When the rather aptly named Mr. Ludlow went to the annual fair at Ludlow he generally stayed at the Angel Inn, and always in room 17. But on August 20th, 1840, there was a mix-up at the inn, and Mr. Ludlow had room 13. In room 17 was a Mr. MacKreth, and Josiah Mister, 25, was in room 20.

At 4 a.m. an intruder entered room 17, where MacKreth was sleeping. There was a terrific struggle, during which the intruder slashed MacKreth’s throat.

The hotel owner, aroused by the commotion, at first thought MacKreth had tried to commit suicide, but the trail of blood that led from room 17 to room 20 was self-evident. Mister’s guilt seemed complete: he was covered in blood and had been using alum, a chemical that removes blood from clothes. He was charged with attempted murder, then a capital offence.

Very curiously, Mister was prosecuted by a lawyer named Ludlow, who claimed that the motive was robbery, that the intended target was the guest Ludlow, and that MacKreth was only attacked because of the mix-up of rooms. Mister denied the crime, but was hanged on Saturday, April 3rd, 1841, outside Shrewsbury Prison.