John Avery Heritage
Member Southampton Heritage Federation
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 Sharing local history with the community
In 1967 the Queen Mary set off on her final voyage to Longbeach, California. This watercolour by Eric Crompton records the farewell.A stone carving on the RSH Hospital Chapel.An afternoon stroll on Plymouth Breakwater
John Avery is a Fellow of the Huguenot Society of Britain and Ireland, a member of Southampton
Heritage Federation, City of Southampton Society [Honorary Life Member], Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery [Honorary Life Member],  Friends of  Town Quay Park, National Federation of Cemetery Friends, The Southampton Fryatt Plaque, Devon Family History Society, Friends of Southampton's Museums, Archives and Galleries and 
West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust , Landmark Trust, National Trust
Copyright 2017



 
   Home      The Murder of Naomi Kingswell
 
 

The Sunday morning routine of the household of the Rev Poynder in 1, Lower Moira Place, Southampton on 14th October 1855 was to be shattered when the footman Edward Baker shot and killed the housemaid Naomi Kingswell. Some reports refer to his first name as Abraham but the 1851 census shows Edward born Whippingham IOW.

The minister was away from home and the house was occupied by his wife. Mrs Poynder and her children were at church for the morning service and the two maids remained at home. The footman Edward Baker age 29 had formed a fancy for housemaid Naomi Kingswell but she found his advances to be disagreeable in fact she had informed him she wanted nothing to do with him. Both Baker and the Naomi were from the IOW and were acquainted before entering service in Southampton. They were in fact beginning “to walk out together” but Naomi had found more on his background and ended the friendship abruptly.

On the Saturday evening Baker had visited the premises of Mr Alfred Clayton, a local gunsmith and purchased a pistol with bullets and caps.

On entering the house on the Sunday the cook, Mrs Lacy asked if he had attended church and he curtly replied “No”. She asked him to prepare trays for the mistress on her return from the service and Mrs Lacy engaged in conversation with Naomi. When Baker re-entered the room he concealed the pistol behind his back, came forward and shot the girl through her head. The screaming of the Mrs Lacy brought a police constable to the door and Baker showed no resistance to his arrest. The pistol was recovered from behind a box in the scullery. On searching his clothing at the police station a gold ring was found in his pocket presumably intended for Naomi until she had spurned him.

 On the Monday morning Baker was brought before the Mayor and the bench of magistrates who committed Baker for trial. Baker was found guilty of murder at his trial on 20th December and then hanged for the crime. His defence counsel had placed a case of insanity but there was little evidence to support it.




snowfall Southampton Old Cemetery courtesy FoSOCSeamen's strike at Southampton 1966Royal Blues at Bournemouth c 1949 photo by Derek Amey local historians Jim Brown and John Avery deep in thought. Image Ann MacGillivray Veronica Tippetts addressing Court Leet Oct 2nd 2012. Image Will TempleJohn Melody Southampton Town Crier at Court Leet 2012. Image Will Temple