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I was in the fold with William after dinner, and he told me the gun was on the stable loft, and that it must be put further out of gate. William went into the garden and I went into the loft, and William told me to put the gun through a window hole from the loft into the garden. I handed it to him through the hole. He said he would ram it into the thatch, but I did not see him put it there. Our house is thatched with straw. William told me to take the stock, do with it what I had a mind, and put it out of gate. I took the gun the same afternoon and put it in a wet place in Tom Moses’ field. The gun now produced by the witness Henry Smith is the same – it is my father’s. I did not notice that the lock had been broken off. It is the gun William took out with him on Saturday night, and the same which Robert Winter soldered a loop upon a bit before Martinmas. Michael Eland was in the house on Saturday night, whilst William was in. he would be tied (sure) to see William put his powder and shot into his belt and powder flask. When I had the conversation with my brother William on Sunday morning and he told me of the scuffle, he said it might as easily have been his end as the gamekeeper’s, as he (the gamekeeper) might have shot him. When I had the conversation with my brother William about the keeper, it was understood to be about Thomas Simpson. There was no other keeper in the same neighbourhood – that is, on the same side of the Eden. Thomas Simpson was the Staffield keeper.



Carlisle Journal 9th January 1857

The Staffield Murder

The prisoners are still detained at Penrith. William Graham continues very ill, and although he has improved considerably within the last week, the services of his brother are required in taking care of him.




Carlisle Journal  27th February 1857

Spring Assizes

WILLIAM GRAHAM (Labourer, aged 27, reads and writes imperfectly) was indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas Simpson, at Ainstable, on the 15th of November last.

The prisoner, who seemed to have quite recovered from   his recent illness, pleaded “Not Guilty” in a firm voice. At the request of Mr Monk he was accommodated with a chair.

The following persons were sworn upon the Jury:

William Blaylock, foreman, Studholme  Thos. Holliday, Park House

John Blaylock, Larriestown                               Richard Lawson, Bank House

John Faulder, Low Crosby                               John Little, Ive Gill

J Fawkes, Whitrigg House                                E Norman, High Burnthwaite

Isaac Fawkes, Crookdyke                                David Richardson, Roe Hill

Edward Graham, Griars Hill                              John Story, Mill Rigg


Mr OVEREND, QC, with whom was Mr LIDDELL, conducted the case for the prosecution. Mr MONK and Mr LEEMING appeared for the prisoner.