The Ragged Cot
The Ragged Cot Inn, Hyde, Gloucestershire
The Ragged Cot has been an Inn since the early 1600s. It is set high up on Minchinhampton Common – the common is protected by the National Trust – and is close to the perfecet idea of a 17th Century Cotswold Coaching Inn. It has real log fires and inglenook fireplaces and prides itself on its cuisine.
In December 1760, he landlord of the Ragged Cot – Bill Clavers – resolved to rob the midnight stage coach to London. He drank a lot of rum to steady his nerves and then staggered out with his loaded pistols. His wife tried to stop him but his mind was made up and he roughly pushed her aside. Out of his mind with drink and adrenalin he rushed out.
Clavers successfully robbed the stage, but when he returned he found his wife and the child she had in her arms, dead where he had pushed them down the stairs. He hid their bodies in a trunk. It was a snowy night and the police followed his footprints back from the scene of the robbery. They knocked but he didn’t answer. Then they heard a shot from inside and a scream from Clavers – he had seen the ghost of his wife and child gliding towards him. The police broke in and the robber offered no resistance. The constables themselves saw the ghosts and the dead bodies were found. Clavers was taken to a place of lawful execution and hanged by the neck until dead.