd confessed to the murder. He was subsequently tried and executed for the murder on 3rd April 1858 at York. There were around 10,000 spectators at the execution.

Parkinson's widow and his father were present at Shepherd's execution.

Bethel was buried at Mount Zion Methodist Chapel, Ogden (Grave Ref: Bm26)

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 20:14 / 15th December 2021 / 4023

Page Ref: X289

search tips advanced search
site search by freefind