Farmer Thomas Allen didn’t much like his daughter Elizabeth’s suitor. He didn’t intend giving his consent to her marriage to that young scoundrel.

The scoundrel was Noah Austin, 25, himself the son of a local farmer.

On February 13th, 1863, both Farmer Allen and Noah Austin set off for Bicester market – Allen in the company of another farmer and Austin with his father. At lunchtime Austin approached his intended father-in-law.

“My father has already left the market to return home,” he said. “I’m wondering therefore if you would oblige me with a lift back in your cart.”

Farmer Allen would have preferred otherwise, but he grudgingly agreed. On the way back he had to stop at another farm on business. He parked up his cart and as he disappeared up a lane towards the farmhouse two farm labourers heard two shots. Investigating, they found Farmer Allen shot dead with two bullets in his head. He had also been robbed.

Noah Austin had been seen sitting in the cart when Allen left it. He was the only suspect, despite his cries of innocence. The following month he was found guilty at the assizes of the murder and hanged outside Oxford Prison on Tuesday, MARCH 24th, 1863. His death-cell confession claimed that Farmer Allen was a drunk who was cruel to his daughter.