They were the neighbours from hell, rowdy, drunk and belligerent. Every night Nathaniel Mobbs, a 32-year-old cooper, would strip his wife Caroline, 31, and flog her. For this he was known as General Haynau, after a sadistic Austrian general who executed and flogged Hungarian and Italian nationalists, including many women, in the mid-century.

Emerging from her nocturnal ordeal each morning, Caroline would complain to neighbours that her husband committed “unspeakable acts” on her.

The family, husband, wife and four children, lived in one room in Goodman’s Yard, Whitechapel, and when the landlady, tired of the continual complaints, served them with notice to quit, Mobbs cut Caroline’s throat, and then his own. She died on the way to hospital, while he survived.

The court was told at his trial that they had been married for only a year – the children all came from her previous marriage. “She was always abusing the kids,” Mobbs told the jury in self-justification. For extra measure he added: “And she engaged in intimacy with a policeman.”

He was hanged on Monday, November 21st, 1853, outside Newgate Prison.