Shrieks had been heard.........................

On Tuesday 16 March 1858 workmen excavating for a new sewer in Willow Bridge Street in Leicester were taken aback by suddenly coming in contact with a rudely constructed coffin, upon being opened, it was found to contain a complete but scarcely disarranged skeleton.

















The borough authorities were contacted and under the direction of the police, the coffin and the skeleton were conveyed to Welford Road Cemetery for re-interment.


On Saturday 22 July 1815, John Bridgan a labourer in the employ of the Messrs. Pickford was one night absent from home, he was found the next morning on Sunday 23 July suspended by a rope in the loft of the stable belonging to his employers. His employers Messrs Pickford was situated in Gallowtree Gate opposite the Robin Hood Public House. The stable loft where John was found was in the entry leading from Gallowtree Gate.
























The knot in the noose was found near the back of the neck, leading to the conclusion that John had unskillfully adjusted the rope. Shrieks had been heard for help on the night from the direction in which the body was found.

The jury investigating the death were led to believe that John Bridgan was in a sane state of mind at the time he committed the deed and returned a verdict of felo de se (suicide). The remains were, according to the then prevalent custom, buried without ceremony at midnight in the Four Cross Road, on the spot from where John Bridgan had been exhumed.

Image: Google Maps

Gallowtree Gate 2020

Gallowtree Gate 1800's/1900's

Image: Authors own collection/postcard

John Bridgan was laid to rest two days after his remains were rediscovered on 18 March 1858. John is buried in non-conformist/unconsecrated ground facing University Road.