Although he was only a poor Cornish miner and the father of seven children – his wife was about to give birth to an eighth – William Bartlett, 46, had an eye for the girls. While his wife was pregnant he began an affair with a nurse and she too became pregnant. Her child was born in the summer of 1882.

“Give the baby to me,” Bartlett suggested. “I know someone who’ll look after it for us.” Reluctantly his lover handed him the child, then just two weeks old. Bartlett went off with the baby, strangled it, and threw it down a mineshaft at Lanlivery in Cornwall.

The body was found soon afterwards, and Bartlett was brought to trial at Exeter Assizes. In the death cell his hair turned from jet black to pure white, and when he was hanged on Monday, November 13th, 1882, at Bodmin Prison, he was in a state of abject terror and begging for mercy.