“My wife sleeps around with lots of men,” Thomas Bloxham, a 62-year-old factory worker, complained to his friends in the pub. “One of these days I’m going to kill her for it.” They fell silent, wondering, if his allegation were true, how Ann Bloxham, who was 48 and had 11 children, managed to find the time.

Whether it was true or not, Bloxham was evidently tired of his 20 years of marriage, punctuated by constant rows at their home in Fairfax Street, Leicester. He went out and bought a revolver, and next day loaded it and fired it at his wife. He missed, so he then cut her throat, almost severing her head in his zeal.

Next, in a suicide bid, he turned the revolver on himself, but the gun misfired. After that he gave up and called the police.

At his trial he insisted on conducting his own defence. He never told anyone he was going to kill his wife, he said. It was a suicide pact, and she had stabbed herself first. When she failed to kill herself, he completed the job for her. None of this, however, was reconcilable with the medical evidence, and the jury found him guilty without retiring. He was hanged on Monday, February 14th, 1887, at Leicester Prison.