The Murderers Pub, Sports Bar in Norwich

Landlord History - Henry & Maria Wilby

29th March 1892 - 19th November 1895

Henry and Maria Wilby were married on 10th September 1866, Norwich register Office.

Henry is registered as a 'Tailor Master', and Maria as a 'Domestic servant'.

Henry Wilby Death Certificate

This is the death certificate of Henry Wilby Henry. Henry was born 1842 in Brandon Suffolk, to Ann and John Wilby. Maria Hunter was born 1848, daughter of Susan and Robert Hunter (Gamekeeper)

Henry died of a heart attack at the pub on 5th January 1895 which triggered a chain of events leading to the pub gaining the gruesome nickname of 'The Murderers'

Having recently seperated from her husband Frank Miles, Henry and Maria's daughter, Mildred (Millie) moved into The Gardeners Arms, on TimberHill, to help her mother run the pub during the difficult time following her husbands death.

Frank MIles had been born in Southampton, but joined The 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars.  After spending time in India, his Cavalry unit returned to England in 1889, and by July 1890 were based at the Britannia Barracks, in Norwich. Their unit proved to be 'popular' with the locals, and by June 1895, Frank and Millie were married, with Frank working for local brewer, Morgans & Sons. In June 1895, Frank and Millie were seperated, with the trial notes stating he was living above the pub of The Crown & Anchor, 94/100 Calvert Street, when events took a macarbre twist. It appears that the respect that Miles had, for his time in the Cavalry, coupled with the recent, high profile murders of Jack the Ripper, in London, went some way to re-inforce that Millie was working as a 'prostitute'. At his trial, Miles' defence was one of 'extreme provocation'.

Read the original trail notes and witness statements HERE


Some contemporary newspaper articles can be found on our 'In the News' page.

On the morning of the murder, Frank had taken a new 'bung picker' (pictured below and displayed inside the pub) from the brewery, to use as a bludgeon, in his premiditated attack on Millie.

The BBC1 Programme, 'Inside Out' made a film about the events surrounding June 1895. Follow the link to watch the show.

Sadly, Maria wasn't to know  that within 6 months of the death of her husband, tragedy would strike again, when her daughter was murdered in the pub in early June 1895.

Listed in the 1891 census, as a tailor,The Wilby Family were living at 3, Horns Lane, off Ber Street.

Henry & Maria had 9 Children -

Rosamund b 1865
Mildred Wilby b 1869 - 1872
Harry Wilby b 1871
Mildred Wilby b 1873-1895
Charles Frank Wilby b 1877-1919
Herbert Wilby b 1879
Arthur Wilby b 1881
Gertrude Sarah Wilby b 1883-1961
Frank Wilby 1885-1885

It appears that Henry and Maria had a daughter called Mildred (b. 1869), which died in 1872, shortly before the birth of another daughter, which they called Mildred

Maria remained at the pub, for a further 5 months, running the pub by herself. The trail notes show that Maria cared for Millie in her last days, prior to her death. After leaving the pub on the 19th November 1895, passing the duties onto Edward Wickham, Maria remained in Norwich, and married Charles Huggins on 7th April 1900.

She died, aged 59, on 23rd November 1906, at 42, Rupert Street, Norwich