Served with a court order for the maintenance of his illegitimate six-month-old son, George Hill, 20, arranged to meet the child’s mother near St. Albans station on July 4th, 1875, to discuss the payment method. His girl friend arrived with her baby and the couple walked towards a cornfield while Hill talked animatedly about renting rooms for the family.

Suddenly he stopped, produced a hammer from his jacket, and began beating his girl friend and the baby about their heads in a frenzied attack, all the time yelling, “This is for that piece of paper!” The girl recovered, but the baby died.

Hill’s plea of insanity failed at Hertford Assizes the following year and he was hanged at Hertford Prison on Monday, April 10th, 1876. A scaffold had to be specially built for the occasion, at a cost of £36. 9s. 6d. Hill was the last man hanged in the prison, which closed two years later.