|Death: ||May 27, 1817|
Murder Victim. Mary was found by George Jackson one morning. He was crossing the fields when he saw "a lake of blood" in the grass. He followed the trail of bloodstains and noticed footprints of what seemed to be a man chasing a woman. The female footprints stopped but the man's continued but sunken as if he carried something. They stopped at a marl pit and he found a bundle of women's clothes and boots. The pit was dragged and a body of a woman came to the surface. Mary had been brutally raped and thrown into the pit to drown. A local farmer was arrested and charged with murder. The evidence against him was strong. Abraham Thornton was the last person Mary was seen with, he lied about walking her home, had her blood on his shirt and admitted to having sex with her. He was found not guilty as he had an alibi. Mary had been seen alone after parting company with him and at the time of murder he had been seen by eight different people. The village people were enraged and said Blood will have blood. Eventually he was hounded out of the country, sailed to New York and never returned.
Mary's Tomb reads.
'As a warning to female virtue
And a humble monument to female Chastity,
This stone marks the grave of Mary Ashford
Who, in the twentieth year of her age,
Having incautiously repaired to a place of amusement
Without proper protection
Was brutally violated and murdered
On 27th May 1817.'
Mary is supposed to haunt the same area
Holy Trinity Churchyard
Metropolitan Borough of Birmingham
West Midlands, England
Created by: Medora
Record added: Oct 26, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16332725
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