“If I can’t have her, then no one is going to!” So said James Kelly, 24, an Irishman, to his workmates at the mill at Heaton Norris, Stockport, where he worked. He was referring to mill girl Elizabeth Faulkner, with whom he had been going out for the past six months.

Elizabeth told Kelly she wanted to break off their association after a girl friend of hers had told her something about Kelly’s adventurous past with other women. Kelly tried in vain to get her to reconsider, and when she refused he uttered his dire threat.

And he was as good as his word. At 6 a.m. on September 15th, 1848, he waited outside the mill for Elizabeth to come to work. When she arrived he beckoned her towards him, threw his arm around her neck, pulled out a knife and slit her throat.

When he was arrested Kelly asked if he could see her body in the mortuary. “I want to make sure she’s dead,” he said.

On December 14th at Liverpool Assizes he pleaded guilty to murder and was hanged on Saturday, January 6th, 1849.