David Dumpleton

#30280, b. June 1843

Individual's Timeline

Birth RegJune 1843David Dumpleton
Marr RegDecember 1865David Dumpleton
Death31 January 1876Eliza Marfleet

Primary events

  • Birth Reg: David's birth was registered in the quarter ended in June 1843 in the Luton, Caddington registration district.
  • Marr Reg: The marriage of David and Eliza Marfleet was registered in the quarter ended December 1865 in the Luton registration district. Assumtion only as there are erros in the free bmd - prove from previous census.
  • (Widow) Death: In 1876, at the age of 32 years and 7 months, David was left a widower by the death of Eliza Marfleet; Killed by her husband David.

Secondary circumstances

  • Religion: David was of the Wesleyan faith.
  • Occupation: David was a straw plaiter at the age of 8 and in 1876 a groom and a gardner.
  • Name Variation: He was also known as David Dumbleton.

Census details

  • He appeared on the census taken on the night of 30th March 1851, living in Chaul End, Caddington, Bedfordshire, England in the household of his parents, James Dumbleton and Sarah Kilbey. He was 7 years old.
  • In 1861 David Dumpleton was included in the household of the RUDD family, who were farmers on 350 acres.. David was a 19 year old servant, said to have been born in Chapel (Caul End?) End Hertfordshire.
  • In the census taken on the night of 2nd April 1871, David was the head of the household and Eliza was his wife. The address was St Mary's Street, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England.
  • In 1881 in Chatham David Dumpleton was included in the census schedule of Chatham Prison. He was aged 37 years. David was a convict. According to his Bedford prison record he was transferred to Pentonville in 1876, so he must have been moved again prior to 1881 (as he does not appear in Pentonville list of inmates in 1881 census).
Some aspects of David Dumpleton's life. A prisoner's life in Pentonville

Pentonville Prison in 1876 - Conditions in this prison which was built in 1842 were better and healthier than at Newgate and similar older prisons. The 'separate system' used to manage prisoners was designed to isolate each prisoner from other inmates. The occupants of the cells, following prison discipline developed in America, were forbidden to speak to each other and in exercise tramped in silent rows, wearing brown cloth masks. In chapel, which they had to attend every day, they sat in cubicles, their heads visible to the warder but hidden from each other. Each prisoner was made to work, such as picking coir (tarred rope) and weaving. The work lasted from six in the morning until seven at night. The food ration was a breakfast of 10 ounces of bread and three-quarters of a pint of cocoa; dinner was half a pint of soup (or four ounces of meat), five ounces of bread and one pound of potatoes; supper a pint of gruel and five ounces of bread.

From http://www.bunker8.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.
Brushes with the LAW

Sentenced to 12 years at the Bedfordshire lent Assizes March 4th 1876. He was committed 3rd February of the same year, on a charge of wilful murder, Manslaughter. The offence was - '     Did kill and slay Eliza Dumpleton his wife at Dunstable on the 31st January 1876'

A collation of newspaper reports of the crime and trial -

* "David DUMPLETON, a groom, killed his wife at Dunstable, last night, by striking her on the head with a poker, and afterwards stabbing her with a carving knife during a quarrel. (Shirley's note - Only 12 years?)

* "Between 10 and 11 o'clock on Monday night at 44 St Mary's Street, Dunstable, Beds, David Dumpleton, aged 32, a groom in the employ of Dr Farr, had been living uncomfortable with his wife for some time. They had angry words during the day. David said 'If I had not killed her she would have killed me, and that he took the first chance."

* "An inquest on the body of the wife of David DUMPLETON was held on Wednesday at Dunstable, when the evidence went to show that the prisoner had struck the deceased with a coal hammer and then stabbed her 3 times with a common table knife. The deceased, it was stated, kept a knife under her pillow, with which she had threatened the prisoner if he came near her. He had also been kept without food for weeks, and on the night in question, he had been glad to eat the scraps from the plates he was washing at Dr FARR's. Several witnesses spoke to the good character of the prisoner, and the jury found a verdict of manslaughter". (Shirley's note - which explains the light sentence).1

Research Notes

  • Research note 01: may have died in Jun qtr 1895 in reg dist St Alban's Hertfordshire, but I have not found him in the 1891 census.


  1. Trove Digitised Newspapers, The Lancaster Gazette, and General Advertiser for Lancashire, Westmorland, Yorkshire, &c. (Lancaster, England), Saturday, January 29, 1876;.