When a man disappeared in 1660, three of his servants were erroneously sentenced to death for his murder. This bizarre case led to the "no body, no murder" rule
When 70 year old William Harrison of Chipping Campden in Gloucester disappeared in 1660, his wife sent a servant to go and look for him.
William went for a walk on the 16th of August and never returned home.
The servant, John Perry, did not return from his search and William’s son Edward went looking for the pair of missing men.
On his way to Charingworth he met Perry who said he could not find Mr Harrison.
On the main road between Chipping Campden and Ebrington, Williams' slashed hat and bloodied shirt were discovered, but his body could not be found.
When Perry was questioned he suddenly ‘spilled the beans’ and said that his brother Richard and his mother Joan Perry murdered Harrison for his money and hid the body, but that he had nothing to do with it.
There was a murder trial and the court found the entire Perry family guilty of murder, including John, and they were hanged together despite their pleas of innocence.
In 1662 however, Harrison re-appeared in Dover – very much alive! He told a tale of being abducted by pirates and sold into slavery in Turkey.
He managed to escape and made his way back home. Whether that was the truth is not known, but was is known for a fact is that three innocent people were sentenced to death!
It is unclear why John Perry accused his family of murder.
This case, known as the Campden Wonder, lead to the “no body, no murder” rule.