A heading in the ‘Bolton Chronicle’ on Saturday, 10 November 1838 stated: Horrible murder at Belmont
George Henderson, a young Scottish packman was employed as a traveller by a Mr John Blackburn.He moved around the neighbourhood taking orders; selling, delivering, and collecting payment.He visited Blackburn regularly to report to his employers.
On Thursday 8 November he stayed at the ‘Old Cock Inn’, Blackrod, a village on the turnpike road, from Manchester to Preston.An old track from Blackrod led down to Anderton Hall, Horwich then across to the Rivington Pike road, near Winter Hill and joining the regular old packhorse route to Blackburn by way of Belmont, a moorland village on the Bolton to Preston road.
Henderson left Blackrod about 8.0 am on the Friday morning but he never arrived in Blackburn.He was found at 13.45 pm lying near the summit of Winter Hill, by the road descending to Belmont.He had been shot through the head and he died at 2.30 pm in a nearby cottage.The motive was presumed to be robbery and as a result of the evidence, a local man James Whittle, was arrested.Following the inquest he was sent for trial - and acquitted, the murder remaining unsolved - at the Lancashire Assizes at Liverpool in 1839.By the T.V. mast on Winter Hill, a memorial known as Scotsman’s Stump was erected, to mark the spot where George Henderson was shot.It bears the following inscription:-
“To the memory of George Henderson, traveller, native of Annan, Dumfries-shire, who was brutally murdered on Rivington Moor at Noonday, November 9th1838 in the 20th year of his age.