Story of The Elstree Murder told in new historical book

First published in News

The 1823 murder in Elstree of solicitor and gambler William Weare is featured in a new book, Crime in Hertfordshire: Murder and Misdemeanours.

The book, published by The Book Castle, details various murders in the county between 1602 and 1939, including a chapter on the death of Weare, who was killed after he cheated John Thurtell out of £300 in a Haymarket gambling den.

Thurtell, the son of Norwich's mayor, decided to murder and rob Weare and, with an accomplice, Joseph Hunt, invited Weare to Elstree for a weekend in the country.

After shooting Weare, cutting his throat and stealing his money, Thurtell was assisted by Elstree resident Bill Probert, of Gills Hill Lane, who allowed the body to be disposed of in his fishpond.

An investigation was launched, by magistrates Robert Clutterbuck and John French, after workmen found the gun and knife. The inquest into Weare's death was held at The Artichoke pub in Elstree.

Probert revealed all he knew, and Hunt confessed everything. Thurtell and Hunt were tried at the Hertford Assizes Court in 1824 and found guilty. Thurtell was hung, and Hunt was transported. Probert was later hung for horse-stealing.

For copies, which costs £9.99 call 01582 605 670.

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