Victorian Hangings

James Rush

Jealousy and lust were inextricably mixed in the mind of James Rush whenever his mind turned to Stanfield Hall, owned by the local squire, Isaac Jermy. Rush leased a couple of farms from Jermy and, heavily in debt, rent day was an event he dreaded. He decided to wipe out all the family living at

Sarah Thomas

Chaos reigned at the home of 61-year-old Mrs. Jeffries in Bristol on March 4th, 1849. The old lady lay beaten to death in the living-room, her dog had been killed and thrown down the lavatory, and the house had been ransacked. Her servant, Sarah Thomas, 18, had gone off to her parents’ home. When police

John Logue

Farmer George Graham, of Ballymachrennan, County Down, rued the day when he hired John Logue, 21. The young farm labourer was an inveterate thief and when he made off with a sheep, farmer Graham turned him in to the police. Logue was sentenced to four years for the theft, and spent his time in prison

Edward Jones

When a gamekeeper is murdered in the execution of his duty the most likely culprit is a poacher. So it was when gamekeeper David Evans was murdered on an estate in Northop, Flintshire, on March 11th, 1840. The police quickly pulled in “a notorious poacher,” Edward Jones, 47, and a jury just as quickly convicted

Catherine Foster

How exciting life was in Bury St. Edmunds in the mid-19th century! That at any rate was the view of Mrs. Catherine Foster. Although she was only 18 and had been married less than a month, she was already fed up with matrimony, and thirsting for all the wonderful things her dream town of Bury

Vincent Walker

When a wife walks out, there’s no knowing what might happen next. Ship’s carpenter Vincent Walker was sure he knew what was happening when his wife left their matrimonial home in Hull. She had gone to live with her friend Mrs. Lydia White, and Walker was convinced that Mrs. White was encouraging her to sleep

William Chadwick

Pawnbroker’s assistant Walter Davies, 21, was cleaning out his shop cellar in Atherton, Bolton, when William Chadwick, 23, entered the shop and began stealing everything in sight. Mr. Davies raced upstairs to the shop and a fight started. Chadwick stabbed Mr. Davies in the neck, causing him to fall back down the stairs to the

Frances Kidder

“Some horses came along and frightened us. We panicked, and my little Louisa fell into the river and drowned.” So claimed Mrs. Frances Kidder, 25, explaining the death of her stepdaughter Louisa Kidder-Staple, 12, at Cobb’s Bridge, New Romney, in August 1867. She and Louisa, together with one of her own children, were on their

Richard, Bridget and Honorah Stackpole

The younger members of the Stackpole family were brimming with jealous rage as one of their number, James, approached his 21st birthday. This would be the day when, under the terms of a dead relative’s will, he would come into an allowance of £65 a year, a sum that would make him the richest of

Mary Timney

The last woman to be publicly executed in Scotland screamed for mercy and fainted as she was dragged to the gallows to be hanged outside Dumfries Prison on Tuesday, April 29th, 1862. She was Mary Timney, 27, who beat to death her neighbour Ann Hannah, 40, because, she alleged, Miss Hannah had refused to lend