The death of John Harding

I mark the death of a child over a hundred years ago.

The memory of John Harding most recently featured in a play called Depot at the Colchester Mercury Theatre, resulting in addressing an injustice over a hundred years later

The memory of John Harding remembered recently in a play called Depot at the Colchester Mercury Theatre, resulting in me addressing an injustice over a hundred years later.

Around the date 22nd April 1870 a 14-year-old called John Harding ran away from home in my town of Colchester fearing a beating for losing a brush.   Being a good runner John evaded capture by his parents for several days, hungry, cold and with no safe home.  Today marks the anniversary of the death of John Harding by murder on 26th April 1870.

John remains part of the folklore of Colchester remembered in books and stage plays.  A few years ago I paid for a marker for John’s grave, whilst over a hundred years later in the same newspaper that recorded in detail the inquest into his murder, I marked justice by placing on record that his parents murdered him.

The story is here.

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6 responses to “The death of John Harding

  1. The link doesn’t work Alex…

    AV

    • Thanks for letting me know. I have updated the link. See if you can find chapter 6 page 44 which tells the story. If this fails I may need to ditch the link.

  2. Poor young man! Can’t recall if I had heard of the story of John from my days of being in Colchester?

  3. Reblogged this on Gransnet Colchester and commented:
    I heard this story while on a guided tour of Colchester Cemetery and it still haunts me.

    • I am going to have to attend this guided tour. The story of John Harding captured my attention when I went to the Mercury Theatre production called Depot, where John Harding was featured along with other personalities of Colchester’s past. I then made sure his grave was marked, with plans in the future for a full headstone. I am transcribing the report of the coroners enquiry from the Essex Standard about the death for a blog. Thanks for reblogging.

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