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Christina Collins grave - Rugeley Staffs | by Dave Hanmer
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Christina Collins grave - Rugeley Staffs

Christina Collins was 37 years old when she was brutally raped and murdered by three drunken bargemen whilst travelling by barge to join her husband, Robert Collins in London.

Her body was discovered in the canal at Rugeley on June 17th 1839. She was carried up the infamous local 'Bloody Steps' into the Talbot Inn. Her blood is said to have dripped onto the stonework, hence their name, and although the steps have long been replaced, they are still given their eerie title today. It is reported that on occasions blood has been seen oozing from the famous steps.

Three of the four boatmen that had been taking Christina to London, were subsequently charged with her murder. Two of them hung, Capt. Owen and George Thomas, the third, William Ellis was transported. The fourth member of the crew, a young teenage boy named Musson, was cleared and released.

Christina's body is buried in St.Augustines Churchyard. The gravestone is engraved "To the memory of Christina Collins, Wife of Robert Collins, London, who, having Been Barbarously treated was found dead in the Canal in this parish on June 17th 1839, age 37yrs. This stone is erected by some individuals of the parish of Rugeley in communication of the end of the unhappy woman".

A few years ago, an Inspector Morse drama, starring John Thaw, - 'The Wench Is Dead' was adapted from the Colin Dexter novel , and was based on the story of the Christina Collins murder.

Information by www.rugeleyonline.co.uk/people/collins.htm Thankyou.

 

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Taken on December 7, 2008