Shooting at Westcott, near Dorking

1901, August: Alfred Heaver died on the 8th August 1901 at Holcombe Cottage, Westcott, near Dorking; he was shot on his way to church. Sunday 4 Aug 1901.

The Times, Monday, Aug 05, 1901; pg. 6; Issue 36525; column D: Attempted Murder and Suicide:

At Westcott, near Dorking, yesterday, as Mr A Heaver, one of the most respected residents in the village, was walking, with his wife, to attend service in the parish church, he was shot by a man, who drew a revolver from a bag which he was carrying. Mr Heaver fell to the ground, and as he lay prostrate his assailant came up and discharged contents of the second barrel into his head.

The man then walked away, followed by some villagers who had been attracted to the spot by the sound of firearms, but before they could reach him he placed the revolver to his head and shot himself, death ensuing about an hour later.

He has been identified as Mr James Young, of Battersea, a brother-in-law of Mr Heaver, and letters found on him show that he cherished some grievance, imaginary or other, against his relative, and he intended to be revenged. According to later information, Mr Heaver has slightly rallied from the shock, but remains in dangerous condition.

The Times, Monday, Aug 12, 1901; pg. 10; Issue 36531; column E: The Shooting Case near Dorking:

The inquest on the body of Mr. Alfred Heaver, of Dorking, who died of injuries received through being shot by James Young, his brother-in-law, who afterwards committed suicide, was held on Saturday. The widow of Young stated that she did not know her husband could have had any real grievance towards her brother, who had always behaved well to them.

Mr Robert Scarr, of Herne-Hill, who was visiting the village, said that Mr Heaver told him that he took his sister's part against Young twenty years ago, and Young had never forgiven him. Dr Hugh Blakeney stated that Mr Heaver said to him that Mr Young had taken him unawares. The jury returned a verdict of 'wilful murder' against Young, and expressed sympathy with the family.

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