ROBLETT, Cheshunt, killed 1821

April, 2006

Bridget Hunter (bridget.hunter @t of Leverington, Cambs, writes: William Roblett was killed in Cheshunt in 1821, aged 44. He was buried in Layston Buntingford. His son's marriage certificate records his occupation as a labourer. It is thought he may have been connected with the Great House in Cheshunt Park maybe he was working there when he was killed.  Info from a lady who remembered the name Roblett from when she was working on St Mary's church records about the Great House. Information sought about the 'killing' please.

The commonest form of violent death at the time would been an accident, and with no health and safety legislation the labouring classes would have been the most likely to be killed. Building accidents were common and it is know that, a few years later, many were killed or seriously injured when building the railways. However someone might be kicked by a horse or run over by a cart.

Normally an inquest would be held, under the local coroner, within 24 hours (no refrigeration of corpses in those days). This was often in a public house close to the place of death, and the jury of local men would have a chance to see the body. 

You should ask HALS whether they have any coroner's records for the Cheshunt area for the period, but I know that when I approached them for a different town they said they had very few such records - but it is worth trying.

The chances of finding any newspaper coverage is very low. Most Hertfordshire newspapers came into existence after the abolition of the newspaper stamp duty in 1855. Before that date the best you got was a single broadsheet covering a large area (sometimes several counties) with perhaps only 5 or 6 column inches for all the "local" news. ( I have a copy of a paper which has "Hertfordshire" in the title which does not include a single mention of any news from the county!) The accidental death of a labourer would mormally not merit a single line death notice.

If he was killed as a result of criminal action, and the murderer was convicted, HALS will almost certainly have some court records - and there is a better chance that the case will be (very briefly) reported in the press. The hanging of the murderer would have been an exciting public event and might also get brief press coverage.

In practice the chances of finding anything are low but you could try contacting any local history societies (see the community directory on the Hertford County Council site.)

There is a web page for Cheshunt

If you can add to the information given above tell me.


Page created July 2006