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 1912

A HEREFORDSHIRE vicar who made headlines for shooting a revolver in the House of Commons lobby in Westminster was charged with the murder of his wife in 1912.

Samuel Henry had been charged at Bow Street with firing a revolver in the Houses of Parliament earlier that year, and after a medical report was bound over to be of good behaviour for a year and on the condition of giving up his revolver.

He had fired the shot in frustration, it had been reported, after his attempt to meet the Prime Minister, Mr Asquith, to share his grievances surrounding his belief that a book he had written called Tolstoy and the Messiah, was being suppressed by the Government, had failed.

But in April a maid at his house, Moreton Lodge in Eye, near Leominster, aroused a neighbour saying her mistress was dead.

The Reverend Henry was found sitting in his study with a head wound, while Bertha Mary Henry lay dead in bed with her throat so brutally slashed that she had nearly been decapitated.


Henry, who had been holding a revolver, was taken to hospital, where he was found to have two bullet wounds to the head, while a closed razor was found next to Mrs Henry's bedside.

Several bullets were found embedded in the walls of the house.

An inquest held in April heard that Henry, who had been taken into custody. 

Maid Fanny Brown said Henry had come to her bedroom and said his wife had committed suicide, but refused to allow her to go for help until the morning.

She also said she had written the note, dictated by Henry, for the purchase of the revolver in her name.

Dr A C Robinson, who had examined Mrs Henry's body, said it would have been nearly impossible for the injuries to have been self-inflicted, telling the inquest that he did not believe it was a case of suicide.

The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Henry, who was put under the supervision of Dr Lane, and was reported to have become melancholy and wild, refusing food and forcing the doctor to place him in a padded cell.

The Secretary of State decided Henry, who was certified to be insane and unfit to plead, should be removed to an asylum in May, and he was taken to Burghill, where his condition was reported to be "very serious".

Henry died in Broadmoor Asylum aged 51 in 1925, with reports saying he had been "maniacal and violent" when first admitted to the asylum, before sinking into a melancholic state. 

His cause of death was given as exhaustion following prolonged melancholia.