The Shooting of George Cornell

Cornell had reportedly been winding Ronnie up, calling him a "big fat poof". Some sources think that Kray also wished to send a message to Cornell's bosses, the Richardson Brothers, who were in dispute with the Krays.

As Cornell continued to insult him, Ronnie calmly took out a gun and shot him in the head; he died later that night in hospital. Kray's companion shot his gun at the ceiling a few times to distract the people sitting in the pub, and possibly to warn them against talking to the police about the incident. Although a few witnesses told police that Ronnie Kray had definitely been responsible for the shooting, none of them was prepared to testify. Only in 1969 were the police able to charge Ronnie Kray with the murder of George Cornell.

The above is an edited extract from East London History (, which has a lot more information about the history of the Blind Beggar.

© Haydn Thompson 2018