Florence Galloway was only 17 but she was head over heels in love. She was a domestic servant in a Manchester suburb and her beau, George Pigott, drove the tram she caught when making visits to her mother in Lower Broughton, Salford. But George never talked about marriage, and that perplexed Florence.

One day he told her: “I’m giving up my job and trying my luck in Birmingham.” Florence was flabbergasted. “What about me?” she demanded to know. “What about us?”

Pigott gave her a kiss. “Of course I want you to come too,” he said. And although he told her he couldn’t really afford to marry her at the moment, to her mother’s shock and horror she packed her bags and set off to Birmingham to live with him.

She was soon to discover that living with Pigott was not nearly as romantic as riding on his tram. He got drunk and beat her regularly, and became very possessive. Florence was cowed, and within a year she was pregnant. Facing up to his terrible temper, she told him, “We’ll have to get married now.”

But Pigott, instead of creating a scene, burst into floods of tears. “I can’t marry you, luv,” he sobbed. “I’ve already got a wife and three children.”

Next morning Florence pawned a few items to buy a train ticket to Manchester. She was going back to mother.

But Pigott guessed as much, and with all the zeal of a star-crossed lover he pursued her. For days he waited outside her house in Lawn Street, but she refused to come out. Finally he sent her mother a note via a small boy, purporting to come from a Mrs. Wilson, and invited her and her daughter round for tea. When Florence and her mother came out on the street at the appointed hour, he surfaced from nowhere and blocked their path.

“Go away to your poor wife and children!” yelled Mrs. Galloway. Pigott tried to reason with her, and she began to scream. When he said: “Won’t you let me do anything for Florence?” Mrs. Galloway shouted, “No! No!” At this Pigott raised his hand to Florence’s head and said quietly: “Take that.”

A shocked Mrs. Galloway heard a deafening explosion and saw the flash from a pistol. She felt her daughter go limp in her arms. “Murder!” she screamed as Pigott turned and fled. “Murder!”

Florence died two days later in hospital, not before making a statement identifying her killer. Pigott, arraigned at Manchester Assizes in January 1878, was sentenced to death. The man who loved too many women was hanged on Monday, February 4th 1878, at Strangeways Prison. His last words on the scaffold were, “Lord Jesus receive my soul.”