How many fools serve mad jealousy, says Shakespeare in the Comedy of Errors, and that was written nearly 300 years before Thomas Day, a Birmingham factory worker, succumbed to mad jealousy and was hanged for it.
Soon after Days lover, Caroline Meek, gave birth to their daughter Lillian they split up. When Day heard that she had later married another man, he smouldered with rage. He set out to find her, tracking her down to her new home in Station Street, Ipswich.
Im going away, he told Caroline. I just called to ask if I could kiss little Lillian for the last time. He sat the child on his knee and promptly cut her throat. She died on her way to hospital.
Carolines new husband sprang at Day and during the melee it took several neighbours to hold down the jealous killer before the police arrived. He was tried at Norwich Assizes, sentenced to death, and hanged on Tuesday, November 13th, 1883, in Ipswich Prison. To the end he protested that it was an accident, and the knife had slipped as he tried to cut some hard tobacco.