murder of George VENNELL - Christchurch 1879 :: Genealogy
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murder of George VENNELL - Christchurch 1879

Journal by ngairedith

the known VENNELL marriages in New Zealand 1868 - 1929

? Alice Mary Vennell
- married Frank Atchley PRESTON in 1920

? Alice Mary Vennell
- married Horace Normand WILTON in 1924

? Alice Maud Vennell
- married Charles Francis MILLWARD in 1894

? Arthur Henry Vennell
- married Arthur Henry VENNELL in 1926

? Charles William Vennell
- married Joan Frances HUIE in 1928

? Claud George Vennell (189-1973)
- married Edna Ellen EAMES in 1922

? Edith Victoria May Vennell
- married Willie CARROLL in 1920

? Edward Arthur Vennell
- married Alice May COYLE in 1902
- they had:
1903 - Edward John Vennell
1905 - Herbert George Vennell
1908 - Arthur Henry Vennell
- (possibly others)

? Edward Samuel Vennell
- married Alice TOCKER in 1868
- they had:
1878 - George William
1882 - Edwin Earl
- died on 20 Oct 1948
- buried Archer St Masterton
1884 - Roger Larter
1887 - Edward John

? Edward Valentine Vennell (1887-1958)
- married Lavinia Evelyn FENSHAM in 1915
- Edward died 31 May 1858 aged 71
- buried Archer St Masterton

? Elizabeth Ann Vennell
- married Henry Robert BUNNY in 1871

? Elizabeth Dorothy Vennell
- married Claude William EAMES in 1921

? Elizabeth Ellen Vennell
- married William Edward Emerson CHAPMAN in 1898

? Erle Edwin Vennell
- married Winifred MAYNE in 1920

? Erle Edwin Vennell
- married Anastasia Isalda KINLEY in 1929

? Eunice Mary Vennell
- married Charles Percy HULME in 1900

? Frederick Herbert Vennell
- married Agnes LOW in 1893
- they had:
1894 - Claud George Vennell
1899 - Elizabeth Dorothy Vennell

GEORGE VENNELL (1818-1879)

the following extracts in italics were taken from
George Vennell & other Avon personalities
- a brilliant read about George, his life, his wives and his mysterious murder that has never been solved

George Vennell .. was five feet four inches in height, had a large head, red hair and eyebrows, low forehead, fair complexion and hazel eyes. In youth he was convicted for theft, whipped and imprisoned. On 22 October 1838, at the age of 20, he was tried at the Somerset Quarter Sessions for stealing clothing and sentenced to be transported for 15 years. His ship, the Marquis of Hastings, arrived in Tasmania on 18 July 1839. George?s colonial crimes ranged from absconding to ?being in a public house on Sunday? to ?ill-using and causing the death of a calf, the property of his master?. He was incarcerated, put in a hard labour gang and subject to solitary confinement.
On 28 August 1854, in the District of Morven, George Vennell married Mary Scollan. The groom, claiming to be 33, was in fact a little older; Mary was 22. More than a decade later, the couple moved to Christchurch. George, clad in corduroy trousers, faded pea-jacket and black billycock hat, was by now stout, grey-haired and addicted to alcohol. Despite his fondness for drink, his contemporaries considered him ?an honest hard-working man in moderately good circumstances?. On 30 July 1871, however, George?s ?beloved? Mary died of cancer at Haast Street, Avonside.

- Even while Mary lay dying, George was in contact with the woman who would become his second wife
- she called herself Henrietta Maria Patience Lydia Sanderson Thompson. Her real name was Maria Thompson

.. As Maria Drake, she stood in the dock at the Central Criminal Court, London, on 28 November 1842. A native of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, a dressmaker and milliner, and five feet three inches in height, she had a fair complexion, brown hair, hazel eyes, long thin nose and wide mouth. Convicted for stealing a watch and watch stand, she was sentenced to transportation for seven years and, on 19 July 1843, reached Tasmania on the Margaret. Fifteen years later and now called Maria Thompson, she appeared on the capital charge of ?feloniously, unlawfully and maliciously? leaving a parcel of arsenic-laced custard and cake outside another woman?s door. Oliver Adams and Mary Ann Paul, people unknown to Maria, partook of the food and fell violently ill. The judge ?finding the Court of Requests Room most inconveniently crowded, adjourned to the Supreme Court below?. There he took the guilty verdict and condemned Maria to death. The sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life.
- Discharged from prison on 8 July 1871, Maria came immediately to Christchurch in the company of her daughter, Hannah; her son, Francis or Frank Sanderson, followed shortly thereafter.

- George & Maria married on 31 January 1872 at St Luke's church, Christchurch. George said he was 51, he was 54, Maria was 52 -

- In August 1879 George was murdered
... When officers arrived, they immediately suspected foul play. A meal had been prepared but not eaten. Somebody had fired bullets through the window and peppered the wall opposite. There was blood on the wall, furniture and brown paper which had attached itself to a gorse fence. Evidence showed that George?s body had been dragged through the garden hedge, a post and rail fence and laid on a sandhill. On the sandhill there was found blood which had oozed from a head wound

- George's body was never found. A ?250 reward was offered and as late as 1980 the reward was still unclaimed
- the police viewed this as a domestic crime. They noted that Maria had returned to the property and washed the floor, commenting: ?You know I could never live in dirt?. A number of people were suspected but no-one was ever charged


? George William Vennell (1878-1955)
- married Frances Charlotte BARRER in 1910
- Frances died 30 June 1946 aged 74
- she is buried in Archer St Cemetery Masterton

? Maud Louisa Vennell
- married Roland Albert WILTON in 1917

? Philippa Vennell
- married Robert Masters BANNISTER in 1928

? Roger Lartar Vennell
- married Elizabeth Frances GOODIN in 1918

? Samuel Ernest Vennell (1870-1941)
- married Phillipa FREEBODY (1873-1949) in 1895
- Samuel died on 12 Oct 1941 aged 71
- Phillipa died on 21 June 1949 aged 76
- they are buried Archer St Masterton

some Vennell 'orphan' births
from 1858 - 1874 that I have not found parents for as yet

- likely candidates are:
... Edward Samuel (1846-1890) & Alice (1844-1926)
- Edward & Alice married in 1868

... George Henry & Eizabeth Mary (1840-1918)
- George & Elizabeth married ?, had a daughter Alice Maud in 1875
- in 1858 George was a Clerk living in Tinakori Rd, Wellington
- in 1863 he was given an Auctioneers license

? 1858 Ellen Mary Vennell

? 1860 Henry George Vennell

? 1862 Charles Edward Vennell

? 1864 Alfred William Vennell

? 1866 Edward Arthur Vennell

? 1868 Edith Mary Vennell

? 1870 Samuel Ernest Vennell
- died 12 Oct 1941 buried Archer St Masterton

? 1871 Frederick Herbert Vennell

? 1872 Reginald Vennell
- died 4 Nov 1957 aged 85 buried Archer St Masterton

? 1874 Eunice Mary Vennell

some Vennell 'orphan' deaths
known to live in the Wairarapa but not buried in Masterton:

? Samuel Vennell of Wairarapa
- died on the 30 June 1892

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-01-17 09:54:30

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

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by ngairedith on 2013-02-04 04:41:28

updated for chas

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