Perhaps one of Hinckley’s most famous tales.
St Mary’s Church in Hinckley is the last resting place of Richard Smith who was killed on 12th April 1727, aged 20 years old.
A recruiting sergeant for the army had come to Hinckley and was informing a crowd of potential new soldiers about the virtues of taking the King’s shilling.
Richard started mocking the recruiting sergeant, making jokes and quips. The sergeant lost his temper and when Richard would not stop with his comments, the soldier gave the crowd a demonstration in how to use a pike in close quarter combat and killed Richard on the spot.
Upon Richards gravestone is the following inscription;
A fatal Halbert his mortal body slew,
The murdering hand God’s vengeance will pursue
From shades terrestrial, though justice took her flight
Shall not the judge of all the earth do right
Each age and sex his innocence bemoans
And with sad sigh laments his dying groans.
According to local tradition the gravestone is said to “bleed red” every year on the 12th of April. The anniversary of Richard’s Death.