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Cold Blooded Murder 09-05-1812

9th May 1812

One of the most cold-blooded and atrocious murders ever known, was perpetrated in the neighbourhood of Huddersfield, on Tuesday evening, the 28th ult.— About half-past six o'clock, as Mr. Wm. Hors- fall, of Marsden, a most respectable woollen-manufacturer, and Adjutant to the Upper Agbrigg Regt. of Local Militia, was returning from Huddersfield market, on horseback, he was fired at by four assassins, who had hid themselves in a small plantation adjoining the road on Crosland Moor, planting the muzzles of their guns through holes in the wall. Mr. Horsfall distinctly saw two of them, but too late to guard off their effect.— Mr H left Huddersfield with a manufacturer of the name of Eastwoood, and they proceeded together almost to the fatal spot, when the latter stopped to give his horse some water, Mr. H. going leisurely forwards — At this time the villains fired and lodged the contents of their four pieces in the left side of the unfortunate gentleman : he instantly fell, and was dragged a short distance in the stirrup, bleeding very much. Several passengers, both on horseback and foot, soon came to the spot, and after disentangling him from the stirrup, conveyed him to the Warren Inn, which is hard by.

In the confusion and alarm consequent on such a lamentable occasion, no one had presence of mind to pursue the murderers: they escaped into Dungeon Wood, undiscovered. Nor was any pursuit or search made after them till the arrival of a party of the Bays from Huddersfield, Mr. Horsfall, at first, seemed much exhausted by the great loss of blood.— The best medical aid was obtained, and three shots out of the four were pronounced slight; but the fourth, from a musket-ball, had inflicted a mortal wound. On Wednesday some faint hopes of recovery were entertained, but in the course of the night, a fresh bleeding took place, the thigh became considerably swollen and had the appearance of mortification, and on Thursday morning, between 8 and 9 o'clock, death ensued. During the agonies of such a state, there was some consolation that this public- spirited and humane man retained the perfect possession of his faculties.

This is one of the most lamentable events that has ever been recorded in our columns. The perpetration of it has evinced a spirit, with which we had hoped no Englishman could have been actuated — Mr. Horsfall had a most extensive manufactory at Marsden, and employed near 400 work-people ; for the last seven years he had worked shearing-frames in a part of the premises and had brought them to great perfection.— He had been most active too, in endeavouring to bring to justice the nocturnal assailants at Rawfolds.— His property was too well defended for them to risk an attack ; and therefore the villains sacrificed a valuable life by means well worthy of an Italian Bravo, but which must embitter the remainder of their days with sufferings ten thousand times more acute than they were able to inflict, even if they should escape that ignominious end which the injured laws of their country demand.

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