The judge was so overcome with emotion at Bridgwater Assizes when a prisoner pleaded guilty to murder that he burst into tears and left the courtroom. Several minutes later Mr. Justice Coleridge returned to try the case of Charles Wakeley, who killed 16-year-old milk-girl Eliza Payne with a knife.

Eliza and Wakeley, 29, were in service at a farm in Worle, Weston-super-Mare, and were supposed to be milking cows when he attacked her. The court heard that he tried to have sex with her and she refused. He was hanged on Wednesday, September 4th, 1839, outside Ilchester Prison, in what was to be the last execution in the town.