“My great ambition is to go to England and settle down there,” Giovanni Kalabergo, 22, wrote from Italy to his uncle, Giovanni Kalabergo senior, who had owned a jewellery shop and watch repair business in Banbury, Oxfordshire, for the past 40 years.

Uncle Giovanni was a strict man. “You can come and stay with me, but you will have to behave like an English gentleman,” he wrote back sternly. “I will expect you to practise impeccable religious and moral behaviour.”

Young Giovanni agreed. He came to England and moved in with his uncle. But he soon grew to dislike his relative’s terms and conditions, which didn’t accord with his impulsive liking for the pretty maidens of Banbury. Angrily, Uncle Giovanni threatened to send him home.

What to do? The solution, the young man decided, was to kill his uncle. This simple plan would at once free him from the moral constraints and present him with a useful sum of money, since he was the sole beneficiary of his uncle’s will. So Giovanni bought a gun and on January 9th, 1852, followed uncle around on his work-related journey until he came to a quiet spot in the village of Williamscott. There the ungrateful nephew shot dead his generous benefactor.

Young Giovanni was arrested and brought before Oxford magistrates, where he made a dramatic escape bid. After that he was kept permanently in irons until he was brought to the gallows.

He pleaded his innocence two months later at Oxford Assizes, but was found guilty. He confessed in the death cell and was hanged on Monday, March 22nd, 1852, before a crowd of 10,000 outside Oxford Prison.