John JUSTHAM

Male Abt 1795 - 1866  (~ 71 years)    Has 29 ancestors and 537 descendants in this family tree.


 Set As Default Person    

Personal Information    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name John JUSTHAM 
    Relationshipwith Teresa Ann GOATHAM
    Born Abt 1795  Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • Shown as aged 56 in the 1851 census, i.e. born 1794 or 5
    Baptised 19 Apr 1795  St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • PR entry shows "John Jetsome", son of Richard and Alice
    Gender Male 
    Miscellaneous 17 May 1812  Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Killed his brother-in-law, Oliver Palmer 
    • John's family


      The eighth child of his parents, John had just one brother who died in infancy when John was a baby. Of his six older sisters, 3 also died before John was born or when he was a baby. So he grew up with 3 older and 2 younger sisters, and the older being some years older 2 married in 1807, when John was twelve.
      Five years on and John was uncle to at least 3 nieces (daughters of his sister Prudence) and one nephew (son of his sister Grace). He might have enjoyed playing with them, though that probably appealed more to his sisters.
      One might have hoped that his brothers-in-law, William Binney and Oliver Palmer made up for his own lack of brothers, and would have provided role models for him to look up to.

      The killing


      But for some reason, one awful day in 1812, on 16th May to be precise, John took a potato axe and killed Oliver.
      The burial register describes Oliver as "murder'd with a potatoe ax by his br in law John Jetsome a lad 17 years of age".
      Hamilton-Leggett provides more detail (primary source not give): "He struck and beat Oliver Palmer on the back of the head causing rupture of the blood vessels of the brain. .. Oliver died the next day".
      Soon after the crime was committed John was arrested, to be subsequently tried at the Exeter Assizes in July that year.
      Having been arrested , the parish accounts show it cost the parish £1 13s 9d for "Expenses in taking up John Judson and keeping him in Custody on a Charge of Murdering Oliver Palmer". But Buckland Monachorum being some 35 miles from Exeter, taking the direct route across the middle of Dartmoor, whilst taking little over an hour now, the journey to the Assizes was a longish one back in 1812. The "Expence in Attending the prosecution of John Jutson", which would probably have included board and loding, amounted to a further £12 13s 7d for the parish to find.

      Trial and sentence


      Treman's Exeter Flying post of 16th July records, under the heading "Exeter, Wednesday, July 15" that "The Assizes for the county of Devon will commence at the Castle of this city, on Monday next [20 July], before Sir Alan Chambre, knight, and Sir Robert Graham, knight, when the following prisoners are to be tried, viz. - ... John Jutson, charged with the wilful murder of Oliver Palmer; ...".
      On the 23rd the Exeter Flying Post did not list John amongst those who, up to the 2nd, had been tried, but we can see the list of sentences past a week later.
      If he had been found guilty one would have expected his fate to have been the gallows, but he was found guilty not of murder, but manslaughter, and sentenced to just one month's imprionment.
      Hamilton-Leggett includes more information, recording that the sentence was "convicted of manslaughter John Jetsome is fined 1s. and imprisoned in the Common Gaol for one calendar month and further until the said fine be paid."
      In gaol

      I'm not sure if having been in custody for a couple of months before being sentenced he would have been imprisoned for a further month or whether the sentence would be considered to have been performed. If he was imprisoned in the County Gaol, it would have been the one built to a design by the important prison designer William Blackburn in the 1790s, which held about 100 prisoners. [Exeter memories website]
        

      What price a life?


      This was by far the most lenient sentence passed at that Assizes session, no others receiving less than 6 months imprisonment, even Susannah Jewell, sentenced for stealing potatoes. Five found guilty of stealing, and one of assault and robbery, were sentenced to death, only 2 being reprieved.
        I hope that there are records which will provide more background information but at the moment I can only speculate about this. The burial register seems so certain that this was a wilful murder, and the Coroner's Jury gave their verdict that it was "done by a Blow made on the head of Palmer by Jutson with a Potato mattock", but the sentence was so light that one wonders if there were attenuating circumstances, or was it simply a lack of evidence that led to John only being convicted of manslaoughter.
      If the conviction of manslaughter was due to it being believed that John had intended to harm but not kill Oliver then surely a more severe sentence would have been handed out for the assault?
      If it looked like murder but the only witness other than John was dead then there would have been no one to say if he appeared intent on killing, lashed out in anger or even self-defence, or was merely throwing the mattock to Oliver for him to use and didn't mean to hit him at all?
      If John was felt by the local community to have been guilty and escaped justice due to a lack of evidence one might have expected him to have felt a need to move away, but he remained in the parish for the rest of his life, marrying 2 years after the incident and bringing up a family of 13 children in the village of Milton Combe. Since he made his living working as a tailor he can't have lived shunned by the community. Maybe Oliver was a violent man and John was intending to punish him. The truth has probably not been recorded and cannot now be discovered, but it would be interesting to know more, and I will search for additional details (and would welcome then from anyone who had discovered extra particulars).

      The widow's fate


      If he had escaped lightly, it appears his sister didn't. Having lost her husband, and with three young children (aged about 4 years, 3 years and a few months) one might imagine Prudence receiving comfort and support from her parents and siblings, even if the presence of John may have made this difficult. However, she also needed financial support, and on marriage her legal place of settlement, where she was entitled to this support, would have changed from being that received at birth from her father to wherever Oliver's was. And so she was removed from her home for her 27 years from birth, the place where her parents and siblings lived, to a community of strangers.

      The weapon


      Claimed as deodand!  
               
    Occupation From 1839 to 1866  Milton Combe, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    Tailor 
    • (1839 - dau Mary's marr cert, 1841c, 1851c, dth cert in 1866)
      Milton [Milton Combe] shown in the 1841 and 1851 censuses
    Residence From 1841 to 1866  Milton Combe, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • John was clearly living in Milton Combe at the time of the 1841 and 1851 censuses, and at his death in 1866; his wife had also died there in 1864. I'm sure he must have been there in 1861 but most of the census returns for Milton Combe are missing for that year (there is one page at the end of ennumeration district 7b with about 2 households and that's it)
      In 1841 he was with his wife Elizabeth and children Grace, Allice, Isaac, Ann and Agness, with the surname spelt as "Gustham". Also with the family was 10 yr old Edwin Hollock.
    Died 28 Mar 1866  Milton Combe, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    Cause: Disease of the heart, many years; anasarca, 1 month 
    • Died of disease of the heart, many years, anasarca, 1 month.
      GRO ref: JUSTHEM, John q1 1866 aged 75 Tavistock RD 5b 318
    Death certificate for John Justham
    Death certificate for John Justham
    Buried 1 Apr 1866  St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (Research):The help of the tree of Mark Hamilton is acknowledged in getting started on this part of my ancestry. 
      I have now verified most of it, made a few corrections and expanded it.
    Person ID I1109  Teresa's tree | Teresa's direct ancestor
    Last Modified 24 Nov 2018 

    Father Richard Pike JUSTHAM,   b. Abt 1756, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jan 1826, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Mother Alice NUTE,   b. Abt 1758, Milton Abbot, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Oct 1838, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years) 
    Banns of marriage 1 Oct 1780 to 15 Oct 1780  St. Constantine’s Church, Milton Abbot, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • Shows Richard Pike Jetsam as sojourner of Milton Abbot parish, in contrast to the marriage part of the register entry which shows him as of Buckland Monachorum. He may have stayed in the parish so the banns only needed to be called there and not in both churches - a way of saving money.
    Married 5 Nov 1780  St. Constantine’s Church, Milton Abbot, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • From PR entry (image on FMP, viewed 30 Aug 2012):
      Richard Pike Jetsham, of Buckland Monachorum, made his mark; Alice Nute, otp, made her mark; witnesses John Gill and Benjamin Martin (both signed)
    Children 10 children 
    Family ID F894    |  Family Chart

    Family Elisabeth OLIVER,   b. Abt 1794, Whitchurch, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Aug 1864, Milton Combe, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Married 20 Apr 1814  St. Andrew’s Church, Whitchurch, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location 
    • From PR entry (image on FMP, viewed 24 Nov 2018)
      Shows John Justham of Buckland Monachorum, Elizabeth Oliver otp, married by Banns, John signed, Elizabeth made her mark, witnesses Richard Justham made his mark, Nicholas Symons signed.
    Children 13 children 
    Last Modified 24 Nov 2018 
    Family ID F861    |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to hide
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1795 - Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsBaptised - 19 Apr 1795 - St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsMiscellaneous - Killed his brother-in-law, Oliver Palmer - 17 May 1812 - Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 20 Apr 1814 - St. Andrew’s Church, Whitchurch, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Richard JUSTHAM - Abt 1815 - Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - James JUSTHAM - Abt 1816 - Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Mary JUSTHAM - Abt 1819 - Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Elizabeth JUSTHAM - 29 May 1821 - St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Alice JUSTHAM - 10 Aug 1823 - St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Maria JUSTHAM - Abt 1826 - Milton Combe, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Grace JUSTHAM - 15 Mar 1829 - St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Eliza JUSTHAM - 16 Jul 1831 - St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Alice JUSTHAM - 29 Sep 1833 - St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Isaac JUSTHAM - Abt 1835 - Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Ann Keziah JUSTHAM - Sep Q 1837 - Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Tailor - From 1839 to 1866 - Milton Combe, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsChild - Agness JUSTHAM - Sep Q 1840 - Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsResidence - From 1841 to 1866 - Milton Combe, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Disease of the heart, many years; anasarca, 1 month - 28 Mar 1866 - Milton Combe, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 1 Apr 1866 - St. Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, England See the place on a map and other information about it - if available (many more will be in time); also all individuals with events at this location Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install)
     = Link to Google Earth (if installed; see link below to install) 
    Pin Legend Address Church or Cemetery Military service or death Hospital Small location Town / City County, state or province Country Registration District Place of education Court Property Not Set

  • Sources  Click on source number [Sn] to see more information about the 'master' source - including repositories - but citation details are only given below.
    Click on [return to event] to return to the event for which the source provides evidence and / or information.
    1. [S129] The Book of Buckland Monachorum & Yelverton, Pauline Hamilton-Leggett, (Tiverton, Devon: Halsgrove, 2002.), 13. (Reliability: 3), 1 May 2013.
      [return to event]

    2. [S130] Mike Brown's Guide to Dartmoor. CD., Mike Brown, (Plymouth, Devon: Dartmoor Press, c.2002.) (Reliability: 3).
      In the information about Buckland Monachorum Parish
      [return to event]

    3. [S133] Exeter memories website., Cornforth, David, (http://www.exetermemories.co.uk/), accessed 6 May 2013), Exeter's Prisons (Reliability: 3), 6 May 2013.
      [return to event]