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British TaxidermistsEdward Gerrard

Edward Gerrard was a witness to attempted murder at the British Museum in 1862

By 1 August 2023April 19th, 2024No Comments

1862 | Attempted murder at the British Museum | Witnessed by Edward Gerrard 

1862 | Attempted murder at the British Museum | Witnessed by Edward Gerrard 

Reported in the Shepton Mallet Journal on 24th January 1862.


Attempted Murder!

“At Bow Street on Thursday, Robert Ready jnr., the son of Mr. Robert Ready, a copyist at the British Museum was charged with having in his possession a loaded pistol with an intent to murder his father or do him some grievous bodily harm.
After a short conversation in court with Mr Hall, Mr Ready Senior, who at first had declined to give his son into custody, resolved to come forward and give his evidence.
Mr Ready deposed: I am a copyist at the British Museum, and the father of the defendant, who is employed there under me. there under me.
I was there this afternoon and had occasion to request him not to take copies of anything under my care, having reason to believe that some coins and cameos, the property of the Museum, were about his person. I taxed him with having them, and I was about searching his person, when he took out of his pocket this pistol (producing a single-barrelled pocket pistol). I seized it with my hands end we struggled for the possession of it for at least 20 minutes. I was nearly overpowered, when the witnesses now present came to my assistance. I have heard of a threat used against me by the prisoner, and, from that and what has occurred, I apprehend that I go in danger of my life, or, at least, that he will do me some bodily harm unless he is restrained by the law.

Mr. Edward Gerrard and Mr. Frederick Tilley, also employed at the British Museum, corroborated this evidence.

Mr. Tilley further stated that a bullet similar to that found in the pistol, and also 20 percussion caps, were found on the prisoner.

“The prisoner: I have nothing to say to do me any good.”

Mr. Hall said he had a difficulty in finding words to express his feeling with regard to this painful case. He must express his strong approval of the conduct of Mr. Ready. He (Mr. Hall) fully believed that terrible as it might appear, the prisoner had really conceived the determination of taking bis father’s life.

‘The prisoner must find two sureties of £50 each and enter into his own recognizance of £80 to keep the peace for six months.

Bail not being forthcoming he was removed in the prison van.


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