JONATHAN E.O. WILSHERE (1936-1995)
Writings on Leicestershire local history, now available online and free of charge

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History highlights a macabre crime...
Source: 'Mr Leicester's Page' in the Leicester Mercury, 1986.

A grisly tale of murder on a summer night is told in the latest book by Leicestershire historian Mr. Jonathan Wilshere.

The year was 1854 and the body of a young Kirby Muxloe farmer was discovered near what is now Braunstone Cross Roads, on Hinckley Road. The farmer, Samuel Adcock, had been shot through the head.

Chief suspect was a fortune teller and phrenologist - someone who claims to "read" a man's character from the shape of his skull - called George Frederick Ashton. Ashton was apprently in love with the dead man's sister and he had fled the district on the day of the murder.

He was caught in Northampton and brought back to Leicester police cells. But, due to lack of evidence, was later acquitted.

The details of the murder, coroner's report, police investigation, and young Adcock's funeral are preserved in Old Kirby (Muxloe) by Mr. Wilshere, who has written 25 books on local history and other topics.

The brackets are because "Muxloe" did not appear in the village name until 1582 when it was written in the form Muckleby. Mr. Wilshere explains that it probably derived from "Muckle" meaning great although for a long time people called it Kirby Mucleas - perhaps a jibe at the muddy approaches to the village.

All the main houses, including Kirby Muxloe castle, are discussed as well as schools, churches and many local characters.

All the main houses, including Kirby Muxloe castle, are discussed as well as schools, churches and many local characters.

The book contains 70 photographs of the village, including an 1894 picture of the author's own ancestors - his family lived there from 1893 to 1981.

It is an enlargement and revision of a previous history of Kirby written 13 years ago by Mr. Wilshere, who now lives in Evington, Leicester. It should prove interesting reading, not just to residents of the village.

Old Kirby (Muxloe) costs 2.95 and is published by Leicester Research Department of Chamberlain Music and Books, London Road, Leicester, which Mr. Wilshere owns.