Things started going violently downhill for Joel Fisher, 52, landlord of the Devonshire Inn, Weston-super-Mare, when he re-married after the death of his first wife. The new woman in his life was Mary Hyatt, an ill-tempered woman whose two grown-up children hated Fisher.

The family argued, split up, stole from each other and exchanged blows. If Fisher persisted with his disastrous second marriage it was because he couldn’t read or write, and relied upon his wife to do the pub’s accounts. As an old soldier who had been with the colours for 25 years and had fought at Waterloo, he was probably used to hardship anyway.

But on June 4th, 1844, he finally snapped, felling his 56-year-old wife with an iron bar and then cutting her throat to the bone. He was hanged on Wednesday, September 4th, 1844, outside Taunton Prison before a crowd of around 5,000.

When the conviction was announced in court Fisher handed his Waterloo Campaign Medal to his eldest son. “Keep this to remember me,” he said. “I just wish I’d been killed in the battle.”