Alice Myers was one of those wives who are as long-suffering as the Archangel Gabriel. Despite the fact that her husband had beaten her so badly that he was sent to prison for it, Alice lobbied the authorities for his early release. When at last she was successful, Joseph Myers returned to their home in Sheffield and laid about her with even greater fury than before.

Myers was said to be a good-natured fellow when he was sober, but that wasn’t very often. He had drunk several pints when he picked up a pair of scissors and stabbed Alice to death only days after she had secured his release.

It was a frenzied attack. He stabbed her in the face, neck, shoulder and breast. Then, filled with instant remorse, he made a weak attempt at suicide by cutting his throat with a table knife. He was taken to hospital, where he made another unsuccessful suicide bid, trying to throw himself out of a window.

He pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to death at West Riding Assizes on August 17th, 1864.

On September 9th, the day before he was due to die, his two young children, his son-in-law and other relatives visited him. Blaming drink for his crime, he begged their forgiveness. As they embraced him the prison chaplain asked them all to kneel and pray.

“I swore I would never kneel,” said Myers, bursting into tears, “but I will do so now.”

He was hanged next day, Saturday, September 10th, 1864, alongside James Sargisson, whose story is told next.