James Diggles: Murder


James Diggles of Rastrick worked as a footman for John Armitage of Rastrick.

He had worked for Armitage since he was a boy.

On Friday, 5th November 1824, he was drinking in a pub

at the top of Bradley

with a group of gamekeepers - John Stott, gamekeeper to Sir George Armytage, Emanuel Brook, gamekeeper to John Armitage, James Diggles, and Enoch Garside, an assistant - when an argument started between one of the gamekeepers and another group of drinkers. The argument was said to have been a grudge by one of the drinkers, James Ellis, against John Stott.

About midnight, the gamekeepers left the pub and were set upon by the group of 8 men.

One of the assailants hit Diggles violently about the head.

Diggles and Emanuel Brook were taken to John Armitage's house where they were seen by Dr Alexander of Halifax and 2 local surgeons, Dr Simeon Fryer and Dr Hopkinson.

Diggles died 4 days later, on the following Tuesday, from his injuries to his head.

All of the assailants were apprehended.

At the York Assizes on 4th April 1825, >>>>>>>Christopher Tiffany [aged 19]>>>>>>>>, >>>>>>>John Dyson [aged 20]>>>>>>>>, >>>>>>>James Ellis [aged 21]>>>>>>>>, >>>>>>>James Tiffany [aged 21]>>>>>>>>, >>>>>>>John Bray [aged 22]>>>>>>>>, >>>>>>>Henry Nuttall [aged 25]>>>>>>>>, and >>>>>>>John Dawson [aged ??]>>>>>>>>, were acquitted of Diggles's murder.

Anthony Bray, who had been seen as the main person to have inflicted the wounds on James was found Guilty of manslaughter

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 3786

Page Ref: MMD250

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