Fellow-miners complained continuously about their colleague George Howe until their boss, John Pickup, manager of Townsley Colliery, Burnley, finally sacked him. Howe swore revenge, and on New Year’s Eve, 1897, he ferociously attacked the colliery manager, hitting him about the head with a walking stick. Eight days later Mr. Pickup died, and Howe, 34, was indicted for murder.

At his trial he maintained that he never intended serious injury, but he was convicted of murder and hanged on Tuesday, February 22nd, 1898, at Strangeways.