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John Meads 2012
A Skeleton - Victim an Undetected Crime?

The scene of the crime - now number 44 High Street
Number 44 High Street - The scene of the undetected crime

From the Northampton Mercury 27 December 1851

"BURTON LATIMER - A SKELETON WITNESS - A few days since, as some workmen were engaged in lowering a garden, in front of a house lately occupied by Miss Barber, they discovered, embedded in the soil, a full grown human skeleton. The spot was in the centre of the gravel walk, leading to the house. The skeleton lay only about a foot beneath the surface, and was in perfect preservation. That the existence of such remains, in such a place, must have been connected with some foul deed admits of little doubt; nor is there any question, among the oldest inhabitants or the village, as to whose they are. Somewhat more than forty years ago resided at the Hall, now the estate of H. Harper, Esq., an old squire, a relative of the same name. Among his servants was a butler, named Edis, and a Mrs. Marlow, the housekeeper, both of whom, it was supposed, had managed to accumulate money. After the old squire's death, Edis erected the house in front of which the skeleton was discovered, and thither  he  went to reside, taking with him, as fellow residents, the housekeeper, Mrs. Marlow, and her niece, a young woman, whose name, it is to be regretted, is not now remembered. Mrs Marlow soon after died, but her niece, who it was understood inherited her aunt's property, continued in the house. Suddenly, however, the young female disappeared. Her disappearance was of sufficient interest to the neighbours to awaken inquiry, and some of them accordingly interrogated Edis on the subject. His reply was, ''She is gone,"' but how, or whither she was gone, refused further to enlighten them, and as her family connexions were unknown, other enquiries speedily dropped. The present discovery is supposed to solve the mystery. Edis was always regarded as a man of very eccentric and miserly habits. The probability, therefore, is that this female was murdered, and that the corpse was interred where the skeleton was found."

The "oldest inhabitants of the village" quoted above may have mixed up some of the facts. The "old squire" referred to was John Harpur who died in about 1800. His man servant,
named William EADY - not EDIS, left the service of the family after a disagreement about his bequest under the terms of John Harpur's will together with the housekeeper, Mrs Elizabeth Marlow. The confusion over names may have arisen because William Eady did have a nephew named William Eddis who was involved in land transactions (and probably owned property) in the vicinity of the property mentioned above, which is now known as 44 High Street, but the house was built many years before Eady's retirement.

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