Chapter 6–4. End August 1868 — Newmarket to Kingston

In which it is told of the daily activities of some Kingston farm labourers in the days before Baldy’s murder.

Between Mid-August and early Sept 1868 — From Baldy’s to Wickham’s

Brown removed from Baldy’s into Kingstone village. It was more convenient for his work. He lodged at Kingstone at Mr Wickham’s. William Wickham was a 63 year old agricultural labourer, whose 62 year old wife, Charlotte Wickham, was from as far away as Norwich in Norfolk. They had about 9 children and 31 grandchildren.

Richard Goodwin, was also a new lodger at the Wickham’s, and shared a bed with Brown: “When he first come down there he said he had £7, and I saw £5. He has had no need to borrow money.”

Sometime mid- to late September 1868 — Intent

Brown thought to murder the old shepherd, John Tuppen, with whom he had an altercation as a young lad, about 10 or 12 years previously. Most recently Tuppen had interfered with Brown for shooting rabbits. When Tuppen told Brown that he knew his real name, Tuppen was reported as saying “You’re the biggest liar I know,” and Brown had replied, “I’ll be a match for you some day.”

Beginning October 1868 — New coat

Brown’s fellow lodger, Goodwin, was with Brown when he bought himself a regimental overcoat in Lewes. It is known that military overcoats were favoured by shepherds during the nineteenth century; – when they could afford them.

Friday 2nd October 1868 — Bullets for a gun

Goodwin claimed he saw a gun which belonged to Henry Brown. Goodwin had some bullets he used when rook tending. Brown asked to be given half-a-dozen and he did so. Goodwin made the bullets himself. The gun was kept in their bedroom.

Thursday 8th October 1868 — People on Hill

This night the gathered Baldy family discussed the question of who should collect the wages the following evening after work. The wages of David Baldy and his sons Walter and Mark were paid fortnightly down in the village of Kingston by Mr Hodson for whom they worked. It was the custom of David Baldy to collect all of their wages, though Philip had been known to do so. Philip, who was 14 years old, was a timid boy. This Friday his father had work to do on the hill, but Philip was to be working in the village as usual. Philip’s father asked him to stop and take the money before leaving for home and save his father the trouble of going down. But Philip did not agree to do so, for he was timid about coming over the hill, for though he had never been interrupted on the hill to make him afraid, he had seen some queer people about on the hill and didn’t like to bring the money.

Breakfast, Friday 9th October 1868 — Scared

They again discussed who was to collect the wages on the Friday morning as they were all at breakfast. As Philip would be working down in the that day, he could collect their wages when he returned home for his tea. Philip’s father and mother, that evening, intended to go to Brighton to pay some bills, so would not have wanted to delay their journey. But Philip, being a timid boy, especially on the hill after dark, said he would not wait to do so, since they don’t commence paying wages till six o’clock. It started getting dark at six. His mother asked him to bring it, and wanted him to stop till she came down there to meet him. He did not agree to do so. Their lodger, Joseph Hollands, who had been lodging with them for about 4 years, told Philip that it was a pity to drag his father down there for the money, but Philip replied that it was not his place to stop. It was not mentioned that his father had a bad leg.

5:30am, Friday 9th October 1868 — Morning work

David Baldy left to tend his beasts with 5s 3d on him. Philip Baldy was working in Kingston, driving a cart. He saw and spoke to Brown that day, but did not speak to him about any money.

Brown worked in the garden of the curate, Mr Bray, this day. Mr Cooper was to pay him for that work. Mr Joseph Cooper was a wealthy ironmonger who lived in the old house of the Kingston Manor, with his wife, 4 children and 3 servants, and he wrote a book on the history of “Hundred of Swanborough” in 1871. At this time Kingston Manor was just a place of residence, the active manor in the parish being that of Hyde.

12–1pm, Friday 9th October 1868 — Dinnertime

When Brown was sitting at dinner in his lodgings, Mrs Wickham and Goodwin, one of the lodgers, were there. Brown said he was going to Brighton after he had done his work and was going to take his gun to his brother to look at, and should not be back till three o’clock on Saturday afternoon. Mrs Wickham happened to asked him what his brother worked at and he said well digging.

3:15pm, Friday 9th October 1868 — Bullocks

It was a quarter past three o’clock, when Philip Baldy left off work in Kingston, and went home to mind his father’s bullocks while his father went after the wages. David Baldy was at work on the hill that day.

Shortly before sunset, 5pm, Friday 9th October 1868 — Leaving for wages

On Friday evening David Baldy went into Kingstone to receive the wages of himself and two sons, who worked with him for Mr Hodson. This was about a 40 minute walk.

Dusk, 5:45pm, Friday 9th October 1868 — Wages

Baldy was paid at a quarter to six o’clock, and received 51s, – a fortnight’s money for the three. It was reported that he afterwards went to where his son, Philip, lodged in the village of Kingstone, and received 16s from him, being a fortnight’s board, the son taking his meals but not sleeping at his father’s house. This money must have been left in Philip’s lodgings for his father to collect, for Philip had left earlier, neither wanting to carry money over the hill, nor wanting to travel in the dark. David Baldy also had tea there, paid the landlady of his son a trifling sum for mending his coat, and, shortly before six o’clock, started with, it was estimated, about £3 12s 6d in his pocket to go on his lonely way home.

At about the same time, Brown left his lodgings. He repeated what he said about not coming back just before he went out. He left the house by the back door. He then had the gun with him, which he had just loaded in his room, and wore his regimental overcoat and reefing jacket such as he used to wear. He went out at about a quarter to six.

Dark, shortly before 7pm, Friday 9th October 1868 — Waiting

Baldy’s family waited up for him some time, the lodger, Joseph Hollands, in the house playing the concertina, and they singing the lead or accompaniment of the instrument. The eldest son of Baldy occasionally slept at the house, and did so on Friday, he having been there to collect a pair of boots which had been made for him by a bootmaker of Falmer.

Previous: Chapter 6–3. July 1868 — Brighton to Newmarket Hill

Table of Contents

Next: Chapter 6–5. October 9, 1868, Murder

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