Charles Stowe, a 28-year-old London dock labourer, was a regular customer at the Lord Nelson public house in the East End’s Whitechapel Road. One of the barmaids was 20-year-old Martha Jane Hardwick, the landlady’s sister. Her bright, cheerful manner made her popular with the customers, and Stowe tried repeatedly to persuade her to go out with him. But she always turned him down.

He eventually became such a nuisance that she avoided him whenever he entered the bar, and this made him so angry that he began to threaten her, making her even more determined to steer clear of him.

The pub was closing at around midnight on September 23rd, 1903, when he came in again and went up to Martha, who was collecting empty glasses. “I’ve got you now,” he said, and stabbed her repeatedly in the chest.

As he ran out of the pub, Martha’s sister jumped over the bar and pursued him, shouting to passers-by to stop him. He was grabbed and held by several men, who took him back to the pub where Martha lay dead.

When police officers arrived Stowe was arrested and charged with murder, and at his trial his counsel submitted a defence of uncontrollable jealousy caused by provocation.

Convicted and sentenced to death, Stowe was hanged at Pentonville Prison on NOVEMBER 10th, 1903.