All the news from 100 years ago is fascinating fans of a podcast from Kington Langley.

The Memories of Kington Langley, broadcast from the little village near Chippenham, was launched in 2019 and its eleven episodes chronicling the village’s history have been downloaded 1,400 times and starred on BBC Radio Wiltshire.

The latest podcast rediscovers a Victorian death that made national headlines, the story of the death in 1861 of Kington Langley resident Fanny Pearce after a night’s drinking with her husband in Chippenham.

Fanny’s husband, John Pearce, was charged with “the felonious killing” of Fanny and went to trial at the Wiltshire Assizes in 1862.

News of Fanny Pearce’s death was reported in newspapers across Britain including the London Daily News. Hundreds of people were reported to have massed in the street outside Chippenham Town Hall when John Pearce appeared before magistrates there a week after Fanny’s death.

Adrian Beeby, creator of the Memories of Kington Langley podcast, said: “This is a forgotten chapter of our local history but, back in 1861, the story of Fanny and John Pearce enthralled the Victorian public.

“Today, the story is a footnote in some local history books but once I began to research it, I realised there was much more to it. The newspaper reports from the time are full of detail including the testimonies of various witnesses. It’s these reports that I used as the basis of the podcast.”

John Pearce was eventually found not guilty of Fanny’s killing on the grounds that her injuries could, it was argued, have been caused by a fit. However, the post-mortem did show signs of violence against her.

To listen to Memories of Kington Langley, with words and music by Adrian Beeby and readings by his daughter Alexandra, download it from Google Podcasts or visit the podcast’s website: