by Tom Errington and John Webb
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On Wednesday 13th May 1795 at about 8 o’clock in the evening George  Errington, a wealthy London barrister, was shot by his former mistress, Anne Broadrick, in the drawing room of his house in Grays Thurrock. That the murder took place in front of his wife of a few months and that Mr Errington had figured in a notorious divorce case added to the considerable national interest when it was reported in the London press. Interest has continued, at least locally, ever since and has relied on information in the more sensational contemporary publications especially the ‘Pocket Magazine’. Extracts from this monthly were re-printed in numbers 3 and 27 of the Society’s Journals. However the press of the day, in the way to which we are still accustomed, used imagination to supplement fact. We had been led to believe, for instance, that Anne had declaimed the memorable phrase ‘I have come Errington to fulfil my dreadful promise’ as she shot him. The ‘Newgate Calender’, another contemporary news sheet, claimed to reproduce a letter Anne Broderick had written to Errington requesting a meeting, which contained the theatrical threat  ‘Recollect, however, Errington, ere you send a refusal, that the roaring of the tempest and the lightnings from heaven are not more terrible than the rage and vengeance of a disappointed woman’.

Now at last the truth, as far as it can be extracted after 200 years, can be revealed. In the last half of 2004, Mr. Tom Errington contacted the Society through the internet, initially concerning Belmont Castle (see Notes & Queries in this issue). Mr Errington is a descendant of the murder victim and, within the last two years, has had access to substantial quantities of family papers including the court documents from Anne Broadrick’s trial. He has kindly agreed that we can publish some of the information relevant to the case. The family papers do not however give the complete story and in order to satisfy as far as possible the readers’ curiosity, some reliance has also been put on the account of Anne Broderick’s trial in the Shire Hall at Chelmsford which was carried at some length in the Chelmsford Chronicle of July 24th 1795. This account where it coincides with the information supplied by Mr Errington corresponds reasonably well and has none of the sensationalism of the London press.

George Errington 1756 - 1795

In the following pages the information supplied by Mr Errington is reproduced in a different font. 

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