Damn His Blood

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0120120625

True tale of brutal murder in a remote English village on Midsummer's Day, 1806.

'Damn him!' he swore. 'There is no more harm in shooting him than a mad dog!'

The brutal murder of the Reverend George Parker in the rural village of Oddingley on Midsummer's Day in 1806 gripped the nation. It was a strange and stubborn case in an isolated Worcester village still bound by superstition and folklore. The investigation, in a time before Robert Peel's police force, lasted nearly a quarter of a century, and involved inquests, judges and coroners, each more determined than the last to solve Oddingley's most gruesome crime - or crimes, as it transpired.

Peter Moore's account of the infamous case is a also fascinating glimpse into the darker side of English rural life at the beginning of the nineteenth century, far away from the civilised drawing rooms of Jane Austen. The country was exhausted and nervous: dogged by Pitt's war taxes, mounting inflation and the lingering threat of a French invasion, violence was rife, particularly in rural communities where outsiders were regarded with deep suspicion. With a cast of characters straight out of Hardy, 'Damn His Blood' is also a gripping true story of brutality, greed and ruthlessness in a rural community gone wildly astray.

Peter Moore is a young literary historian and journalist, who is currently teaching Creative Writing at City University in London.

Abridger: Viv Beeby

Producer: Justine Willett

The Reader is Alex Jennings, who is currently appearing in The Collaborators as Mikhail Bulgakov at the National Theatre and is currently starring in Silk on BBC One.

0220120626

True tale of murder in 1806 England. Feuds, oaths and superstition are rife in the village

'Damn him!' he swore. 'There is no more harm in shooting him than a mad dog!'

The brutal murder of the Reverend George Parker in the rural village of Oddingley on Midsummer's Day in 1806 gripped the nation. It was a strange and stubborn case in an isolated Worcester village still bound by superstition and folklore, involving an investigation, in a time before Robert Peel's police force, that lasted nearly a quarter of a century. It turned out to be a gripping true story of brutality, greed and ruthlessness in a rural community gone wildly astray.

Damn His Blood is also fascinating glimpse into the darker side of English rural life at the beginning of the nineteenth century, far away from the civilised drawing rooms of Jane Austen, with a cast of characters straight out of Hardy.

Today: two months before the murder, Oddingley village is a hotbed of feuds, oaths and superstition.

Peter Moore is a young literary historian and journalist, who is currently teaching Creative Writing at City University in London.

Abridger: Viv Beeby

Producer: Justine Willett

The Reader is Alex Jennings, who is currently appearing in The Collaborators as Mikhail Bulgakov at the National Theatre and is currently starring in Silk on BBC One.

0320120627

The investigation into the parson's murder begins with a manhunt in nearby Worcester.

'Damn him!' he swore. 'There is no more harm in shooting him than a mad dog!'

The brutal murder of the Reverend George Parker in the rural village of Oddingley on Midsummer's Day in 1806 gripped the nation. It was a strange and stubborn case in an isolated Worcester village still bound by superstition and folklore, involving an investigation that lasted nearly a quarter of a century. It turned out to be a gripping true story of brutality, greed and ruthlessness in a rural community gone wildly astray.

Damn His Blood is also fascinating glimpse into the darker side of English rural life at the beginning of the nineteenth century, far away from the civilised drawing rooms of Jane Austen, with a cast of characters straight out of Hardy.

Today: the investigation into the parson's murder begins with a manhunt in nearby Worcester. Meanwhile, local farmers seem strangely untroubled by the brutal killing.

Peter Moore is a young literary historian and journalist, who is currently teaching Creative Writing at City University in London.

Abridger: Viv Beeby

Producer: Justine Willett

The Reader is Alex Jennings, who is currently appearing in The Collaborators as Mikhail Bulgakov at the National Theatre and is currently starring in Silk on BBC One.

0420120628

Suspicion falls on the local farmers, whose stories don't seem to add up.

'Damn him!' he swore. 'There is no more harm in shooting him than a mad dog!'

The brutal murder of the Reverend George Parker in the rural village of Oddingley on Midsummer's Day in 1806 gripped the nation. It was a strange and stubborn case in an isolated Worcester village still bound by superstition and folklore, involving an investigation that lasted nearly a quarter of a century. It turned out to be a gripping true story of brutality, greed and ruthlessness in a rural community gone wildly astray.

Damn His Blood is also fascinating glimpse into the darker side of English rural life at the beginning of the nineteenth century, far away from the civilised drawing rooms of Jane Austen, with a cast of characters straight out of Hardy.

Today: with the prime suspect still on the loose, suspicion falls on the local farmers, whose stories don't seem to add up...

Peter Moore is a young literary historian and journalist, who is currently teaching Creative Writing at City University in London.

Abridger: Viv Beeby

Producer: Justine Willett

The Reader is Alex Jennings, who is currently appearing in The Collaborators as Mikhail Bulgakov at the National Theatre and is currently starring in Silk on BBC One.

05 LAST20120629

Nearly a quarter of a century on, Oddingley finally learns the truth about the murder.

'Damn him!' he swore. 'There is no more harm in shooting him than a mad dog!'

The brutal murder of the Reverend George Parker in the rural village of Oddingley on Midsummer's Day in 1806 gripped the nation. It was a strange case in an isolated Worcester village still bound by superstition and folklore, involving an investigation that lasted nearly a quarter of a century. It turned out to be a gripping true story of brutality, greed and ruthlessness in a rural community gone wildly astray.

In today's final episode, nearly a quarter of a century has passed, and the case has still not been solved. But a gruesome discovery leads to a new inquest, and Oddingley village finally learns the truth.

Peter Moore is a young literary historian and journalist, who is currently teaching Creative Writing at City University in London.

Abridger: Viv Beeby

Producer: Justine Willett

The Reader is Alex Jennings, who is currently appearing in The Collaborators as Mikhail Bulgakov at the National Theatre and is currently starring in Silk on BBC One.