Meanwood woods suicide

The green spaces and places of Leeds

Postby LS13 » Fri 04 Jan, 2008 7:50 pm

Arthur Hopwoods book on Meanwood mentions a suicide commemorated by a carving on a stone in Meanwood woods which I've never been able to locate-

"What about poor Hancock, whose memorial in the wall beside a path beyond Hustlers Row is a rock marked HTW Hancock with a cross, and the word 'shot' on an adjacent stone. It was at this spot that Henry Trevor Wheeler Handcock, a Londoner aged 26, shot himself on Sept 11 1892. His body, which was taken to the Myrtle Tavern bottle store, was buried in Meanwood churchyeard. Had he fallen out with the young lady in Leeds he was reputed to have visited?"

I've never been able to find this stone. Does anyone know where it is or have a photo of it, or have any more details on the victim?
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Postby oldleedsman » Sat 05 Jan, 2008 12:21 am

Hi LS13 - have a look at this thread from a few months ago:
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Postby oldleedsman » Sat 05 Jan, 2008 12:57 am

oldleedsman wrote:
Hi LS13 - have a look at this thread from a few months ago:

Just spotted that you were involved in the above thread!
I have a vague recollection that the stone is somewhere near Hustlers Row, but this was from about 30 years ago and I may be hoplessly wrong.
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Postby LS13 » Sun 06 Jan, 2008 6:06 pm

Forgot I'd posted that. Been down there recently and still can't find the Hancock stone...
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Postby johnnyg » Sun 06 Sep, 2009 10:38 pm

A shot of the Hancock stones appears on Flickr at:

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Postby Steve Jones » Tue 08 Sep, 2009 7:10 pm

it is a small stone to find.I was shown it on a walk by Dave Wheldrake from West Yorkshire Archaeology.He called it "The murder stone"

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Postby Highbury » Sun 28 Feb, 2010 11:21 pm

Found this post earlier in the week.

Did some hunting and we finally found this stone in Meanwood Park.

This prompted me to do some research into its provenance.

The following articles appeared in the Leeds Mercury in the week following the death:

"Tuesday September 13th 1892

Supposed suicide at Meanwood, Leeds – the man who was found dead close to Meanwood Wood on Sunday morning last, with a revolver in his hand a bullet-wound in his head, had not been identified at a late hour last night.

Mercury, Saturday September 17th 1892

Supposed suicide in Meanwood Wood, Leeds – at the Myrtle Inn, Meanwood on Tuesday afternoon, the deputy coroner (Mr J.B. Brooke) inquired into the death of a man found in Meanwood Wood early on Sunday morning with a bullet wound in his head. There was still unfortunately no evidence of identity. George Henry Burnell, puddler, of 75, Whitehall Road, Leeds, stated that when in the wood at 9.35 on Sunday morning, with a friend, he found the deceased lying behind a wall. Not knowing whether he was dead or asleep, witness went to him and found him dead. In his right hand was a revolver, and the first finger pressed the trigger. His hat, a match-box, an empty razor-case, and a walking stick were lying near to him. There was a small wound to his right temple, from which blood was flowing. From the condition of the body, witnesses calculated that he had been dead about two hours. There were no signs of a struggle, nor were his clothes disarranged, - Police Constable Greatham stated that his attention was called to the body by two young men, who came running to him. From the nature of the wound it appeared as if the revolver had been close to his head. The coroner said that although diligent inquiries had been made, they had not been able to ascertain the name of the deceased. He thought the proper cause to adopt would be to return an open verdict of “found dead”. This was done accordingly. On Wednesday the body was identified as that of H.J.W. Handcock, aged 24, of 204 South Lambeth-Road, London, S.E. Deceased was a civil engineer and had been lodging for a short time at 10, Tanfield-Street, Leeds."

I thinkMr Hancock was not buried in Meawood, I failed to find his grave, but the BMD show a 24 year old Henry Hancock buring at St Olave's in London, which would be his home parish.

Tanfield Street was knocked down (in the sicties I think) and is now roughly where the Roger Stephen's building is at the university.It is possible his last walk was along Woodhouse Ridge.
__TFMF_31k0o0ad4fdetg45guf3au55_efcb4d35-cd4b-4cd7-9e1f-bfe95ed4707e_0_main.jpg (677.84 KiB) Viewed 773 times
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Postby zip55 » Mon 01 Mar, 2010 1:08 am

In the post above it describes the man who found the body as a 'puddler' ... what is that?
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Postby uncle mick » Mon 01 Mar, 2010 10:22 am

zip55 wrote:
In the post above it describes the man who found the body as a 'puddler' ... what is that?
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Postby Blake1993 » Wed 27 Apr, 2011 9:17 pm

I have seen this stone many of times.
its not the easiest thing to spot in the world but it tends to get a bit mossy over winter. me and my father went up last year and "de-mossed" it.
still not easy to find but the words which are carved into the stone are more visible now.
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