|Clearly a gatepost!|
If you look below the plaque a Cut Mark is clearly visible,
the grid reference is above.
|There is another gatepost to the left. Well decorated stone|
He often walked across the moors to settle financial matters with his employer. On the fateful day, an autumnal mist enshrouded the hills as Henderson set out on his last earthly journey.
He called into a local hostelry at around twelve noon for sustenance before embarking on the trek over the hill.
|The Scotchman's Stump|
The boy fetched help, and Henderson was found horribly disfigured by gunshot wounds.
Despite attempts to revive him, George Henderson died at 2.00pm that same day. It is reported that his last words were "I am robbed, I am killed". Much evidence pointed to the identity of the murderer as James Whittle, a 22 year old man who lived close to the inn where Henderson had taken his last sojourn, and who had bought a shotgun the previous day.
So strong was the evidence that Whittle was charged with Henderson's murder and stood trial at Liverpool Crown Court. The main prosecution witness, a Joseph Halliwell of Bolton, became increasingly less reliable as his testimony proceeded, and it took the jury less than an hour and a half to acquit Whittle.
Nobody else was charged with the murder. Shortly after George Henderson's murder, a tree was planted to mark the place of his demise. In 1912, a cast iron pillar was bought by public subscription to replace the tree, and it stands there to this day, Scotsman's Stump, a memorial to the young victim of a murder most foul.
Native of Annan, Dumfrieshire
Who was barbarously
At noonday Nov 9th 1838
In the 20th year
Of his age
George Henderson, a young Scottish packman was employed as a traveller by a Mr John Blackburn. He moved around the neighbourhood taking orders; selling, delivering, and collecting payment. He visited Blackburn regularly to report to his employers.
On Thursday 8 November he stayed at the ‘Old Cock Inn’, Blackrod, a village on the turnpike road, from Manchester to Preston. An old track from Blackrod led down to Anderton Hall, Horwich then across to the Rivington Pike road, near Winter Hill and joining the regular old packhorse route to Blackburn by way of Belmont, a moorland village on the Bolton to Preston road.
Henderson left Blackrod about 8.0 am on the Friday morning but he never arrived in Blackburn. He was found at 13.45 pm lying near the summit of Winter Hill, by the road descending to Belmont. He had been shot through the head and he died at 2.30 pm in a nearby cottage. The motive was presumed to be robbery and as a result of the evidence, a local man James Whittle, was arrested. Following the inquest he was sent for trial - and acquitted, the murder remaining unsolved - at the Lancashire Assizes at Liverpool in 1839. By the T.V. mast on Winter Hill, a memorial known as Scotsman’s Stump was erected, to mark the spot where George Henderson was shot. It bears the following inscription:-
“To the memory of George Henderson, traveller, native of Annan, Dumfries-shire, who was brutally murdered on Rivington Moor at Noonday, November 9th 1838 in the 20th year of his age.
(Extracted from The Manchester Genealogist, Manchester & Lancashire FHS Vol 28 No.3 July 1992 from a talk given by Mr David Holding, author of ‘Murder In The Heather. Published in 1991)