What did pub landlords do in their spare time in Queen Victorias reign? William Baker, 35, landlord of The Railway Vaults pub in Liverpool, used to go drinking at other pubs. Thats what he was doing with a group of friends on July 10th, 1875, and when closing time arrived, he and his pals set off for one of the many illegal drinking dens and brothels that proliferated around the citys docklands in the 19th century.
But the club owner decided that they were too late and too drunk, and refused them admission.
At that moment Charles Langan, 31, an enemy of Bakers, and a group of his friends, exited from the club. The two parties glowered at each other, words and expletives were exchanged, and Baker pulled out a revolver and shot Langan dead.
At his trial he protested that Langan and his pals had threatened him. The jury were unimpressed, although they did recommend mercy. That was to no avail, and Baker was hanged on Monday, September 6th, 1875, at Kirkdale Prison. He kept company on the gallows with Edward Cooper, a 33-year-old American sailor who murdered a shipmate on board a British ship bound for Chile.