All their married lives the Bowsers, who farmed 800 acres at Donnington in Lincolnshire, had quarrelled with each other – quarrels fuelled by their joint drinking habit. Matters came to an end on May 25th, 1897, when Joseph Bowser, 43, kicked his wife Susan, also 43, while she was feeding the chickens.

Susan writhed in agony on the ground while her husband continued to kick her viciously. Then he went to their farmhouse to fetch his shotgun. By the time he came back a maidservant was tending the injured Susan. Bowser said to his wife: “Now you have got to have it.” She replied: “Very well, you may do it.” The maidservant was still holding Susan’s hand when Bowser shot his wife through the head.

Defences of insanity and manslaughter both failed when he appeared at Lincoln Assizes, and he was hanged on Tuesday, July 27th, 1897, at Lincoln Prison.