Hanged at Durham

Hanged at Durham

£12.99

For decades the high walls of Durham Gaol have contained some of the country’s most infamous criminals. Until hanging was abolished in the 1960s it was also the main centre of execution for convicted killers from all over the north east.

Description

For decades the high walls of Durham Gaol have contained some of the country’s most infamous criminals. Until hanging was abolished in the 1960s it was also the main centre of execution for convicted killers from all over the north east. The history of execution at Durham Gaol began with the hanging of two labourers side by side in 1869, by the notorious hangman William Calcraft. Over the next ninety years a total of seventy-six people took the short walk to the gallows – including poisoner Mary Cotton, who for over a century was the worst mass murderer in Great Britain, Gateshead’s copycat Jack the Ripper, William Waddell, army deserter Brian Chandler, nineteen-year-old Edward Anderson, who murdered his blind uncle, a Teesside dock worker hanged on Christmas Eve, and a South African sailor who preferred death to ten years in prison. Infamous executioners also played a part in the gaol’s history – Calcraft, who preferred slow strangulation, Marwood, the pioneer of the ‘long drop’, bungling butcher Bartholemew Binns, the Billingtons, the Pierrepoint family, and Doncaster hangman Stephen Wade. Steve Fielding’s highly readable new book features each of the seventy-six cases in one volume for the first time and is fully illustrated with photographs, news cuttings and engravings. It is bound to appeal to anyone interested in the darker side of County Durham’s history.

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