Eliza Chastney


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Not a lot is known about Eliza Chastney. Her deposition to the police state that she was 26 years old at the time of the murders. The only other information that can be gleaned from the records is a marriage on 18 April 1850 at the Parish church, Wymondham between an Eliza Chasteney, of full age and George Charles Harvey, of full age. The place for her fathers's name and rank or profession are blank, so one can assume that she was illegitimate. Her husband was a carpenter, and the son of William Harvey, also a carpenter. They both signed their names, as did the witnesses: ? Chasteney, Emelia Chasteney, William Harvey and Thomas Harvey. It is possible that George Charles Harvey was related to the Edwin Harvey who gave evidence at the trial (He was at one of the gate houses at the time, talking to one of the other servants). There is no trace of them in the 1851 census of Norfolk, so presumably they moved away.

In the 1881 census there is a George C Harvey, age 53, carpenter, living with his wife Eliza, aged 57, and son Ernest, aged 18, living at 74 Russell Street, St Andrew The Less, Cambridge. She was born in Suffolk, and their son was born in Lambeth, Surrey, so possibly George & Eliza moved to London after their marriage. Examination of other census years provides a fuller picture of their family. It is encouraging to see that she lived long enough to enjoy the money that was collected for her during the trial of James Blomfield Rush.


The Norwich Mercury

Saturday April 21 1849

Eliza Chastney

It is proposed by several inhabitants of this county to show their respect for the above faithful servant and courageous woman, whose life has been so nearly sacrificed in endeavouring to save that of her mistress from the hands of a murderer, by raising a subscription, which will be opened for her at Messrs. Gurney's and Messrs. Harveys and Hudson's Bakers, Norwich, where any who may be desirous to show sympathy for such devotion are requested to forward their subscriptions. The money will be invested in the names of the Earl of Leicester, Lord Wodehouse, and Thos. Beauchamp Proctor, Esq, who have consented to set as Trustees. The following names have already been received:- Eliza Chastney Subscription Fund


The Norwich Mercury

Saturday June 2 1849

Eliza Chastney

It is satisfactory to find that the faithfullness and courage of Eliza Chastney, during the night of the late murders at Stanfield Hall, have not remained unnoticed even by Public Societies. We find that at the Anniversary Meeting of the Female Servants Home Society, for the encouragement of faithful female servants, held on the 10th ult., the report after stating that rewards had been bestowed on eight servants, according to the 1st and 3rd rules.
The committee have bestowed upon Eliza Chastney, in approbation of her conduct, a Bible, and have contributed £1 towards that fund which is now raising on her behalf, regretting that the state of the finances could not enable them to forward a much larger sum. The book is handsome, bearing an appropriate inscription, with Eliza Chastney's name in gilt letters on the inside.


The Norwich Mercury

Saturday June 2 1849

ELIZA CHASTENEY

Whilst she cannot be too thankful to Divine Providence, for her merciful preservation under the late trying events, is deeply grateful for the kind and generous sympathy the public have shown her, and begs most earnestly to return her sincere thanks to those kind friends, who have so liberally subscribed to the fund benevolently raised in her behalf, and she also trusts that her future life and conduct will be such that, as not to forfeit the good opinion they have formed of her.