Jane Banham, 25, a dancer in a travelling fair which arrived in Armley, Leeds, in the late summer of 1856, told her boy friend, 22-year-old John Hannah, with whom she lived on and off: “I’m leaving you. I’ll be staying at my dad’s place from now on.”

Hannah, a tailor, was distraught. Knowing that Jane and her father would be drinking in the Malt Inn at Armley, he went there to plead with her to come back to him. When she refused he pulled her by her hair into a private room in the pub. A commotion broke out among the drinkers and when the door of the room was opened, the shocked customers watched in horror as Hannah cut Jane’s throat with a razor. She died two hours later.

A defence of provocation failed at York Assizes three months later, and Hannah was hanged at noon on Saturday, December 27th, 1856, outside York Prison before a crowd of 5,000. Victorian murder stories from True Crime Library.

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