Southport Visiter, May 3rd 1855


The execution of Luigi BARANELLI, an Italian, for the murder of Joseph LAMBERT [or LATHAM] in Foley Place, took place on Monday morning in front of Newgate, and since the murderer was found guilty and condemned to death he has expressed deep contrition for his crime.

When he heard that an application was made to the Secretary of State to the Home Department for a commutation of the sentence of death passed upon him by Mr Justice ERLE, he feigned insanity, and told some extraordinary tales of horrible visions and supernatural communications. On being informed that there was absolutely no hope of his life being spared, he changed his course and gave way to feelings of penitence.

Shortly after his condemnation he was visited in his cell by Rev Dr FARR, Roman Catholic priest, to whose spiritual admonitions he appeared to have paid the closest attention. Circumstances, however, broke off any further communications between the priest and the penitent.

Absolution in the Church of Rome is a sacrament, and prior to its administration Dr FARR demanded that BARANELLIíS daughter [a child between 3 and 4yrs] should be given up to the spiritual guidance of himself to be educated in the faith of the Roman Catholic Church.

BARANELLI demurred on the grounds that he had made a solemn promise to the mother of the child that she would be educated in Protestant principles to which she was deeply attached.

There was no compromise, Dr FARR left his charge, after which Father GAVAZZI was called at the convicts request.

BARANELLIíS last request was that an Italian New Testament, which had been his solace in his confinement be given to his daughter as a memento of him, also a dagner portrait of him taken some time ago and that his ring may also be passed on to his child.

He also requested a letter addressed to a kind lady, who had taken charge of the child be sent immediately after his death.

The letter :-

To a Lady in the Country

Newgate 29th April 1855

Dear Madam,

Before dying let me renew my thanks for what you have already done for my daughter, and for the care your Christian charity has premised to show on her. May heaven bless you, and impart to my little darling a Christian heart, so that we may meet again in a better world, where, I hope I shall be tomorrow, through the mercy of Jesus Christ, my Lord and mediator. With a kiss to my child, I am, Madam, yours, eternally obliged. Luigi Baranelli.

The procession walked to the scaffold, Father GAVAZZI walked by BARANELLIíS side, and assisted him up the steps, reading selected passages from the sacred volume he held in his hands, at the close of the religious services, BARANELLI was left in the hands of his executioner.

When the signal was given and the convict fell it was at once evident the rope was unskilfully tied, the effect prevented instantaneous death. He struggled violently and although CALCRAFT hung on to his legs, the heaving breast and convulsive limbs told plainly the deep agony BARANELLI was suffering. This lasted five minutes during which time the crowds were yelling at the executioner, the yells repeated ten fold when he ascended the scaffold to cut down the body.

BARANELLIíS child had visited him several times in prison, the last time and her final farewell was on Saturday. BARANELLI will be buried within the precincts of the gaol.


Copyright 2002 / To date