Victorian Hangings

Bryan Grant, Neil Quin and Patrick Coomey

They called themselves the Ribbonmen, and they were an Irish Republican movement that began in the north of Ireland at the end of the 18th century. Membership was united in secret societies and wore a green ribbon as their emblem. The Ribbonmen movement was a form of resistance among poor agricultural workers to what they

George Hill

Served with a court order for the maintenance of his illegitimate six-month-old son, George Hill, 20, arranged to meet the child’s mother near St. Albans station on July 4th, 1875, to discuss the payment method. His girl friend arrived with her baby and the couple walked towards a cornfield while Hill talked animatedly about renting

Mary Ansell

The face of Caroline Ansell, an inmate of Watford mental asylum, lit up with glee. Another cake had arrived from her sister Mary – the second this month. She shared the treat round the ward, and promptly half a dozen inmates became violently ill. Caroline herself was among them, and she died five days later.

William and James Lightfoot

Detective Charles Jackson could have been a role model for Sherlock Holmes. His bosses in the London Constabulary told him: “Go down to Bodmin in Cornwall and solve this murder mystery.” This was in the winter of 1840, and in those days many Londoners would have thought of Bodmin as the end of the world.

Elias Lucas and Mary Reeder

Although little Miss Mary Reeder was 20, everyone agreed she didn’t look more than 15. That was one of the reasons why she caught the lusting eye of Elias Lucas, 25, a farm worker. One thing, however, stood firmly in the way of Lucas’s ambition – Mary was his wife’s younger sister. That didn’t seem

Catherine Moore

Their marriage had failed and they were living apart – but for Catherine Moore that wasn’t enough. She wanted vengeance on her husband Patrick. With honeyed words, the promise of a good bottle of Irish whisky, and a sharp knife concealed in her blouse, she lured him to a stretch of lonely bogland and murdered

Serafin Manzano

Aschombe House, near Tollard Royal in Wiltshire, is a grand home, set in 1,000 acres of land, and since 2001 it has had a distinguished owner in iconic singer Madonna. A century and a half ago a Spaniard named Serafin Manzano, 29, was seen wandering around the area looking for work and begging. Early in

Richard Thorley

Young Eliza Barrow liked nothing better than to lighten her dull life with a bit of flirting with the soldiers garrisoned in Derby, where she lived in Agard Street. But this was something calculated to enrage her boy friend, factory worker and local boxer Richard Thorley, 26, who knocked her about unmercifully if she so

Robert Burton

At 18 the apprentice carpenter decided he was tired of life. “I’ve had enough,” Robert Burton said. “I just want to die now.” So far life for him had been a bit of a rollercoaster. After his father threw him out of the family house he enlisted in the West Kent Militia just to collect

John Smith and John Wiles

Prisoners in Taunton Prison were paraded on the morning of Wednesday, April 23rd, 1851, and ordered to watch a double hanging immediately outside the wall, as a deterrent. On the scaffold were John Smith, 32, and John Wiles, 56, who attacked Mr. and Mrs. William Wilkins, septuagenarian owners of a general store in Nempnett village,

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