Every morning Mary Davis, 39, went into the garden of her tiny seaside cottage in Borth, Cardiganshire, and gazed out to sea. Her sailor husband would soon be coming home, and she would tell him of the joyous news – they now had enough money for him not to have to go to sea ever again.

In all, she had saved £240, and she kept £40 of it in cash in the cottage.

Unfortunately everyone in Borth seemed to know about Mary’s money and her plans. On the night of September 21st, 1894, the cottage was burgled, the cash was all gone, and Mary lay murdered, suffocated by a pillow, on her bed.

Four days later her brother-in-law, Thomas Richards, 41, was arrested in Neath, in the act of presenting a forged bank withdrawal note in order to draw on some of the remaining £200. Searched by police, he was found to have a lot of cash, and Mary’s wedding ring, on him.

“I blame it all on drink,” Richards said sorrowfully in the witness-box at Carmarthen Assizes. He was hanged on Thursday, November 29th, 1894, at Carmarthen Prison, in what was to be the last execution in the town.