Branscombe Project © 2009-2024

The Branscombe Project

The Branscombe Murder  The Life of William Dean Dowell William Dowell was a carpenter, a self-made man who had followed his trade to Wales, the Midlands and eventually to London. He had become literate and politicised and, returning to the village, had aired his Liberal beliefs and made enemies. Who killed John Perryman? Read ‘The Shooting at Branscombe Old Pits’ by Barbara Farquharson & John Torrance (See Publications) Drawings by Cory Lyons

Once back in London he wrote an account of the trial and of his life. It is a fascinating document that not only gives a vivid account of conditions in a small out of the way village but also allows a glimpse of late nineteenth century political and economic turmoil. The small 32 page pamphlet was published by his trade union and priced at 3d. Very few copies have survived – the battered one that we reproduce here was handed down in the family and we are very grateful to Robin Somers for permission to put it online.

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dowell diary new.pdf