Oldham man Thomas Marsland married his girlfriend Elizabeth on November 23rd, 1901, and straightway began knocking her about. Their landlady at Edge Lane Hollow, Royton, was so shocked by his behaviour that she threw them out. Disenchanted with marriage, Elizabeth Marsland went to live by herself in Horsedge Fold, Oldham.

On Friday April 4th, 1902, Thomas Marsland went into a shop and bought a razor for a shilling. He was served by Harry Forester. That evening Elizabeth’s neighbour in Horsedge Fold, Mrs. Kelly, heard Elizabeth screaming. It went on for two or three minutes, although Mrs. Kelly didn’t bother to investigate.

She saw Marsland leave Elizabeth’s house and walk down the road. Near the Mumps railways bridge he stopped a policeman and said he wanted to give himself up because he had just murdered his estranged wife.

Marsland was determined to hang himself. An identity parade was organised to see whether Harry Forester could recognise the man to whom he sold the razor. Forester walked down the line but failed to pick out Marsland, whereupon the prisoner stepped forward and cried. “I’m the man! I bought a razor from you and paid a shilling for it!”