Tales From The Mansfield Road: The Elizabeth (Bessie) Shepherd Murder

A reminder of crimes in Nottingham’s past. Almost 200 years ago but the scene if the crime us commonly known. It is identifiable by an unusually shaped tree.

Nottingham Hidden History Team

by Frank E Earp

The murder of a young Papplewick girl on the Mansfield Road in 1817 is one that still resonates with us today. It is perhaps for this reason that over the past few years it has become one of the best known ‘Tales from the Mansfield Road’. It is also yet another story where the Road itself runs like a thread through it narrative and the lives of all those involved. The murder is well documented and I have a number of accounts to build up an accurate picture of the events that happened nearly 200 years ago.

Elizabeth Shepherd, familiarly known as ‘Bessie’, is described in the hand bill produced at the time of the execution of her murderer as ‘…an interesting girl about 17 years of age and the daughter of a woman residing at Papplewick’. Other accounts suggest her to be a pretty girl…

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