Everyone was a bit puzzled when 45-year-old Richard Rowlands married a widow but continued to sleep alone at his parents’ home. What was the purpose of that, they asked?

It was soon clear. In November 1861, four months after the probably unconsummated marriage, Rowlands waylaid his 70-year-old father-in-law, farmer Richard Williams, as the old man was on his way home after an evening out. He beat the farmer to death with a hammer, and when the body was found next morning suspicion soon fell on him.

“He must have had a fit on his way home, and never made it,” Rowlands told police. Then, naively, he added: “I don’t think he was killed with a hammer.”

He was charged with murder, and at Anglesey Assizes the prosecution deduced that the motive was to gain control of his father-in-law’s Llanfairfaethiu, Anglesey, farm, through his new wife. He was hanged outside Beaumaris Prison on Friday, April 4th, 1862, in what was to be the last execution at Beaumaris.