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James Rapley

Birthdate:
Death: Died in Sussex
Cause of death: Hanging
Place of Burial: Sussex
Immediate Family:

Son of William Rapley and Sarah Bourn
Husband of Elizabeth Flint
Father of William Rapley and James Rapley
Brother of William Rapley; Mary Rapley; Richard Rapley and Thomas Rapley
Half brother of Elizabeth Rapley; William Rapley and Mary Rapley

Managed by: Anne Gordon
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About James Rapley

The following was extracted from: http://www.countrymanshipley.co.uk/


The Shipley Gang

In 1814/15, Shipley was terrorised by what was to become known as the Shipley Gang. Wages were low and unemployment was common. Most cases of theft were for food, but those who were caught got severe punishment. Law enforcement was a bit haphazard at this time so the Shipley Gang thrived! The gang was led by James Rapley and his sons James and Daniel. Also William Browne, James Jupp, James Evans, James Nye (Senior and Junior), Thomas Tilley and Henry Mitchell. Wow. Ross Kemp would have had a great time if he’d been born then.

The gang made their head quarters in Southwater Woods from where they stole sheep and robbed the houses of Gentry. The main gang members had much support from families and friends which was just as well because lots crime had to be committed to supply all their needs. The gang would terrorise the Parishioners with their wild behaviour as they galloped their horses around the area. Eventually the big wigs had enough and the parish constable and Mr Hammond gathered a group of like-minded men together to put an end to the gang’s activities

At Wedges Farm in the neighbouring parish of Itchingfield, they caught James Rapley, James Evans, Philip and Henry Jupp and the two Nyes. Wanted posters were put in the Sussex Advertiser to try and catch the others.
 James Jupp and Daniel Rapley were soon caught, but the younger James Rapley carried on with his unlawful way of life for a few months longer until he got caught and then was found hanged in his cell at Petworth House of Correction. A verdict of insanity was made on his death.

William Browne, James Evans, Henry and James Jupp, the two Nyes and Daniel Rapley were all sentenced to death, but were later commuted to fourteen years transportation. James Rapley junior joined them later. Phillip Jupp, father of the two boys served six months hard labour in Petworth House of Correction.
 Thomas Tilley and Henry Mitchell turned kings evidence in return for their freedom. And Shipley returned to a more peaceful and law abiding place, where it still remains to this day.

The following is taken from: http://www.freewebs.com


SHIPLEY CRIME


THE SHIPLEY GANG

I n 1814/15 Shipley became terrorised by the "SHIPLEY GANG"

Agriculture was in recession; wages were low and unemployment rampant, most cases of theft were for food, but those who were caught got severe punishment. Law enforcement was haphazard so the gang thrived. They were led by JAMES RAPLEY, his sons JAMES and DANIEL, WILLIAM BROWNE, JAMES JUPP, JAMES EVENS, JAMES NYE and JAMES NYE the younger THOMAS TILLEY and HENRY MITCHELL plus the help of many local people.

The Gang made their head quarters in SOUTHWATER WOODS from where they stole sheep, robbed the houses of the gentry and the farmers. The main ganf members, thought to number about twelve had families anf helpers to support.A great deal of crime had to be commited to supply all their needs.

They would terrorise the parishoners with their wild behavior as they galloped their horses around the area. Eventually the big wigs had had enough, the gang was caught after Constable HAMMOND got together a selection of local people determind to end the gangs reign. Members of thegang met at a cottage at the bottom of Bonfire Hill Southwater after a succesful raid,HAMMONDS men burst through the door, the robbers fleeing in all directions managed to get away, but HAMMOND and his men would not give up and in August 1817 made another attempt at arresting them at WEDGES FARM in ITCHINGFIELD. the leaders were captured but some of the gang escaped.

WILLIAM BROWNE

JAMES EWENS

HENRY JUPP

J AMES JUPP

JAMES NYE

JA MES NYE junior

DANIEL RAPLEY

Were all sentenced to death, but this was later commuted to fouteen years transportation.

JAMES RAPLEY jumior, later joined them

P HILLIP JUPP father of the two boys served six months hard labour in PETWORTH HOUSE OF CORRECTION.

JAMES RAPLEY senior was found hanged in his cell at PETWORTH HOUSE OF CORRECTION a verdict of insanity was made on his death. He had taken his life using a handkerchief tied to the bars of his cell window.

The Wanted Poster gave these descriptions

JAMES RAPLEY junior and brother DANIEL

Middle sized, light hair and complexion, one 23 ears of age the other 27, usually wearing light brown round jackets with sleeves

JAMES JUPP

N ear six feet tall, light complexion with freckles, sandy hair cut short age 23 years, turns his toes out more than labourers in general, dressed usually in dark round frock and passed as the husband of SARAH RAPLEY.

SARAH RAPLEY, middle sized, light haie and complxion 20 years old plain but decently dresses.

THOMAS TILLEY and HENRY MITCHELL turned kings evidence in return for their freedom.

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James Rapley hanged himself in Petworth House of Correction. He was declared insane and therefore able to be buried in consecrated ground in Petworth church yard in an unmarked grave. His 3 children, James, Daniel and Sarah were members of the Shipley Gang.

His son Daniel Rapley was sentenced to death, later commuted to transportation. He left England in July 1818 on the General Stuart and arrived in Sydney, Australia on 31st December 1818. Daniel was granted a conditional pardon on 10th July 1834.

James Rapley junior was also sentenced to death. His sentence was also commuted to transportation although there are no details of this.

Sarah Rapley, James senior's daughter, possibly married another member of the Shipley Gang.

Additional information from ‘THE TERROR OF THE COUNTY’. A history of the Shipley Gang by Claire Wickens and Linda Bishop.

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James Rapley's Timeline

1767
December 13, 1767
Sussex, Shipley,
December 13, 1767
Shipley, Sussex, England
December 13, 1767
Shipley, Sussex, England
December 13, 1767
Shipley, Sussex, England
December 13, 1767
Shipley, Sussex, England
December 13, 1767
Shipley,Sussex,,England
1767
1795
1795
Age 28
1818
August 24, 1818
Age 51
Sussex