It was the job of 14-year-old factory clerk Henry Allen to go to the bank every Friday and collect the men’s wages, and when he came out of the Capital and Counties Bank in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on New Year’s Eve, a Friday, in 1886, he was carrying a bag containing more than £100.

Unbeknown to young Henry, he was being watched. In fact, he had been watched these last three Fridays by Edward Pritchard, 20, a career criminal, and a friend, William Noyes.

As the boy went off down a quiet street the two predators followed him in a hired pony and trap. Later that day Henry was found lying in the street. His head had been severely battered with an axe and the £100 was missing. He died five days later in hospital.

Stroud was a small place at the time, and there were plenty of people who had seen the two men acting suspiciously. The pony and trap was traced and bloodstains were found on it. Pritchard and Noyes were soon arrested.

Noyes managed to convince the police that he had nothing to do with the murder – he left the scene, he claimed, before Pritchard attacked the boy. As a result Pritchard alone was convicted at Gloucester Assizes, and hanged on Thursday, February 17th, 1887, at Gloucester Prison.