Women needed to keep clear of William Woods, a 58-year-old down-and-out hawker. Following a succession of arguments with his girl friend, Bridget McGovern, in Bushmills, County Antrim, he stripped her, beat her and then cut her throat with a razor. He was hanged at Belfast Prison on Friday, January 11th, 1901, for her murder.

After the jury’s verdict it emerged that Woods had already served nine years of a 12-year sentence for killing a previous girl friend, Mary Irwin. He had stripped her, tied her to a cart and thrashed her before cutting her throat and slashing her body with a scythe. On that occasion he was acquitted of murder and found guilty only of manslaughter on the grounds of her “provocation.”