Thomas Parris (b. 1819) has an entry in the England & Wales Criminal Registers for Kent, 1841: Thomas Parris age 23; offence: carnally abusing an infant. Date of trial 15/3/1841 at the County Assizes, found Not Guilty.

His son James Parris (b. 1844) was convicted of the murder of William Crouch, a six year old boy, whom he beat to death with an iron bar in a barn at Ryarsh on 11 June 1876. He had committed the crime in a rage after the child's mother had failed to keep an appointment with him.

After carrying out the murder he walked to the local police station and confessed. He was convicted at Maidstone Assizes on 10 July 1876 and sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out on 1 August 1876 in Maidstone by William Marwood (1818-1883). Marwood developed the "long drop" technique of hanging, which ensured that the prisoners' neck was broken instantly at the end of the drop. This was considered more humane than the slow death by strangulation caused by the "short drop" method.

James’ crime was widely reported at the time of the inquest into the boy’s death, with the “Edinburgh Evening News”, “Sheffield Independent”, “York Herald” and “Shipping and Mercantile Gazette” all featuring the story on 15 June 1876.