Murder of a Policeman – Neighbourhood Searched for Murderer (pictures)

August 1886

August 2 1886

Murder of a Policeman


Police constable Austwick was murdered on Saturday at Dodworth village, 2 miles from Barnsley, by a notorious collier, named James Murphy. This man has been repeatedly convicted for housebreaking and other offences.

He was served on Saturday by Austwick with a summons to appear at the Barnsley police Court on Wednesday for drunkenness. This seems to have aggravated him. At about 11:30 o’clock on Saturday night he was creasing a disturbance in the village. Austwick ordered him home. Murphy went away, but you returned shortly afterwards with a gun, and deliberately fired at the officer remarking, “Where are we now?”

Austwick died two hours afterwards. Murphy disappeared taking the gun with him.

Sheffield independent, August 9

Searching for the Barnsley Murderer


On Saturday information reached the Mexborough police that the murderer, Murphy, had been seen in that neighbourhood. Some time ago the man was in the employ of the Denaby Main Colliery Company, and it is said he was then looked upon as a poacher of a desperate description. There are many persons in the district who well remember the features of the fellow, and the police officers thought there might be good foundation for the report which reached them; especially as it was averred that Murphy “knew every yard of the country for miles around” and might have chosen a fresh niche for secretion. A most diligent search was made, in which the inspector as well as the sergeant and several constables joined. But after a minute inspection over a wide area it proved altogether futile, it was given up as vain.