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Victorian Hangings


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From 1837 to 1901 Queen Victoria presided over the world’s biggest empire – and during her 64-year reign approximately 1,100 judicial hangings were carried out in Great Britain and Ireland. Here we present a month-by-month calendar of the fascinating stories behind some of them, set frequently against a background of dire poverty, short trials and public executions...



Victorian Hangings: June

June 4th
4/6/1895
William Miller – Liverpool


When a homosexual customer went into a Liverpool bookshop and noticed that the proprietor, Edward Moyse, and his assistant, young John Needham, were also both homosexual, he became violently jealous. After several visits to the bookshop, in Redcross Street, on the docks, his jealousy finally exploded.
On the night of February 19th, 1895, the customer, William Miller, a 27-year-old sailor, broke into the flat above the bookshop, where the two men lived. He went into Needham’s room, grabbed him by the throat and hit him over the head with an axe. Needham got away and, chased by Miller, fled into the street. When the young man eventually staggered back he found that Miller had beaten Edward Moyse with a poker and stabbed him to death with a knife.
Seeing Needham re-appear in the doorway, Miller snarled: “Where does the old b–– keep his money?” Needham refused to answer until Miller advanced on him with his axe raised.
Miller was convicted of murder after a two-day trial and hanged on Tuesday, June 4th, 1895, at Liverpool’s Walton Prison.


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