Drink was having disastrous effects on the marriage of Barnstaple butcher William Hussell, 29, and his wife Mary, 27. Drunk, depressed and in despair, he came back to his home in Diamond Street on October 5th, 1877, and stabbed Mary with a pig-knife while she was breast-feeding their baby.

Hussell walked to the scaffold at Exeter Prison on Monday, November 19th, 1877, with a firm step, but cried bitterly before he was hanged.