They had been married for 50 years, and arguing and fighting for nearly as long, so there was to be no Darby and Joan happy ending for William Ockold and his wife Sophia.

Ockold, a 70-year-old Worcester tailor, finally lost patience with her on November 8th, 1862 and attacked her about the head with a broom handle, beating her so savagely that she died.

The cause of his complaint this time was that Sophia’s kidney infection was keeping him awake at night.

When he was found guilty at Worcester Assizes the jury added a strong recommendation for mercy on account of his age and his wife’s own violence towards him. The recommendation was sent to Home Secretary Sir George Grey, who rejected it. Consequently, on Friday, January 2nd, 1863, Ockold became the last man to be publicly hanged at Worcester.