The execution of William Ockold

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The execution of William Ockold

Postby MarkCDodd » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:12 am

I could not find a death entry for this cousin of mine so I started searching the historical newspapers to see if I could find an obituary.

Up popped 78 articles on the murder of his wife, Sophia, and the subsequent inquest, trial, conviction and execution of William Ockold.

They do not register the deaths of those who are executed.

On reading the articles I found they were a terrific insight into the changing opinions of the public on capital punishment and the living conditions of the poorer residents of Oldbury.

Less than 50 years earlier people were being routinely hung for stealing £1 worth of hankies. When William was executed in 1863, it had been seven years since the last execution in Worcester.

I will upload two articles, the first being from "Berrow's Worcester Journal" of January 3rd 1863. I will upload this in three parts as it is rather large.

The second article is from "The Birmingham Daily Post" of the same date that dramatically demonstrates the social factors behind the murder and public execution.

I think this is a fairly interesting piece of Black Country social history. I find it personally facinating as many characters mentioned in the articles are also cousins of mine and some are in the BCC tree.

I have included all the spelling and puntuation of the original articles. You will note some Back Country jergon being used....
Last edited by MarkCDodd on Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Part 1. Berrow's Worcester Journal - 03/02/1863

Postby MarkCDodd » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:14 am

The extreme sentence of the law was carried out this (Friday) morning in front of the County Gaol, in this city, on William Ockold, who was condemned to death by Mr. Justice Mellor, at the recent winter assize. It is now seven years since this city has been the scene of an execution, the last one previous to this of Ockold being that of Joseph Meadows, who was hanged on the 5th August 1855, for the murder of his sweetheart, Ann Mason, at Kates Hill, Near Dudley. The other executions over during the past thirty-two years have been as follows:- Robert Pulley , for murder, March 26, 1849; William Lightband, murder, March 23, 1837; Robert Lilley, murder, March 12, 1834; Joseph and James Carter, highway robbery, March 22, 1833; Thomas Slaughter, arson, March 25, 1831; Thomas Turner, rape, August 13, 1830; Charles Wall, murder, July 30, 1830; Michael Toll, murder, March 12, 1830.

The history of the crime for which Ockold underwent the penalty of death may be briefly told. An old man, 69 years of age, Ockold lived with his wife, a woman about his own age, to whom he had been married for the long term of 50 years, in a small house in Halesowen Street, Oldbury, and worked there at his trade, that of a tailor. Their family had grown up and left home, the old couple living alone. A young woman, named Maria Grazebrook, a servant at a public-house, was upon intimate terms with Mrs. Ockold and her husband, indeed so much that she usually called them “grandmother” and “grandfather”. On Friday, the 7th Nov. last, Grazebrook visited them, and found Mrs. Ockold sitting on the floor, apparently in pain, and her husband at his work on the table. Mrs. Ockold, it was known, was suffering from an internal disease, and on declining to allow Grazebrook to make her some tea, he husband said she, “wanted to go to bed and groan and keep him awake again all night,” adding that “she should not do it that night.” Later in the evening, the son of the old couple and their daughter-in-law went to the house and carried Mrs. Ockold to bed. Still later on the same evening, Ockold went to a public-house and drunk half a pint of beer. Entering into conversation about his wife he spoke affectionately of her, saying that “she was very ill,” but “the doctor was coming again to see her.” After this it seems he returned home. Early in the morning the next day, Saturday, Hutchings, a police-constable, passing by the house overheard Ockold cursing and swearing at some one who seemed to be above the stairs, and mocking groans which issued from that quarter. He is also heard to swear that that if some one, whom he had previously called “a ___ old cat,” did not come down stairs “he would ____.” The rest of the sentence or threat being lost. This was about three o’clock. An hour later, a labourer attending horses in a stable a few yards from Ockold’s house, is attracted to it by a noise within, and he hears Ockold calling some one “an old ____” and the voice as of Mrs. Ockold saying, “Oh, Bill, don’t kill me, for my head is ready to split.” Policeman and stableman content themselves with listening, the reason for non-interference being that rows of the description were not unusual occurrences in the house. About half past seven o’clock that morning, Ockold revisits the public-house where he drank the half pint of beer on the previous night, and drinking another half pint of beer was asked by the landlady how his wife was. His answer was, “I have laid her straight out on the floor.” He further said she was not dead, but he had given it to her for going off on the previous afternoon, with a man named John Hadley, and getting drunk. He left and went home, and about half-past eight o’clock, Grazebrook going to the house finds him on his table at work. In reply to a question he said he “did not know how his wife was,” and being questioned as to a bruise and blood upon his hand, said it was from “giving his wife a punch in the mouth for going off with Hadley and getting drunk.” Knowing the state in which Mrs. Ockold was in the previous afternoon, Grazebrook said “why was she not able to walk across the house, let alone go and get drunk.” He said he did not know till that morning that she was drunk, for she came in at night as sat at work and he did not notice her. Grazebrook, on this, went to the bottom of the stairs, and Ockold remarked “You baint a going up stairs.” She said she was not; but having called “grandmother” several times without obtaining an answer, she ran up and saw Mrs. Ockold lying on the floor partially dressed and dead. There were bruises and abrasions on her arm and blood upon her face. The blood was then getting dry. Grazebrook went downstairs and charged the old man with killing his wife. He said, “her is not dead, her’s only asleep.” The neighbours were then called in; blood was noticed smeared the stairs. On the table where Ockold worked there lay a piece of a mopstick, recently broken. To the people who came into the house and charged Ockold with killing his wife, he said he “did not do it wilfully,” and when in custody at the police station he said “he only struck her once,” and that he “knocked the skin off his fingers against her teeth.” It was known, however, that the deceased had no teeth. Besides the abrasions on his hands and the blood which he washed off, there was blood on his shirt and trowsers. At the trial, the medical evidence showed that, though deceased was chronically diseased, death was caused by a rupture of a blood vessel, brought about by external injuries. Such injuries appeared on the deceased in a broken cheek bone and a wound on the temple. These injuries were such as might be inflicted by blows from a mopstick. It was also shown the deceased was not drinking, or out with the man Hadley on the day before the murder was discovered, and as was alleged by Ockold. On these facts the wretched old man was found guilty of the wilful murder of his wife, but recommended to mercy. He was sentenced in the usual way and left for execution.

During the whole of the trial Ockold maintained an account of self-possession which, to the spectator, appeared to be complete indifference to the result, although he was not inattentive to the proceedings. Only once did he manifest any particular interest, and that was on the return of the jury into court with their verdict. He then did little more than look towards them, and when the verdict, which in all probability was to send him to execution, was delivered, he heard it without apparent emotion. The solemn words of the learned judge, in pronouncing sentence of death, had no more effect upon him, and he was taken out of the court apparently unmoved. His indifference, however, was more that of stolidity than bravado. Whilst in gaol, the convict maintained the same stolid demeanour. The chaplain, the Rev. J. Adlington, was unremitting in his attentions to the old man, visiting him twice a day. Up to Sunday last, the seat occupied by Ockold, in the chapel, was screened off from that of the other prisoners, but as he stated that he had no wish to be kept from the gaze of other, the screen was removed previous to Sunday last, when the condemned sermon was preached, in the most impressive manner, by the Rev. J Adlington, who took for his text Isaiah, c. XLIV, v. 20, “He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, the he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand.” The prisoner seemed to listen to what was said, but not to give much thought to the truths which were brought before him by the rev. gentleman. On Monday last, Ockold received a letter, couched in the most pathetic terms, from his daughter. The letter was dated Sunday, the 28th Dec.; and when asked how it was the he showed no emotion, he said that perhaps he might feel it all the same. He made no confession of his guilt, declaring on the contrary that he did not cause the death of his wife. Yesterday (Thursday), he was visited by his son Thomas (who was one of the witnesses at the trial), who asked him to tell him how his mother’s death was caused. The old man said they (he and his wife) had been quarrelling, and that he went upstairs and hit her in the mouth, because she would not go to bed; the he went down-stairs again and proceeded with his work, and that shortly afterwards he heard he tumble off the bed; that he went upstairs and found her lying on the floor, with her head and arms partly over the stairs, and that her arms were moving about. (He then moved his arms about in the way which he said his wife’s were moving). The son pressed the old man to say how he did the deed, but he repeated that he did not kill her and said, “I never did it, it was not from anything she had from me that her died.” He also told his son that the old woman was in the habit of dressing herself on the bed, and that when she met with her death, no doubt she fell off and so killed herself. Melancholy as it may appear, the condemned man persisted in his dogged firmness and indifference to the last; and even so late as yesterday, when reminded of the shortness of his time on earth, he replied sharply, that was a pleasant thing to be reminded of. Then too, when he saw his son, he said, “I’m glad the you’ve come to-day, for if you had come this time to-morrow, you would have found me a corpse!”
As we have already said, the jury recommended the wretched culprit to mercy, and his great age, the absence of sufficient motive for the crime, and the possibility of death ensuing from other causes than those assigned, gave the public the impression that the extreme sentence of the law would not be carried out, but would be commuted into one of imprisonment for which must be the short remainder of his days. So general was the impression that until quite recently no combined efforts were made to influence the authorities in his favour. The first to move in the matter were the inhabitants of Oldbury, who, shortly after his condemnation, addressed a petition to the Secretary of State. Last week the Magistrates of the city or Worcester adopted a similar course. On Sunday, the Rev. H. B. Boullby, of Oldbury, received a reply to the petition sent form that town, which he read to the congregation assembled for divine worship. It was to the effect that Sir George Grey did not see sufficient reasons to interfere with the course of justice. On Tuesday, the following communication was received in reply to the memorial by the city magistrates:-
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Re: The execution of William Ockold

Postby snoopysue » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:57 pm

So, it's worth noting that if you can't find a death for someone then look and see if he/ she was executed!!!

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Part 2: Appeal and Execution

Postby MarkCDodd » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:36 am

“Whitehall, December 27, 1862.
“Sir, - I am directed by Secretary Sir George Grey, to acknowledge the receipt of a memorial presented by you to the Mayor and Magistrates of Worcester, on behalf of William Ockold, now under sentence of death for the murder of his wife. Sir George Grey would have been very glad of he could have satisfied himself that there were sufficient grounds for complying with the prayer of this memorial, and of another which he had previously received, which prayed for the communication of the sentence on the ground that the prisoner was not of sound minds when he killed his wife. Of the latter allegation – which, indeed, is rather suggested as probable than affirmed as a fact – there is no evidence whatever. He has, therefore, only to consider the evidence given at the trial, which he has carefully read, and the recommendation to mercy with which the verdict was accompanied. The attack by the prisoner on his wife appears from the evidence to have been wanton and unprovoked. She was so weak and ill as to be unable to make any effectual resistance, and the violence used and the repeated blows must have been struck were such as, under such circumstances, would not fail to produce death. She was heard crying out to him “not to kill her,” or “that he would kill her;” and that the state of her body, as proved by the medical witness, afforded ample evidence of the determination with which the prisoner acted in the commission of the crime. The Jury recommended the prisoner to mercy on account of his extreme age, and nothing having transpired detrimental to his previous character. Character may be entitled to much weight where doubt exists to the facts, but not so where the crime is clearly proved to have been committed; but were it otherwise, the recommendation on the ground of character seems in this case scarcely consistent with the evidence of bad feeling of the prisoner towards his wife, and of the language used by him to her. The age of the prisoner, Sir George grey is informed, is 69. He cannot agree in the opinion that a murder committed by a person of this age is on that account only to be exempt from the penalty attached to it by law. He fears that if he yielded to the consideration he should be establishing a precedent which would be detrimental to the due administration of criminal law. Under these circumstances he much regrets the he does not feel it consistent with his duty to advice any interference in case with the ordinary course of law.
“I am, sir, your obedient servant,
“Sir Edmund Lechmere, High Sheriff of Worcestershire.”
Another memorial, signed by the Earl of Dudley, as Chairman of Quarter Sessions, T.G. Cutler, Esq., Vice-chairman, and other county magistrates, was taken to London, on Monday, by Mr. Stable, the governor of the Gaol. On presenting it at the Home Office, Mr. Stable found that Sir George Grey was absent from town. He, therefore, left the memorial in charge of the Under-secretary, who forwarded it to Sir George Grey. On Tuesday a second memorial was sent from Oldbury, signed by the persons comprising the coroner’s jury, on whose verdict Ockold was committed for trial. As was to be expected after Sir George Grey’s letter, given above, the subsequent memorials had no effect.


Pending the reply to the memorials from Sir George Grey, the authorities, as a matter of course, proceeded with the erection of the gallows. The work was entrusted to Messrs. Wood and Son, and was most efficiently performed. During its progress, it was narrowly watched by the curious, end every day saw little group of spectators in front of the gaol.
The gallows was erected in the curtain between the east and central tower of the gaol, and as it stood immediately opposite the Infirmary-walk, it was in the best position it could occupy to give room for the crowd of spectators at the execution. The apparatus was of the usual description, consisting of a platform and gangway and drop. Standing out against the grey sky, at midnight on Thursday, the profile of the machine was revealed in all its hideousness, and there were a few, if any, of the persons who saw it under the circumstances but must have felt uncomfortable at the sight. At the time mentioned, however, there were very few persons present and these rapidly thinned, so that by one o’clock the space in front of the gaol was left to the doubled patrols which the Superintendent of the City Police had thoughtfully put to duty. The criminal, the hour of whose punishment so closely approached, was left by the Chaplain at about nine o’clock in the evening. Shortly afterwards he went to bed, the attendants in the room with him. Directly after getting into bed he fell into a sound sleep, and did not wake till about two o’clock. From that time he was restless and disturbed, getting up two or three times, and appeared to become a little more aware of the dreadful position he occupied. The night was a fearful one for wind and rain, and no doubt the weather had its effect in limiting the number of spectators from a distance, which on this occasion was considerably smaller than usual. By their appearance it may be inferred that the great bulk of those who came from a distance were residents and Dudley, Oldbury, and the neighbourhood of the locality in which the murder was committed. It was not till six o’clock this (Friday) morning that the spectators began to assemble, and the only a few stragglers made their appearance, but, as the morning wore on, the arrivals became more numerous, and towards eight o’clock persons of all ages came pouring up in continuous streams. At its greatest the mob – for so we must call it, in the entire absence of any respectable person – consisted of between 4,000 and 5,000 persons, and was remarkable for the number of women and children in it, being a far greater proportion then we ever before saw at an execution. To make the matter worse, many women, and men too, had brought infants and children of tender years in their arms to witness the horrible spectacle. Persons were engaged in distributing tracts and handbills among the spectators, one of the bills bearing a singularly appropriate, or perhaps mal-appropriate woodcut of “The last sleep of the Argyle,” and two men delivered addresses of a religious character to the crown and invited them to join in prayer and singing hymns. It must be said, to the credit of all present, that their conduct was not unbecoming the occasion, and if there may have been levity among some, there were none of those disgraceful acts which have been done by other towns. There was an utter absence of ballad singing, “chaffing” and practical joking; and nothing call for the interference of the police. So far as could be gathered, the spectators whiled away the time by discussing the details of the murder, and the possibility of a reprieve, and in wild surmises as to what was going on inside the gaol. There is but one house in the locality that commands a view of that part of the gaol where the gallows were erected; and instead of the windows of this house being occupied by spectators, as would have been the case elsewhere, the blinds were kept down, and none even of the inmates were to be seen.
Between six and seven this (Friday) morning, the condemned man rose from his bed for the last time, and at the usual hour partook of a good meal of tea and bread and butter. Afterwards he was visited by the chaplain, who remained with him for nearly an hour, exhorting him to remember how soon he was to render up his account of all his earthly deeds. All the preparations for the execution being complete, at half-past eight the prisoner was brought by the Governor and the officials, from his cell to his death. He wore the same clothes in which he was dressed at his trial, and outwardly there was the same quiet self-possessed air about him which he had all along borne, and very few who have outrages the laws of the country as he had done, and who have had to suffer the stern but righteous sentence, which awards a life for a life, have conducted themselves more firmly on the day of death. A procession was then formed, consisting of the Under-Sheriff, T.G. Hyde, Esq.; the Governor of the Gaol, B.L. Stable, Esq.; the Chaplain, the Deputy-Governor, Mr. Crosbie; Mrs. Elliot, the Clerk of the Gaol, and others, together with the culprit and the executioner, and a number of the warders; Mr. J. Woodward, the Surgeon of Gaol, was also in attendance. On the procession moving, the Chaplain commenced reading the burial service, which was continued until the eastern central tower was reached, by which means access was had to the gallows. The pinioning-room was a chamber just over the gate warden’s lodge, and here a halt was made and the prisoner was pinioned by Calcraft, the executioner. The culprit underwent the ceremony firmly, but in spite of his efforts, a tear rolled down his aged cheek. He speedily regained his firmness, however, the procession proceeding on its way, and reaching the leads the burial service was continued.
About eight o’clock the attention of the spectators was arrested by the appearance of the Governor of the Gaol and the executioner on the scaffold, which they examined and saw that the preparations were complete. The death bell in the gaol too, began to give out its mournful sounds. At half-past eight a few javelin men, under Mr. Bennett, took their position on the platform, and in a few minutes after the procession appeared. Ockold, followed closely by the executioner, walked with a firm step across the platform to the steps leading to the drop, and when he turned his face towards the spectators a shudder seemed to run through all who looked upon him, and the feeling found relief in a few smothered groans. The sight of this aged man, with his hard featured and pail face, white hair and whiskers, and spare form, steadily ascending to the drop, and then taking his place underneath the gallows, appeared to have an impressive effect upon the crowd. The executioner at once proceeded to adjust the rope, and with some difficulty, owing to its tightness, drew the cap over Ockold’s face. He then shook hands with him, and the criminal’s last words to him were, “I suppose I’m going now.” As the executioner was descending the steps, the sound of some ejaculation or groan from the convict’s lips reached the crowd, and there was a cry of “hush” – the stillness of the grave followed. The sounds which fell indistinctly upon the crowd did issue from the wretched man’s mouth, and to those who were near they took the shape of “Oh, Lord, have mercy upon my soul! Oh, Lord, have mercy upon me! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!” The bolt was drawn, and the body fell with a sharp rebound; a hoarse murmur ran through the crowd, and after a very slight movement of the legs and hands the body settled into its position, death being almost instantaneous.
The mob rapidly thinned after this, but the greater number remained till the body was cut down, after hanging the usual time. It was then lowered into the coffin at the foot of the drop, and was afterwards buries beside the graves of the two other murderers – Pulley, who was hanged in 1849, and Meadow, who was executed in 1855 – in ground within the precincts of the gaol, and situated under the gaol wall which runs along by Easy-row. The culprit died as was remarked, very easily, but it was found when the body was removed that the halter had cut right through the skin of the neck. Calcraft, who arrived in this city yesterday afternoon, and was accommodated with lodgings within the gaol, left again at about ten this morning for the railway station, en route for Liverpool, where he performs his dreadful office to-morrow, on the person of the condemned culprit sentenced to death at the last Assizes for the murder of a woman. On the 9th inst. another criminal will be hung at Bristol.
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Part 3: Additional Particulars

Postby MarkCDodd » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:37 am


The house in which the murder was committed is a small cottage situated in Halesowen-street, and at a point just opposite the Ebenezer Foundry. It is a wretched little hovel, and stand about ten or twelve feet from the roadway, the yard in front being fenced off from the road by a brick wall, with a gateway – from which the gate is gone. On the left hand side (looking from the roadway), and immediately adjoining, is the house of Bradley, who keeps a small shop, and who, it will be remembered, gave evidence at the trial to the effect that about four in the morning he was in his stable attending to his horse, when he overheard the noise in the house. The stable is in the rear of the house, and adjoining Ockold’s cottage. From the dilapidated condition of the cottage walls, voices from within might easily be overheard. The cottage is a very old one, and has only one room on the ground-floor, and one above, which was used for the sleeping room, but this is little better than a loft. The lower room is about nine or ten feet square, and is lighted by a small lattice window. It is scarcely lofty enough to allow a tall person to stand upright in. To the left of the door is a small fire-grate, and further on is the flight of stairs leading to the bedroom. In the right hand corner is the pantry, wherein was found one part of the mop-stale, with which the old woman no doubt was murdered. The staircase, which is almost as steep as a ladder, has a handrail running up it, and is, to a certain extent, spiral. At the bottom the steps are much decayed and broken, and on several of them there are blood stains still distinctly visible, as also on the floor of the bedroom, and on the wall by the side of the stairs, where there is the imprint of bloody fingers. At the time when Ockold left, the cottage was in a tumble-down state, but its aspect at present is indescribably wretched. After his committal the few miserable sticks of furniture which stood in the place were removed by his son and the door locked up, but, in the meantime, what few little bits of glass remained in the windows have been utterly demolished by the stones which have been thrown by passers-by. Large quantities of these stones strew the floor of both rooms. The crazy door had been forced and hangs half open on its hinges, offering no impediment to those whose curiosity tempts them to inspect the interior of this wretched abode. The premises belong to Mr. Hackett, coal master, of Blackheath, but if people to continue to mark their horror of the deed committed within the walls of the cottage, by rendering it still more dilapidated than it is now, in a short time all that will remain will be the ground on which it is built and the bare walls. Ockold and his wife had not lived in the cottage more than about two years, but it is said the during the whole of that time they lived in a wretched way, and that very often the rooms were almost unbearable from the smoke. Before going to Halesowen-street, the old couple lived in Freeth-street. With regard to their personal history, it appears that they resided in Oldbury for about 40 years, and that they came there from Birmingham, where many years ago the old man’s mother used to keep a pawnbroker’s shop. He was reared in that town, although it is believed he was not born there. His mother is said to have been in good circumstances, and it was in Birmingham that he married his wife – whose sister is still alive and a resident of Birmingham. They had gone by the name of Hocker up to the time of the murder, but when the charge against the old man was entered in the book at the police-station by Serjeant Simmonds, he told the serjeant that his name was not Hocker, but Ockold. The only occupants of the cottage were the old man and his wife, but they had four sons and a daughter. One of the sons was killed some years ago in a coal pit where he worked, another lives at Netherton, and a third has been in trouble and, under the name of Hocker, was convicted at Worcester some time since. Formerly the old man had a good business, and was employed for many years by Mr. (now Alderman) Grainger; but he was intemperate in his habits, and “never kept a good home.” Latterly he had very little work, and about two years ago he applied to the guardians of the poor for relief, and they allowed him 2s. 6d. per week and two loaves of bread, which relief he was in receipt of up to the week of his wife’s death. The old couple, as we have said, seem to have lived a wretched life; and although, very probably, Mrs. Ockold often annoyed her husband, yet, from all that we can glean, it would seem he led her a miserable life. He was terribly irreligious, and was a scoffer at Christianity, and after his wife had returned from her place of worship on Sundays, he frequently taunted her with that the fact of her attention to religion, as if she had been committing a sin. She often complained about this matter to her neighbours, and at last she up going to church, intimating as her reason for doing, that the extra annoyance she was put to was too much for her. After being removed to the police station, the old man was visited by Mr. Connor, a Scripture reader, who entreated him to pay some attention to the Word of God, and to these ministrations he appeared attentive, yet to show the temper of the old man it ought to be stated that on his being removed from Oldbury to Worcester (after his committal for trial) rather sooner than expected, he laughed and chuckled at the notion of being so removed, as thereby he should disappoint the Scripture reader who had told him that he should visit that day and reason with him. Whilst at the Oldbury station he said, amongst other things, that he “had been bound all his life.” “First,” said he, “I was bound by my father and mother, the I was bound to my master, and for 50 years I have been bound to my wife, but now, than God, I’m free, and I would not now have the brightest woman as ever wore a head.” With respect to the supposed weapon with which the murder was committed, the police have made strenuous endeavours to recover the missing portion of the mop-stick, but have failed tracing it. It is intended by the Rev. H.B. Bowlby, of Oldbury, to preach a sermon bearing upon the dreadful case, next Sunday, when no doubt a very large congregation will attend the church to hear the address. Last (Thursday) night, a special address in connection with the execution, was delivered at the Guildhall, by Mr. Gawin Kirkham, secretary to the Open Air Mission. The Rev. W. Harker, incumbent of St. Paul’s, presided, and in opening the proceedings said, that the expenses attending the meeting would be defrayed by a benevolent lady of the city, who had thought that some benefit might arise from their being brought together. The rev. gentleman announced that tracts would be distributed amongst the crowd assembled at the execution, and he asked those persons who were willing to assist in the distribution of the papers to come forward. The meeting was then addressed by Mr. Kirkham. The room was well filled, several hundred people of all ages being present. The following letter was sent to the proprietor of an hotel, in this city, for the purpose of hoaxing him, by some silly fellow, who ought to be whipped with Calcraft’s cord for his pains :-

Old Bailey, London, Dec 31, 1862.
Sir, - You will oblige by keeping me a strictly quiet bed-room and sitting-room on Thursday night.
Yours &c.,
P.S. – Do not mention my name to any soul. I shall be down by the last train from London. Send a cab to meet me.
The Reporter are deeply indebted to the Under-Sheriff, the Governor, and other officials of the Gaol, for facilities in the performance of their duty.
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Re: The execution of William Ockold

Postby Northern Lass » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:48 pm

This is a great piece of Social History from the Black Country area so moving it to that section
thanks Mark
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Re: The execution of William Ockold

Postby peterd » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:36 pm

you any thing on this one mark ?

the last one previous to this of Ockold being that of Joseph Meadows, who was hanged on the 5th August 1855, for the murder of his sweetheart, Ann Mason, at Kates Hill, Near Dudley

as here a photo of her grave stone it state who she was murded by


looks like killed 12 may 1855 ?

2 moths for trial and hanging quick justice
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