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HomecommentMark's History: The Calverley Old Hall murderer who was crushed to death

Mark’s History: The Calverley Old Hall murderer who was crushed to death

If any of you have seen a man walking around the Calverley area carrying a knife DO NOT APPROACH him. He can be violent and is already known to have killed two of his children Walter and William and seriously assaulted his wife Phillippa. He was captured whilst on the way to kill his youngest son Henry who was been looked after nearby. 

He was taken to York for questioning where the authorities pressed him for answers. During the questioning, he died without saying a word. 

It is thought that some of his friends smuggled him back to Calverley and that he wasn’t really dead. 

Sightings of him have been reported around the area as he could be looking to finish off Phillippa and Henry.

His last known address was Calverley Hall.

His name is Walter Calverley. He also goes by the name of Sir Walter.

This is how the West Leeds Dispatch may have reported the death of two children and a serious assault had it been around in 1605 when Walter Calverley murdered half of his family, writes Mark Stevenson.

Home: Calverley Old Hall. Some say the building is haunted by Walter’s ghost. Photo: Mark Stevenson.

Walter’s guardian had summoned him to London. Whilst there he was forced into marrying Phillippa Brooke. He did not like her very much.

He turned to drink and gambling and within a short while all of the money had gone. He had committed identity fraud whilst at Cambridge University running up large debts. It’s said that when he found out the real person (a relative) had been arrested for the debts he had run up in his name he lost it.

Dark past: Calverley Old Hall. Photo: Mark Stevenson

On 23rd April 1605, Walter decided to blame his family for his problems and tried to murder them all.

The Magistrate Sir John Saville committed him to prison at Wakefield. Eventually, he was brought to trial at York in August. He declined to plead not guilty or guilty. Now, this was seen as contempt of court and he was therefore pressed to death in York Castle on 5th August.

Walter Calverley is buried at St. Mary’s, Castlegate, York. Or is he?

Hiding a secret? St Wilfrid’s Church graveyard, Calverley. Photo: Mark Stevenson

It depends on which story you believe, but one says his body was later exhumed and moved to St Wilfrid’s Church in Calverley to lay beside his murdered sons.

Is Walter buried here? Photo: Mark Stevenson.

Mark’s History also looked at the murderous past of Calverley Old Hall here.

St Wilfrid’s Church, Calverley. Photo: Mark Stevenson

Please support independent community led journalism in West Leeds…

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