AS part of our weekly Crime Files series, we are taking a look back at the archives to bring you stories from Herefordshire's history.

The following story dates from 1770.

SIX men were sentenced to death in Hereford in 1770 for aiding the murder of a Welsh man.

William Spiggott, William Morris, David Morgan, William Walter Evan, Charles David Morgan, David Llewellin, John Spiggott, Evan Thomas, and William Charles David Morgan appeared before Sir Joseph Yates in Hereford for trial in March that year.

They were all accused of being involved in the murder of Carmarthenshire man Mr Powell.

Two others who were likewise in custody for the same crime were admitted as Kings Evidence.

The court heard Mr Powell had been stabbed to death, with the waistcoat he was wearing at the time of his death produced as evidence at the hearing,

It was full of holes in the front, it was reported, while a very large hole in the back marked the supposed fatal injury, a stab wound between the shoulders.

The defendants had been traced, the court was told, by their tracks in snow that had fallen on the evening of the murder, which led directly from the scene to the home of Charles David Morgan.

The prisoners spoke at length in their defence, it was reported, but the first six were found guilty and sentenced to hang. John Spiggott and Evan Thomas were spared the noose, while William Charles David Morgan, son of Charles David Morgan, was acquitted.

The six condemned men were taken to Gallows Tumps in Hereford to be executed on March 30, where William Morris was reported to have been in such a state that he had to be held up while the noose was placed around his neck, and William Spiggott begged to be buried in a churchyard.


The others were said to be penitent and resigned, with David Morgan warning spectators to take heed of his fate.

Four of the bodies were sent to the surgeons to be dissected after their deaths, while the bodies of Spiggott and Evan were taken and hanged in chains in a public display on Hardwicke Common, near Hay-on-Wye.