The Death of Eli Dupree

Here’s a monument from Gloucester Cathedral which is very much out of the ordinary. It says Eli Dupree was “abused unto death” at Hayes Middlesex. My immediate thought was he was a child somehow mistreated in school or but the man was 74 years old. I asked one of the guides what this meant; she claimed he had been executed and his family must have been rich to allow him to be buried in consecrated ground. But he was buried where he died at Hayes.

glos cath dupree

But here’s a link to the Central Criminal Court Records. It is very disturbing. And muddled

https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?div=t17410701-18

It seems the old man was sent to London on an errand and became either unwell or exhausted. He was found by local man George Johnson who thought he was a drunk or a vagabond so decided to remove him from the parish so they would not be responsible for him. He dragged him for 2 furlongs along the road, insulted him, beat him, dunked him in a ditch to bring him round before apparently throwing him against a post where he hit his head and died.

So abuse is the right word here, but there are so many muddled stories, Johnson was found not guilty.

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