The Legend of John Babbacombe Lee

We are discussing here The Legend of John Babbacombe Lee  You look at the black sea. The waves break very softly against the shore in front of you. You are in a bay with steep, wooded cliffs overhanging behind you. This November night, everything is calm. To the right of the raised on a rocky outcrop, you can just see the tavern. Now silent, drinkers have long gone home. There is no light from the windows of the tavern.  Now it’s already two hours, and the cold of winter has begun to penetrate into every part of you.

The Legend of John Babbacombe Lee

Immediately behind you, at the foot of these wooded cliffs, you turn to see the only significant building in this small, remote bay. In the darkness, you can simply work on its thatched roof, these lead windows, as well as the colonnade that goes in front. This is not a modest house, but a beautiful house owned by someone with the means. To the right of the house is a boathouse.

However, you cannot see it.

Fleetingly you think that you see the light outside the window in this house, perhaps you hear a voice, a scream, then everything is quiet again. Not sure if you will return to the ocean. Darkness can make fun of your feelings. The gentle wind carries the fishy smell of nets, the smell of salt from the water and, at present, something else. Maybe it’s the smell of burning? Not the standard smell of coal fires, but sweeter than wood smoke …

A creeping sense of anxiety starts to bother you. Something is definitely wrong.

If you were actually on this beach of South Devon on November 15, 1884, you would be a distant witness to the beginning of one of the most notorious crimes of the late nineteenth century in the Torquay area. If you lingered on this beach for another couple of minutes, you would see that the house behind you burst into flames, and figures circled around this house with columns. You should have seen a figure hurrying into a dark tavern, raising an alarm and setting fire to windows when the first murder messages began to arrive outside the bay.

This crime was the murder of a virgin from Emma Case, who lived in the house, Glen,

with two elderly maids whom she had inherited from her mother, as well as with a cook and a casual assistant. Miss Case was a strict Victorian of pious religious beliefs. The farm was once ready for the possible arrival and short stay of the then Princess Victoria; the royal family often took short breaks in the South Devon area.  The house and property with which he came were put up for sale at the time of her death.

the legend of the crime grew, as did the complexity of the events that followed. The main suspect in the murder was John Lee, a random person, although, in reality, he was nothing more than a boy. The character of the murder of Miss Case was pretty cruel. She was clearly attacked by a sharp gun, and then was set on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence. The house was further set on fire in several different places with the same intention.

Indirect evidence and restless youth meant that Lee was too believable a criminal.

Despite all this, Lee remained strangely calm and unemotional, as the judge noted. Lee responded by claiming that God knew of his innocence, and he believed in God.

This remark, as well as events unfolding during the execution,

contributed to the creation of the myth of John Babbakomb Lee. At the appointed time of execution, Lee had a hood and a noose over his head.However, instead of going down to his death, the hatches refused to budge.

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