The last executions in Worcesterhire.

Moderators: admin, Northern Lass

The last executions in Worcesterhire.

Postby MarkCDodd » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:24 am

This is a list of executions that took place between 1800 and 1849 in Worcestershire.

It is taken from a very limited edition book called "Worcestershire in the Nineteenth Century" that was published in 1852.

THE county has of late years been almost wholly spared
the painful spectacle of justice proceeding to its direst
extremity of taking away human life, though formerly
capital punishments were but too common, and inflicted
for what we should now esteem very inadequate causes
of offence. Their policy and propriety in any case are
now allowed to be fit matters for discussion ; and it is
probable that public opinion may, in a few years hence,
demand their entire abolition.

1800 At the Lent Assizes this year, ten persons were sentenced
to death, but seven of them were reprieved before the judges left
the town. Richard and John Lane, brothers, were convicted of the
murder of Thomas Goode, of Redmarley, in October, 1799. They
were impatient to possess some property which would be theirs at
his death, and having waylaid him, both shot him one with a gun,
the other with a pistol. They were executed on the 10th of March,
and each died uttering execrations on the other.

1800 At the Summer Assizes, thirteen persons were sentenced
to death, and three of them executed one for burglary, and two for
sheep stealing. They are said to have died " with the utmost resig-
nation, and acknowledging the justice of their sentences."

1801 At the Lent Assizes, five persons were sentenced to death
for burglary, a woman for stealing two 10 notes, five men for
highway robbery, three for horse stealing, one for stealing a cow,
another for stealing two calves, four for sheep stealing, and two for
escaping from prison after sentence of transportation twenty-two in
all ! Six of these were left for execution ; but great interest being
made for some of them, only one was actually hung.

1803 MARCH Richard Colledge executed for horse stealing.

1803 JUNE Thomas Beach executed for uttering a forged 5

1805 MARCH 22 John Sanky, alias Young, convicted at the
Assizes just concluded of uttering a forged bill of exchange, with
intent to defraud Messrs. Knapp and Lee, glovers, of Worcester, was
executed on a temporary gallows erected in Suit Lane. He addressed
the spectators for a full half hour, acknowledging the justice of his
sentence, and expressing his confident hope of pardon through the
righteousness and atonement of our Saviour. He had attempted, in
tin- interval between his sentence and condemnation, to escape from
the gaol, but he now declared that he never entertained any idea of
doing the gaoler or turnkey any personal injury. He then gave out
three verses of a hymn, and was joined in singing them by many of the
persons who surrounded the fatal tree ; after this he prayed aloud
in a very solemn manner for himself and the spectators. Several
distressing mistakes were made by the executioner, but the unhappy
sufferer retained his composure amidst all these blunders, and
appeared to die with absolute cheerfulness. This young man was
evidently possessed of considerable talents, hut they had been
miserably misapplied.

1805 August 16 W. Dalton, convicted before Lord Ellfnborough
at the Summer Assizes of two burglaries, one at Astley and the other
at Kidderminster executed at Red Hill. His demeanour was

1806 MARCH 19 John Davenport and William Lashford hung
at lied Hill for a burglary at Bellbroughton. They confessed their
crime, and behaved in a becoming manner.

1812 MARCH 20 William Scale was executed in the field of the
New Gaol for committing a rape at Norton, near Worcester. He is
described as " penitent, resigned, and met his fate with the fortitude
becoming his deplorable situation."

1815 JULY 21 William White was executed on a gallows erected
"in the outer circle of the County Gaol," for a rape on Ann Davis
of Beoley. He is declared to have died, " as since his condemnation
he had lived, full of contrition and piety."

1816 MARCH 22 William Clements and John Batty executed
at the County Prison for breaking into the dwelling house of Mr.
Martin of Paxford, and stealing a large sum of money; and John
Rowen for forging and uttering a bill of exchange for 315 on
Messrs. Cox, Merle, and Co., bankers, London, with intent to defraud
Messrs. Attwood and Co., bankers, Worcester.

1818 JULY 31 William Corfield sentenced to death for a burglary
at the house of George Jukes of Tenbury, was executed at the new
drop erected over the entrance to the County Gaol. He had conducted
himself after his trial in a very refractory manner, and could not be
brought to acknowledge the justice of his sentence. Shortly before
his execution he wrote an exceedingly sensible and properly worded
letter to his wife.

1819 MARCH 19 John Harris convicted of uttering forged Bank
of England notes at Bromsgrove, hung in front of the County Gaol.
He died " sincerely penitent."

1820 MARCH 17 Robert Hollick, convicted of robbing Thomas
Gittins and Thomas Hawker on the highway at Claines, and cruelly
ill-treating the latter, was this day executed. As he was being led
out of his cell, his mother, sister, wife, and child, came to see him,
not having visited him previously. The execution was delayed awhile
to grant them an interview which, as may be supposed, was a most
distressing one. It did not, however, unnerve the culprit, who died
with great firmness, though fully admitting the justice of his sentence.

1821 MARCH 23 Thomas Dyer, capitally convicted of horse
stealing, was executed at the County Gaol, but died protesting his
entire innocence of the crime laid to his charge. He left a paper
behind him, stating the names of the parties from whom he bought
the horses, and the sums of money he had given for them ; but it
does not appear that anybody thought it worth while to make further
inquiries about the matter.

1821 AUGUST 24 William Mantle and William Bird were executed
at the County Gaol ; the former convicted of stealing sheep, the pro-
perty of Mr. Henry Hyde of Little Kyre ; and the latter of breaking
into the house of Mr. John Bird of Bromsgrove, and stealing wearing
apparel, &c. The ropes were nearly extended to their full length
when tied round the unhappy culprits' necks, so that scarcely any fall
took place, and they died in great agony, especially Bird. Their
remains were interred in St. Andrew's churchyard.

1823 MARCH 24 James Davis and Joseph Rutter, two young
men convicted at the Lent Assizes the former of horse stealing and
the latter of sheep stealing were executed at the County Gaol. Davis
was a deserter from the army, and appeared to have stolen from sheer
want. Rutter's had been a long course of crime. Davis began to
address the crowd when brought upon the scaffolding, warning them
to avoid Sabbath breaking and vicious practices ; when Rutter said,
impatiently, " Come, let's have no more of that ; " and they were
immediately hurried into eternity. He literally preferred lianging to
a homily.

1826 JULY 21 John Hobday, a young man only twenty-one years
of age, having been convicted at the Midsummer Assize's of a burglary
at the Bell Inn, Kidderminster, and a savage assault upon the officers
who apprehended him at Birmingham, was executed at the County
Gaol this day. He was reported to be very penitent, and prepared for

1830 MARCH 11 Michael Toll, convicted of the wilful murder
of Ann Cook, a woman with whom he lived, by knocking her into a
pit at Oldswinford, was executed this day in front of the County Gaol.
His body was given to the surgeons to anatomise, and afterwards
exposed to public gaze at the Infirmary. In his stomach were
found a number of pieces of blanket, which he had swallowed in
order to produce suffocation.

1830 JULY 30 Charles Wall, convicted at the Summer Assizes
of the murder of Sally Chance, at Oldswinford, was executed in front
of the County Prison at six o'clock p.m., the execution having been
deferred to that unusual hour in consequence of the election taking
place that day. His body was delivered to a surgeon at Stourbridge,
and afterwards exposed to view to great crowds who came from all
the surrounding parts to see it. The party murdered was a little
girl, whose mother the prisoner was about to marry, and he killed
her by throwing her into a lime pit.

1830 AUGUST 13 Thomas Turner, a lad only seventeen years of
age, convicted at the same Assizes of a rape upon Louisa Blissett,
a child under ten years of age, at New Wood, about three miles from
Kidderminster, was executed this day.

1831 MARCH 25 Thomas Slaughter, a lad not eighteen years of
age, was executed for setting fire to a large wheat rick, the property
of Mrs. Rebecca Tomlinson, of Elmley Lovett. The poor fellow was
wholly uneducated, and evidently of weak intellect.

1832 MARCH 22 James and Joseph Carter, two brothers, aged
twenty and twenty-two respectively, and condemned at the Lent
Assizes for two cases of highway robbery at night, with violence,
in the neighbourhood of Bewdley, this morning underwent the extreme
penalty of the law in front of the County Gaol. Both men met death
with firmness, but without bravado ; and Joseph Carter addressed
the populace from the scaffolding, warning them to avoid Sabbath
breaking, drunkenness, and bad women. The crowd on this occasion
behaved with unusual decorum, and seem really to have been
impressed with a feeling of sadness at seeing two persons hurried
out of life so early.

1834 MARCH 12 Robert Lilly, convicted at the Lent Assizes
of the murder of Jonathan Wall, at Bromsgrove, was executed
in front of the County Gaol. Wall had interfered to prevent his
ill-using his wife, and Lilly stabbed him in the abdomen with a
clasp-knife. There was a large concourse of spectators at the
execution principally females, but the culprit did not address
them, and he died without a struggle.

1837 MARCH 23 William Lightband, executed in front of the
County Gaol for the murder of Joseph Hawkins, shopkeeper, of
Areley Kings, on the 8th September, 1836. He was a carpenter,
entirely without education, and had pursued a sottish and irregular
mode of life. However, the instruction he received when in prison
seemed to have had effect upon his mind, and he met death in
becoming manner. Though it snowed during the whole morning
there was a great concourse of spectators, and the Rev. Mr. Dodd,
assistant minister at the Lady Huntingdon's Chapel, afterwards
addressed them. Their behaviour was more decent than usual on
such occasions.

1849 MARCH 26 The last execution which took place in Wor-
cester was that of Robert Pulley, who was condemned to death
for the barbarous murder of a poor girl, named Mary Ann Staight,
at Broughton, on the 5th of December, 1848. The manners of
the prisoner were so brutish and careless as to induce a doubt in
his sanity; and at the expense of the High Sheriff, Mr. John
Dent, counsel was provided at his trial to defend him on this
ground. It was also made the plea for a memorial to the Home
Secretary on his behalf, which was signed by many benevolent
persons, and by those opposed to all capital punishments. His
conduct after trial, however, was such as to convince all who
conversed with him of his perfect rationality. He was lamentably
ignorant ; but listened with much attention to the exhortations of
the ministers who visited him. He displayed great firmness in
his last moments. The execution took place at noon on the roof
of the County Gaol, in the presence of a large crowd of spectators,
who behaved with much propriety.

The excitement occasioned by this execution produced much
discussion as to the expediency of capital punishments. A public
meeting was held in the Guildhall, Worcester, by those who wished
their abolition, at which Mr. Charles Gilpin attended and spoke.
Mr. George Grove attempted to show that Scripture contained a
command which was conclusive on the subject, and required us
to shed the blood of the man who took away the life of another ;
but a resolution, declaring capital punishments to be opposed to
the spirit of Christianity and inexpedient, was carried almost
unanimously. The Rev. W. H. Havergal and Dr. lledford also
preached upon the subject the former in favour of, and tho latter
against, death punishments.
Black Holes happen when God divides by zero.
User avatar
Posts: 4157
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:55 am

Return to Black Country Crime, Executions, etc.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest