The motif of this murder is unknown to this day, yet the assassination took place on the 6th April 1825, the feast of St. Gregory whereby the Maltese populace take their first swim in the village of Marsaxlokk. This tradition is very popular to this day.
Mary, the daughter of John the farmer, was betrothed to Stephen- another farmer who lived in the village of Naxxar. On the death of Stephen’s step-father, John encouraged both Stephen and his brother Samuel to visit his fields in Siggiewi.
At first Samuel was not interested to visit the farm, as he enjoyed his solitary lifestyle and did not wish to leave his step-mother alone. However, when his step-mum encouraged him to start getting a bit of fresh air outside of the house, he soon agreed.
As time went by, he fell in love with Mary (his brother’s girlfriend) and his feelings were reciprocated. Mary’s attitude towards Stephen became more and more distant. Stephen noticed this change in her behaviour and asked her why she was behaving so coldly towards him. Mary denied such accusations but within the depths of her heart, she knew that Stephen was right!
When Mary and Samuel spoke about their feelings, Mary was worried how to tell Stephen. Samuel informed her that when the feast of St. Gregory was over, he would tell his brother about their love. Mary agreed and told Samuel that she was going to inform her father and mother about the situation.
As was expected, both parents were not happy about this, as if John accepted Samuel as his son-in-law and rejected Stephen, he would always lose one of the brothers whom he loved dearly. On the other hand, if he rejected his daughter’s plea to happiness, he would end up losing her as well! Therefore, it was not a pleasant situation at all.
One day, he invited Samuel to his fields and asked for his advice as to which vegetables were best sown during that particular season. Samuel was no fool, and immediately knew the reason he was summoned. No sooner had they started talking, the topic of their relationship was brought forth. John forbade the love story between Samuel and his daughter Mary.
As expected, they did not pay any notice to his demands and on the 6th April 1825, John made a strange decision- killing Stephen with an enormous stone after all of them had been to the feast of St. Gregory. As I already stated above, we do not know why he chose to murder Stephen, but could it be that he wanted to make his daughter happy with the one she loved? It could be…
However, when the police were informed that Stephen was killed, they quickly interrogated Samuel and he was soon accused of the murder. Unfortunately for the latter, he was sentenced to be hanged and according to the records of the time, this was a very brutal death.
John’s conscience never allowed him any peace, and on his death bed he confessed that he had killed Stephen and dashed his brains out with an enormous stone.