In this article we will be covering the historic mystery of the Charlotte Dymond murder on Bodmin Moor – who killed Charlotte Dymond and what were the motives behind her 19th-century slaying?
Let’s take a closer look…
The Charlotte Dymond Story
Charlotte Dymond took on a job as a domestic servant at the Penhale Farm on Bodmin Moor in 1842. A widow named Mrs. Peter was in charge, and owned the farm, with her son, and another couple of general farm workers (John Stevens and Matthew Weeks).
Matthew Weeks took an instant interest in Charlotte, and spent a lot of his time attempting to charm her. She was also being chased by the nephew of the owner of the farm, Thomas Prout.
Weeks and Prout were known for getting along famously with one another, but this love triangle, led by the promiscuous Charlotte, soon seemed to break the two young men’s relationship apart.
April The 14th
On April 14, 1844, Charlotte finished up her daily chores and put on her best dress for Sundays, she then went and had a conversation with Thomas Prout.
After this conversation she met up with Matthew Weeks and set off for a walk with him. They were both spotted leaving the farm by Isaac Cory, a 63-year-old man who also run a successful farm business in the region.
When Weeks returned to the farm later that day, he was alone. The owner of the farm, Mrs. Peter asked him where Charlotte had got to and he claimed he had no idea, she also took note that he had mud marks that ran up to his knees, and his shirt was ripped in places.
Over the period of the next several days, Weeks stuck to his story, even though most of the staff at the farm thought he was behind the disappearance. After about a week he suddenly changed his story and claimed that Charlotte had taken a job offer in Blisland, which was quite a distance away from the farm.
A search party was officially set up and Weeks was put under the microscope…but they could find no evidence of foul play.
The locals did however, discover that the job offer was a complete lie.
A search party eventually stumbled across the body of Charlotte Dymond on the banks of the River Alan. She had died from an extremely deep knife slash to the throat.
The autopsy eventually showed that someone had slit her throat, then held her down to slit it again, in the same place, just to make sure the job was done properly.
The local police immediately issued a murder warrant for Matthew Weeks, but nobody had any idea where he had disappeared to?
After a few days of intense searching, Weeks was tracked down to his sister’s house in Plymouth…a sure sign that he had fled and that he was guilty.
Weeks was brought back to Bodmin Assizes where he was put on trial for Charlotte’s murder. During the trial he managed to contradict himself on several occasions, and new witnesses came forward claiming they had seen him with Charlotte that day.
The boot marks by the girl’s body also matched up with his feet size.
The jury took no time at all in finding him guilty of murder.
Matthew was hung for murder at Bodmin Jail on August the 12th, 1844 – thousands of countryside locals attended the gruesome event.
After the investigation died down, a rumour surfaced suggesting that Charlotte had plans to meet with Thomas Prout at the Tremail Chapel later in the evening of that fateful day…was Prout the one who killed her…not Weeks?
The ghost of Matthew Weeks is said to still wander the halls of Bodmin Jail…and the ghost of Charlotte Dymond is said to wander the moors where she was murdered.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.