“I was angry because my wife would not perform her wifely duties and sleep in my bed with me,” explained John Coppen, 32, at his trial at the Old Bailey for murdering his wife Emma, 18. “She even told me she would do the same again.”

Emma, indeed, had had more than enough. Her husband kept a coffee house in Church Street, Camberwell Green, but was much more addicted to alcohol than to coffee. He regularly came home drunk, and it was on the night of August 27th, 1874, that she finally snapped and went off to sleep in another room.

Coppen didn’t wait for his breakfast next morning. Instead he picked up a butcher’s knife he had just borrowed from a neighbour and stabbed Emma to death. For that, he was hanged on Tuesday, October 13th, 1874, at Horsemonger Lane Prison.