Living in Rochdale, Charles James Caldwell, 49, was an unemployed labourer whose family had a lot to put up with. The NSPCC had investigated allegations against him of cruelty and neglect; he lived on his wife’s wages as a seamstress, spending most of the money on drink; and the quarrel that erupted between them on FEBRUARY 4th, 1938, was the last straw for Mrs. Caldwell.

Her husband complained that she wasn’t giving him enough beer money, and said she was too easy-going with their son who was forever changing jobs. The boy must leave home, Caldwell insisted. So his wife and daughter decided to leave too.

The next day Caldwell smashed all his furniture in a fit of rage, and on February 7th his wife took our a summons for a separation order which was served two days later.

On February 13th he waited for her to leave work, and when she refused to return to him he stabbed her in the chest.

At his Manchester Assizes trial for her murder his defence was insanity, but this was not supported by medical evidence. Convicted and sentenced to death, he was hanged at the city’s Strangeways Prison.