Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/145

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two widows, sisters, and the daughter of one of them, at a farm called Blackabroom, in the parish of Bratton Clovelly in Devon, when a man, a tramp, called and asked for food. They gave him his tea, after which he murdered all three,[1] and searched the house for money, but only found £5, as the rest had been securely concealed. The man, whose name was Wetland, went into Hatherleigh, where he betrayed himself by unguarded talking about the murder. He was arrested and hung in chains on Broadbury Down, a crescent of high land covered with heather, and where lie many tumuli. The gallows tree is stilt in existence in a barn near. Now I believe it to be an absolute fact, that till the body fell to pieces, the women coming home from market every Saturday were wont to throw up to him a bunch of tallow candles for him to eat, and they generally succeeded in getting the dips to catch in his chains. As the candles disappeared during the week--pecked by birds--the women concluded that Welland had actually fed on them. Obviously

  1. Extract from Burial Register, Bratton Clovelly: BURIALS 1779. 1. Grace Peard, widow, was buried Nov 5. 2. Patience Rundle, widow, Nov 5 3. Mary Rundle, daughter of Wm and Patience Rundle, Nov 5. These 3 ware Barbibly (sic) murdered.[ In very obscure writing underneath]