Male 1850 - 1879  (28 years)

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  • Name Stephen GAMBRILL 
    Born 03 Nov 1850  Eastry, Kent, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    News General 12 Dec 1878  [1
    ARREST OF SUSPECTED MURDERED. A man named Gambrill has been arrested on suspicion of being the murdered of Mr.Arthur Gellow, At Woodnesborough. Gambrill is one of the deceased's labourers; and, after his arrest, attempted to commit suicide. 
    Crime 1878 - 1879  [2
    In her Majesty's Prison in Maidstone. Stephen Gambrill, 28, Labourer, Date of Warrant 24th December 1878, Received into custody 26th December 1878, Wilful Murder of Arthur Gillow, at Woodnesborough 4th December 1878, When tried 14th & 15th January 1879, Verdict of the Jury - Guilty of wilful Murder, Sentence of the court - Death, Tuesday 4th Feb 1879. 
    Crime 11 Jan 1879  Maidstone, Kent, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Convicted of Murder - death penality 
    Died 4 Feb 1879  Maidstone, Kent, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Cause: Hanging 
    • Maidstone Prison - death by hanging.
    Stephen Gambrill Death Notice
    Stephen Gambrill Death Notice
    Hanged at Her Majesty's Prison, Maidstone 4th Febrary 1879.
    Execution of Stephen Gambrill Page 1 of 2.
    Execution of Stephen Gambrill Page 1 of 2.
    8th February 1879 The Dover Standard Newspaper
    Execution of Stephen Gambrill page 2 of 2.
    Execution of Stephen Gambrill page 2 of 2.
    8th February 1879 The Dover Standard Newspaper
    News General 15 Mar 1879  [4
    Stephen Gambrill convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Arthur Gillow. The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, Page 14(s)

    Murder in Kent.

    Stephen Gambrill, aged 28, a farm labourer, was brought up from St. Augustine Gaol to the court-house at Canterbury on Tuesday morning, December 24, charged with the wilful murder of Mr. Arthur Gillow., aged 23, son of Captain Gillow, a Justice of the Peace residing at Woodnesborough, near Sandwich.

    The deceased was found at 6 o'clock, on the morning of the 5th December, in the highway near his father's house, with his head battered in, and after the inquest it was also discovered that his throat had been cut.

    This morning a great crowd assembled round the court-house, and the place was crowded in every part. A strong force of police, under Supt. Walker, kept the way and inside the court. The prisoner, who does not present anything like a violent or ferocious appearance, in answer to the presiding Magistrate, said he perfectly understood the charge against him.

    Mr. Richard Gillow stated that he was brother to the deceased. The prisoner had been employed by his father, principally as a waggoner, for about two years and a half. Witness's father was the owner of a valuable traction ploughing engine. It was damaged either on the 19th or 20th of November by the steam gauge and water gauge being broken. His father put the matter in the hands of the police, and offered a reward for the apprehension of any one damaging it. His brother, the deceased, was also very anxious to detect the person who did the damage, and expressed a hope that he should be able to catch him. On the 6th December he saw his brother lying dead, and he heard that he had been found murdered close by the traction engine. Standing on the estate by the side of the road he saw a great pool of blood by where his brother had lain. He assisted the police to mix some plaster of Paris, and also to take moulds of the ground. The plaster of Paris moulds produced were similar to those he saw on the ground. The heavy hobnail boots produced fitted those moulds as far as he could see. He had heard from the engineer that the engine had been repaired, and he found that the engine was
    broken on the 5th December.

    The prisoner who was undefended, said he had no questions to ask.

    Mr. Douglas Drayson, a jeweller, residing at Sandwich, said he knew deceased well. He parted company with him at Sandwich at a quarter-past eleven on the night previous to the murder. Deceased wished him " Good night," saying, " You know I have a job on to-night," and deceased then started running off in the direction of home. He could swear to the two pieces of broken stick produced and covered with blood as the one Mr.Gillow had with him that night.

    William Drayson, a labourer on Captain Gillow's estate, said he was going to work at six o'clock on the morning in question. He found the deceased lying in the road, about ten yards from the engine, and so covered with blood that he could not recognise him. He also found two broken sticks near to the deceased, and respectively numbered " 1 " and " 2." The morning was very dark, and as Captain Gillow was a county magistrate he went and told him that a man was lying in the road.

    Police-constable Stone, 185, said he passed the traction-engine at half-past ten on the night of the murder. There was no one near it then, and the engine appeared all right. About half-past twelve on the same night he was near to the prisoner's house at Marshboro', a village on the further side of Captain Gillow's house from the town of Sandwich. He then saw the prisoner coming from towards Woodnesborough, and as he going in he said " I am glad you are come,for I have been waiting for you." Prisoner replied, " Oh, I have been to Sandwich, and you know I do not always come the nearest
    way home ; I have come through Polershome. Witness had not then heard of the murder, but heard of it about half-past five the next morning. He proceeded to the spot of the murder and found the body of Mr. Gillow lying in a pool of blood. Part of his own broken stick, marked No. 1 was lying on his arm. He noticed hob-nailed bootmarks round the engine, between the boiler and the windlass. The footprints seemed to show that the engine been approached from the Woodnesborough side. A little distance off the road there were marks of a smaller boot, which appeared to have gone on the ground six or seven yards, and there were backward retracing steps. These latter marks seemed to fit Wellington boots such as those worn by Mr. Gillow. On examination of a knot in the tarpauling on the engine he found it had been
    tampered with, as, having been ordered to watch the engine, he had tied the knot in a particular manner. The prisoner seemed almost out of breath when he went into his cottage on the night of the murder. Witness had no meaning when he said, "I am glad you are come, as I have been waiting for you." It was only said by way of passing the time of night. The battered hat is in the same condition as when it was found near the deceased.

    Superintendent Stokes said he was stationed at Sandwich, and on the morning after the saw the prisoner at work ploughing
    on Captain Gillow's estate. He spoke to him, and said, " Gambrill, where were you last night?" Prisoner replied, "At my father's, Sandwich, and I left there a little after eleven." I said to him, " Did you see any one last night ?" He replied, " Only two or three at Baker's corner, but I did not know them." I had seen some marks on the ground of heavy hob-nailed boots with iron toes. I looked at the prisoner's boots, and thought they corresponded with the marks on the
    ground. I did not take him into custody then, In the afternoon I saw him at the Green Post public-house at Sandwich, and I said to bim,"Why, Gambrill, what are you doing here ?" He replied, "Well, I was beery last night, and I thought I would come and see if I had said anything to the constable." I did not take him into custody then, but about four in the
    afternoon the prisoner was brought into the police-station by superintendent Walker, of Canterbury. He was not then charged with the murder, but he was requested to remain in the police station while I and inspector Andrews, from the Criminal Investigation Department, Scotland yard, and inspector Ovenden, of Maidstone, went to make further inquiries. After making further inquiries I returned to Sandwich police-station, and then found that the prisoner had cut his throat

    I produce a velveteen sleeve vest, the pair of hobnail boots, a leathern pair of gaiters, and a large pruning-knife taken from the prisoner.

    Superintendent David Ovenden said: I have also examined the prisoner's clothing, and found marks as of blood upon the shirt sleeve and gaiters produced. The hob-nailed boots produced, and taken from the prisoner, correspond exactly with the footprints at the spot of the murder. I have made myself ac-quainted with the road, and have found that I could walk from Fagg's public house to the spot of the murder in l8 minutes, and from, the place of the murder to the prisoner's cottage in 12 minutes. I could not trace the prisoner's foot-marks across the fields to his cottage. There were some foot-prints, but it is only fair to the prisoner to state that I could not say they were his.

    William Fagg : I keep the Green Post Inn at Sandwich, and saw the prisoner in my house on the night of the 4th December. He came in between 8 and 9, and remained till closing time, 11 o'clock, he had a stick with him, the same one which he generally carries. The stick produced is similar to it, but I could not positively swear to it. The prisoner when he left my house was quite sober. The prisoner came again to my house on the following day. There was then a great deal of
    talk about the shocking murder which had been committed. The prisoner took part in the conversation, and seemed almost broken hearted. He said he was very much grieved at superintendent Stokes having been to him and having questioned him
    about being out so late. He added, "I felt the effect of the beer a little after I got out last night, and I have been a little afraid least I have done anything wrong." He had had two or three pints of beer at my house. Prisoner, on going out, said, "You know I always carry a stick with me. If they ask you anything about my stick tell them that I broke it cleaning my boots, and then threw it away before I got home."

    Mr. Matthew Algernon Adams said he was a surgeon, residing at Maidstone, and he had made an analysis of the marks on the prisoner's clothing. The spots on the left sleeve of the shirt were blood. Some of the spots on the waistcoat were blood, and, with the exception of one, he thought they were of recent date. Some of the dirt scraped from between the nails of the prisoner's boots showed a mixture of blood. He had pared off some of the leather from the front of the toes
    of the boots, but though there were slight stains at first, they afterwards gave negative results.

    Edward Bread said : I am a prisoner in Canterbury gaol, and on the 12th inst. was in the same room as prisoner. While there prisoner's brother and sister-in-law came to see him. When they had gone prisoner said to him, "I am all right now." l said to him, "How is that?" Prisoner replied, "That man that I knocked down is dead." I said, How do you know ?" He replied, "My brother has just whispered and told me so. I am sure I shall be hung, and I shall go to see old Marwood. I should not care if it were not for my wife and two children. But they will be all right, as I have got 18 score of pork and plenty of potatoes in the house. I am sorry now though that I cut my throat."

    Wm. Cambown, another prisoner, corroborated, and added that the prisoner Gambrill said, "I knocked him down and used my foot on him, and after I, had done it I went home and ate a good supper, and I had a good night's sleep. I have had my revenge if I get hung."

    John Chapman, assistant warder, said: The prisoner has been under my charge in St. Augustine's gaol. Between twelve and
    two o'clock in the morning of the 19th inst. the prisoner said to me, "Mr. Chapman; will they try me for murder in self-defence? What I did I did in self-defence. He tackled me first."

    That being the case, the prisoner was then fully committed to the next Maidstone assizes to take his trial for wilful murder The prisoner said he should' reserve his defence. ' 
    Person ID I2418  treeno1
    Last Modified 18 Nov 2016 

    Father Thomas GAMBRILL,   c. 01 Nov 1818, Woodnesborough, Kent, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Elizabeth KNIGHT,   b. 1824, Woodnesborough, Kent, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 03 Mar 1847  Woodnesborough, Kent, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F551  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Spouse / Partner Ellen WHITTAKER 
    Married 27 Jann 1874  Ash, Kent, UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 28 Mar 2010 
    Family ID F554  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 03 Nov 1850 - Eastry, Kent, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 27 Jann 1874 - Ash, Kent, UK Find all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCrime - Convicted of Murder - death penality - 11 Jan 1879 - Maidstone, Kent, England, UK Find all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Hanging - 4 Feb 1879 - Maidstone, Kent, UK Find all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Comments
     Kim Skoog (guest) wrote: 
     (28 Dec 2018) 
    My g g Uncle was Arthur Gillow.


  • Reference  "Stephen GAMBRILL". (accessed March 19, 2019).

  • Sources 
    1. [S651] Cornishman UK Newspaper., 7.

    2. [S835] England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935.

    3. [S834] Home Office: criminal registers, England and Wales, 1805-1892.

    4. [S387] The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser NSW Australia.