Charlotte Hilton, daughter of a wealthy landowner and railway builder in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, made a disastrous marriage when she was only 20. After only two years she was fed up with her farmer husband Augustus’s ceaseless demands to borrow money from her. When he came home from a local market in March 1861, demanding still more money, she refused. He followed her upstairs and cut her throat.

When the police arrived at his farmhouse he was drinking brandy and smoking a cigar. “I want to be executed as quickly as possible,” he told the officers curtly.

His influential friends frustrated that wish by getting the trial delayed on the grounds that he was insane, or that there were grounds for provocation. Nonetheless Hilton was found guilty in July and hanged on Saturday, August 10th, 1861, outside Cambridge Prison. He was 23.