Was it an attempted burglary, or was it a business meeting that went wrong? The police said it was a burglary, but Frenchman Emile Barthelemy, described as a “ferociously repulsive man,” claimed it was a business meeting. It happened in Warren Street, London, when the Frenchman was visiting his former boss, George Moore, 60. A scuffle broke out and Barthelemy shot Moore dead.

Fleeing from the scene, he found his way blocked by Charles Collard, a neighbour of Mr. Moore, and shot him dead too. A group of passers-by tackled him and held him down until the police arrived.

At his trial at the Old Bailey, Barthelemy said that his gun had discharged accidentally when Mr. Moore was shot, and the shooting of Mr. Collard was in self-defence.

But the court was told that he had a history of gun-fighting. During an uprising in France in 1840 he shot a policeman and was sentenced to life. The new government then classed the crime as political and he was released immediately. He came to England and in 1853 fought a duel with a French naval officer at Egham in Surrey. The officer’s gun was tampered with so that Barthelemy could kill him, for which he was convicted only of manslaughter and given two months.

He was publicly hanged on Monday, January 22nd, 1855, at Newgate. As he fell through the trap-door there was “a tremendous cheer” from the crowd.