The History of Midsomer Parva and Midsomer Worthy

(Caution: Contains spoilers for many episodes: 01×01 Written In Blood, 02×02: Strangler’s Wood, 05×02: A Worm in a Bud, 05×04: Murder on St Malley’s Day, 07×01: The Green Man, 07×06: The Straw Woman, 11×01 Shot at Dawn, 12×03: Secrets and Spies, 13×01: The Sword of Guillaume, 14×02: Dark Secrets)


Of all the Midsomer villages, Midsomer Parva in the south and Midsomer Worthy in the west of the county are by far the most historic. As many episodes take place in these villages, a number of historical events have been collected and listed here.

While the first mention of Midsomer Parva by Sir Richard Guillaume relates to the Battle of Hastings, the first mention of Midsomer Worthy is in 1500, which is remarkably late. Furthermore, all the historical events focus almost exclusively on three centuries, whereas the events in Midsomer Parva are spread over a longer period and take place in the 20th century.

The entire chronology of Midsomer Parva is used as a basis.

Historical events in the other villages of Midsomer County can be found here, sorted by the four directions.


The Chronology of Midsomer Parva


Sir Richard Guillaume of Normandy is in the entourage of William, Duke of Normandy, and takes part in the Battle of Hastings. He kills many Saxons. (Lady Matilda William, his direct descendant’s wife, later recounts: “His Sword of Guillaume, as his weapon became known, took many Anglo-Saxon lives and came to symbolise everything the English hated about the French”). After the victorious Battle of Hastings, King William I entrusted his faithful Sir Richard with “the land now known as Brighton and Hove”. In 1069, Sir Richard founded St Peter’s in Brighton, dedicated to sailors and fishermen. He later moved to Midsomer Parva and was buried in the church with his sword. (13×01: The Sword of Guillaume)

Sometime between 1536 and 1541 (Dissolution of the Monasteries)

When the monasteries were dissolved, Parva Manor got the land and with it a chapel that stands near the manor, according to the Clifford family. Unfortunately, there are no records from that time, so there is no proof. (07×06: The Straw Woman)

17th century

There was an outbreak of swine fever in Midsomer Parva. The villagers tried to contain the epidemic with prayers, but were unsuccessful. Some women are able to nurse the pigs back to health with herbal remedies, but the women are accused of witchcraft and hanged from the old oak tree. The first is named Katherine Malpas. (07×06: The Straw Woman)

In the same century, Deacon Henry of Causton writes the Midsomer Chronicle (“in 16 summat”) (12×03: Secrets and Spies).


Frank Bingham of Midsomer Parva sold cheap, inferior food to the Ministry of Defence during the First World War and did very well for himself. He set up a huge trust fund for his new fortune. A trust fund that will run out once William and Mary Bingham are dead. (14×02 Dark Secrets)


The month-long Battle of the Somme involves many people from Midsomer County, 15 privates from Midsomer Parva alone. Among them was Thomas ‘Tommy’ Hicks, who left the battlefield wounded on the disastrous first day of the battle (1 July). He is found guilty of desertion at the court-martial and sentenced to death. He is shot by his friend Douglas “Dougie” Hammond (after the firing squad failed to hit him).

The other war dead from Midsomer Parva are: Burton Black, Arthur Brown, Harold Brown, Charles Gordon, Shirley Gordon, Chancey Jenkins, Harry Knight, Claud Lockhart, Layton Long, Donald Miller, Arthur Miller, Robert Moore, Vaughn Park and Claud Parsons. (11×01 Shot at Dawn)


Bertie Morell sets up an artists’ community in Midsomer Parva. He dies shortly afterwards (“drank himself to death”). (14×02: Dark Secrets)


In early November, two weeks before Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated John F Kennedy, he was in Midsomer Parva. Dudley Carew had documentary proof of this. (05×04: Murder on St Malley’s Day)


Malcolm Frazer, Nicky Frazer, Jenny Frazer (birth name not known) and Jimmy Wells of the British Secret Service help refugees cross from East Berlin to West Berlin. Jimmy Wells is betrayed by Nicky Frazer and arrested by the Stasi. Nicky Frazer marries Jenny, who was actually in a relationship with Jimmy. Later, Jenny Frazer and Jimmy Wells learn of the betrayal, which is recorded in the Wolfman file. (12×03: Secrets and Spies)


Midsomer Worthy

c. 1500

The Bartletts become farmers in Midsomer Worthy. (05×02: Worm in a Bud)

Sometime between 1536 and 1541 (Dissolution of the Monasteries)

Abbey Farm in Midsomer Worthy was part of Midsomer Abbey until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. (05×02: A Worm in the Bud)


In Midsomer Worthy, a woman, Mary Bloxham, is burned as a witch. She is accused of trying to kill her neighbour with the “devil’s weed” – valerian, which grows in abundance in neighbouring Setwall Wood. (05×02: A Worm in a Bud)


Sebastian Lyddiard of Midsomer Worthy, great-grandson of Herbert Lyddiard, served under Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent, Admiral of the Royal Navy, against Napoleon. (01×01 Written In Blood)

Late 18th century

The ceiling collapses during canal work at Midsomer Worthy, burying eight workers. To save time and avoid bankruptcy, 38-year-old engineer John Haslett decides, in the interests of his investors, to leave the eight dead in place and have a retaining wall built. This allowed the excavation to continue the next day. All this was forgotten by the time he was knighted.

The Midsomer Journal newspaper accused John Haslett of putting his own interests before people’s lives and reported: “Local canal in tunnel collapse. Eight men still missing. A collapse of the Midsomer Canal took place at about 3.30pm yesterday afternoon, devastating locals and workers. Workers are still believed to be missing and friends and family fear the worst. Engineer Sir John Haslett has called off the search, believing the size of the collapse means all the workers are dead. Angry locals are up in arms over the decision and have called for further searches. A service for the bereaved has been hastily arranged by the local vicar, further angering friends and family.” (07×01: The Green Man)


On 2 May 1801 it is recorded in the minutes of the Midsomer Canal Company that £12 11 shillings 9 pence was paid to blacksmith Thomas Edwards “in discharge of his bill for iron work on the wheelbarrows to be used in the said navigation”. This entry probably refers to the collapsed section of the Midsomer Canal at Midsomer Worthy. Late 18th century. (07×01: The Green Man)


Eva Hoffmann, Joan Chaplin and Judith Albiston are stripped, raped and strangled with a necktie in Strangler’s Wood near Midsomer Worthy. (02×02: Strangler’s Wood)


Read more about Midsomer Murders & History

The Chronology of Midsomer County by Year or by EpisodesDeep Dives into Midsomer & History.



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Petra Tabarelli has studied history and has earned an international reputation as an expert on the history and development of football rules. But she is also a big fan of Midsomer Murders - and that's why this website about history and nostalgia in and around Midsomer exists. She was looking for a website like this, couldn't find it, so she madw it. For others who, like her, are looking for the website, and now can find it.