The wedding day was only a week away when Florence Adams announced to her fianc?: “I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to marry you after all.”

John Gurd, 29, was flabbergasted. After a moment’s thought, he decided that Florence’s uncle, Henry Richards, had put her up to it. He met Richards for a drink in Melksham, Wiltshire, on April 9th, 1892, and afterwards they went for a walk together. As they strolled along the canal bank Gurd shot Richards twice.

Fleeing the scene, he became a fugitive hiding out in the surrounding countryside. Hungry and tired, he tried to rouse the landlord of a pub at Corsley, near Warminster, in the middle of the night, hoping to get some food. When the landlord refused him, Gurd shot his horse and fled.

The police were summoned, and Gurd was surrounded on the Warminster road, near the entrance to Longleat Park. Deciding to make a fight of it, he fired two shots. One of them hit Sergeant Enos Molden, 49, who died shortly afterwards in hospital.

Gurd was finally captured and, despite pleading insanity, was hanged for the two murders on Tuesday, July 26th, 1892, in Devizes Prison.