Executions at Kirkdale Jail

Liverpool Mercury Jan 5th, 1885

Executions at Kirkdale Gaol

James BARLOW, aged 40, calico printer, for the murder of his wife Priscella, at Bury, on, 31st March, 1835, hanged Aug 24th 1835

Betty ROWLAND, aged 46, for poisoning her husband William ROWLAND, a weaver, with arsenic at Manchester, 31st March 1836, hanged April 11th, 1836

William HILL. for rape and murder at Warrington of Betty MINSHALL, born 15th July 1785, the daughter of Thomas HIGGINSON, of the Leigh Arms, murdered 7th, December 1837, hanged April 21st, 1838

Francis BRADLEY, Goulden St, Manchester, for poisoning his wife Alice with arsenic, at Manchester, April 2nd, 1842, hanged Sept 3rd 1842

Betty ECCLES, of Folds, Bolton, for murdering her stepson William ECCLES, by poisoning with arsenic, her daughters Hannah HASLEM, aged 6, buried 9th Oct 1840, and daughter Nancy HASLEM, aged 4, buried 3rd, Dec 1840, bodies exhumed and arsenic found in their stomachs, suspected of murdering 10 people, including her late husband who died suddenly, and 8 of her 10 children, Richard HASLEM aged 16mths, buried March 1840 and Alice HASLEM, aged 3, exhumed but bodies too decomposed to confirm cause of death, also the son of James HEYWOOD, whom she nursed who died suddenly, she married Henry ECCLES on the 1st Sunday in 1841, he had three children William the deceased, Richard aged 12 and Mary aged 9, from his previous marriage. Hanged May 6th 1843, when the sentence of death was read out Betty ECCLES, pleaded for Mercy. She claimed the burial money after each death.

, Wilmot BUCKLEYfor the murder of his wife Elizabeth, by cutting her throat, at St Helens, they had been drinking in the Bird-in-Hand public house, on walking home he mentioned the name of an old sweetheart he had in Wigan, who he had not seen for three years, his wife, he said became jealous and browbeat him concerning the woman, she could not hold her noise and he stabbed her in a fit of madness on 27th Nov 1842, hanged May 6th, 1843

John ROBERTS, aged 27, convicted for murdering by shooting with gun, Nov 10th, 1843, Richard KENYON, gamekeeper for the Earl of Derby, at Knowsley, while poaching, sentence of death on his accomplices, Henry FILLINGHAM, James HUNT, Thomas JACQUES, Joseph RIMMER, commuted to transportation for life, hanged Jan 20th, 1844

George EVANS, aged 20, of Clifton, near, Bristol, murder of Jane MILLEN, aged 50, wife Robert MILLEN, overlooker, 42 Bradshaw St, Hulme, EVANS was their lodger, and murdered the deceased, by blows and strangulation after robbing the couple of £50 worth of property, at Manchester, Aug 14th, 1844, hanged Jan 4th, 1845, executioner CALCRAFT

Thomas STOW, of Nantwich in Cheshire, aged 21, for the murder of Alice NOLAN, to whom he was engaged, at Manchester, by cutting her throat with a razor, and attempting suicide by cutting his own throat. A reprieve on the grounds if insanity was refused .July, 1844, hanged Jan 4th, 1845, executioner CALCRAFT

William ADAMS, aged 32, for the murder by shooting her in the head with a revolver, of Diana THOMAS, aged 25, whom ADAMS married 3 years ago, her former husband being still alive, and transported for 10 years for felony, they lived together THOMAS ran away from his abuse on her return to Liverpool they met by chance ADAMS pulled out a revolver and shot her dead in front of a policeman at Manchester 24th, July, 1848, hanged Sept 16th, 1848

James KELLY, at Heaton Norris, for the murder by cutting her throat after she broke off their relationship, Eliza FAULKNER, aged 20, his sweetheart, 15th Sept, 1848, hanged Jan 6th, 1849, executioner CALCRAFT

John Gleeson WILSON, for the brutal murders of Mrs J. H. HINRICHSON, wife of Capt HINRICHSON, [commander of the ship Duncan, at the time of the murder on his way home from Calcutta] their two sons Henry George, aged 5, and John Alfred aged 3, also Mary PARR their servant, on . March 28th, 1849, at Leveson St, Liverpool, hanged Sept 15th, 1849 executioner HOWARD

Patrick LYONS, of Galway, Ballinasloe, and wife Bridget LYONS, [accessory to the fact] lodging house, keepers, murder by mutilation with a hatchet, of Margaret FAHEY, aged 20, at Lower Bank St, Warrington, for £2 and a pedlar’s basket, 4th, Feb, 1851, hanged April 26th, 1851, executioner CALCRAFT. Bridget LYONS was pardoned and escaped the death penalty, was transported for life.

Jonathan HEYWOOD, aged 47, iron dresser, of Rochdale, for the murder of Margaret JONES, of Pin St, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, at Rochdale, a widow, with whom he kept company and was to marry, by cutting her throat with a razor, 22nd, July 1855, hanged Jan 5th, 1856

Henry ROGERS, aged 35, of Sunderland, a native of Aberdeen, master of the Martha and Jane, William MILES aged 27, and Charles Edward SEYMOUR, aged 25, Chief and 2nd, mates on the ship, for the murder of seaman Andrew ROSE, on the high seas, through a series of revolting cruelties inflicted upon him on a voyage from Barbadoes to Liverpool, 11th, May, 1857 to 5th, June 1857, hanged Sept 12th, 1857, executioner CALCRAFT. ROGERS leaves a wife and five children, who reside at Swansea. The sentence of William MILES and Charles Edward SEYMOUR, commutated to penal servitude for life.

Henry REID, aged 40, labourer, murder of his wife Susannah, by strangulation, at Copper Court, Manchester, 23rd Sept 1858, both addicted to drink the marriage was unhappy, prisoner said his wife had hanged herself convicted on circumstantial evidence. Hanged Jan 11th, 1859, executioner CALCRAFT

Thomas GALLAGHER, aged 40, shoemaker native of Dublin, now of Silver St, Liverpool for the murder of his 3rd, wife, Mary, by stabbing her with a bread knife, saying she had ruined his life for the past 5 yrs, on 8th June , 1860, they were separated after being married 5 yrs, she lived at 45 Summerseat with her two children, from previous marriage, these children now in the workhouse, the prisoner , was three times married has children in Dublin by his 2nd wife, a daughter by his 1st wife died of consumption through the strain of knowing she would be called as a witness at the trial. hanged Sept 8th, 1860 executioner CALCRAFT

Patrick M’CAFFREY, soldier for shooting Colonel CROFTON and Adjutant HANHAM, at Fulwood Barracks, hanged Jan 11th, 1862

William Robert TAYLOR, for the murder of Evan MELLOR at Manchester, hanged Sept 13th, 1862, executioner CALCRAFT

John WARD, for the murder of William JUMP, police officer, Ashton-under-Lyne, hanged Sept 13th, 1862, executioner CALCRAFT

Thomas EDWARDS, for the murder of his paramour, Isabella TONGE, Norman St, Liverpool, hanged Jan 3rd, 1863

Duncan M’PHAIL and George WOODS, for the murder of Anne WAINE, at Ribchester, hanged April 23rd, 1863

Jose Maria ALVAREZ, Spanish sailor, condemned for the murder by stabbing of James HARRISON, hanged Sept 12th, 1863, executioner CALCRAFT

John HUGHES, aged 51, for the murder of his wife, who he kicked to death in Great Homer St, hanged Sept 12th, 1863,executioner CALCRAFT

Benjamin THOMAS, aged 24, Welsh, sailor, for the murder of Mary ROWLANDS, his landlady, hanged Sept 12th, 1863, executioner CALCRAFT

James O’BRIEN, aged 26, Irish sailor, for the murder of a dissolute woman, Elizabeth CALLAGHAN, a brothel keeper, hanged Sept 12th, 1863, [screen first used], executioner CALCRAFT

Luke CHARLES, ex-policeman, for the murder of his wife Mary, through drowning at Pendleton, the body of a woman was found in a the Bolton canal at Pendleton on 14th, Feb, 1863, the previous night Charles and his wife left Bury to visit his wife’s sister Julia DUNNE, he returned alone and was off duty with illness, he went over to Ireland and brought back Ellen FORD, of Emo, Queens County, who he had proposed marriage to, passing himself off as unmarried, a priest would not marry them so he then lives with her in Bury. He gave away his wife’s clothes and when questioned about her said she was in Ireland to others Liverpool. He corresponded with his wife’s sister in Pendleton up until August purporting to be from his wife, she came to Bury, suspicious she was urged by neighbours to examine the clothes of the woman found in the canal, she immediately identified them as those of her sister. The Home Secretary gave permission for the body to be exhumed for post mortem examination On circumstantial evidence convicted of murder. Hanged Jan 9th, 1864, executioner CALCRAFT

James CLITHEROE, for the murder of Mary WOODS at St Helens, hanged April 16th, 1864

Hugh BROWN, for the murder of Thomas M’CARTHY in Crump St, hanged Jan 7th, 1865

Thomas GRIME, for the murder of James BARTON at Haigh, Wigan, hanged Sept 1st, 1866

Henry FARRINGTON, 25, for the murder of his wife Mary at Leigh, after 18 months of marriage she left him taking her new born child to live with her uncle, FARRINGTON bought a pistol went to the house, grabbed the child and shot Mary dead, hanged Sept 14th, 1867, executioner CALCRAFT

John GREGSON, for the murder of his wife at Wigan, hanged Jan 10th, 1870, [first execution in private]

Richard SPENCER, for the murder of his paramour in Gregson St, hanged Jan 8th, 1873, executioner CALCRAFT, execution private.

James CONNOR, for the murder of James GAFFNEY, Aug , 1873, CONNOR asked Mary SHEARS to drink with him , she refused, and in a rage he started to beat, her, James GAFFNEY and William METCALF, intervened to protect Mary, in the fight CONNOR drew a knife and stabbed GAFFNEY, then turning the knife of MELCALF, GAFFNEY died from his injuries. Hanged Sept 8th, 1873, executioner William CALCRAFT, rope was too weak, CONNOR fell heavily to the ground and had to sit and wait for 2nd rope to be prepared. With new rope death was instantaneous. When lying on drop culprit asked to be let off, and said he had stood it like a brick the first time, and they ought to let him free.

Thomas CORRIGAN, dock labourer for the murder of his mother, by jumping on her and throwing her downstairs in a furious state of intoxication Chisenhale St, hanged Jan 5th 1874, assistant, executioner ANDERSON

Henry FLANAGAN, for the murder and violation of his aunt, Mary FLANAGAN, in Bent St, Liverpool on 4th, April, hanged Aug 31st, 1874, long drop, William MARWOOD, of Lincolnshire, executioner.

Mary WILLIAMS for the murder of Nickolas MANNING by shooting him at Bootle, on May 3rd, hanged Aug 31st 1874, long drop, William MARWOOD, of Lincolnshire, executioner. 31 years since a woman was hanged at Kirkdale, Betty ECCLES in 1843. As she dropped she said, “On my conscience gentlemen it was my husband who fired the shot” when visited by her sister and six of her children she asserted her innocence.

John M’CRAVE, alias QUINN and Michael MULLEN, for the murder of Richard MORGAN, in Tithebarn St, Liverpool Aug 3rd, 1874,hanged Jan 4th, 1875

William WORTHINGTON, for the murder of his wife, by brutal kicking, in a canal boat near Vauxhall Rd, Liverpool, Aug 20th, 1874, hanged Jan 4th 1875

Alfred Thomas HEAP, the husband of a midwife, for causing the death of Margaret O’KIVETT, by a criminal operation, previously convicted of a similar offence serving 5 years imprisonment, hanged 20th April 1875

William BAKER, aged 35 landlord of the Railway Vaults, for the murder of Charles LANGAN, aged 31, on a drinking spree, by shooting him dead outside a club in Liverpool, hanged Sept 7th 1875

Edward COOPER, aged 33, a native of America, shot a shipmate on ship bound for Chile, hanged Sept 7th 1875

Richard THOMPSON, for the murder of John Henry BLUNDELL, on the 14th, April 1876, BLUNDELL was the landlord of a woman named CORFIELD who THOMPSON was courting, he objected to THOMPSON visiting the house. Hanged Aug 14th, 1876 MARWOOD executioner.

William FISH, aged 26, a barber, at Blackburn, born Darwen 1st April 1850, for the revolting murder of a young child named Emily HOLLAND. The child was last seen after coming home from school collecting tobacco at a tobacconist shop, which she said was for the barber. FISH was suspected but no proof could be found, he portrayed himself as a loving family man with young children of his own incapable of doing such an act. Some remains of the child were found in a drain in a field. Eventually a bloodhound was called for [named Morgan] to search the house the bloodhound went straight to an upstairs fireplace, when the handler examined the chimney he found the child’s skull and some small bones. FISH later confessed to the murder saying he lured the child upstairs, and subjected the child to such brutal violence that she was nearly dead, so he cut her throat and dismembered her body, later disposing of the body parts in the various locations. Hanged Aug 14th, 1876, MARWOOD executioner.

James TRICKETT, aged 42, for the murder of his wife Mary, aged 35, TRICKETT was a wife beater and drunkard, on 26th Dec 1877 Mary was found dead with bruising all over her body and stab wound under her breast,, hanged Feb 12th, 1878

Thomas JOHNSON, for the murder of a prostitute, hanged May 28th, 1879, MARWOOD, executioner

Patrick KEARNS, aged 21, Hugh BURNS, aged 30, for the murder of Patrick TRACEY at Widnes on 24th Oct 1879, hanged 2nd March 1880, reporters refused admission.

F. TURNER, for the murder of his wife at Skelmersdale, hanged 21st Aug 1882

Bernard MULLARKEY, aged 19, labourer, for the murder of Thomas CRUISE, at Maghull on the 25th Sept 1882. They were both farm labourers working at harvest time, on a farm and sleeping in a barn, MULLARKEY set fire to the barn, CRUISE, tried to stop him were upon MULLARKEY, knocked him senseless and left him to burn in the fire. Hanged 4 Dec 1882, MARWOOD, executioner

Charles Henry DUTTON, aged 23, iron driller, for the murder of Hannah HAMSHAW, aged 70, a widow of 160 Athol St, grandmother of his wife Charlotte, on the 6th Oct, 1883 The marriage was unhappy, DUTTON, beat his wife and was a drunkard. Charlotte DUTTON, left him after a beating at the house of the deceased and went to the house of a Mrs KAY, who gave her protection. He asked Hannah HAMSHAW where his wife was and she refused to say, he threatened if he didn’t find his wife, he would murder her or her granddaughter. He carried out his threat by beating Hannah HAMSHAW to death. Mr KAY found the deceased on calling round to see how she was. Hanged Dec 3rd 1883, A bungled execution. Bartholomew BINNS was the executioner, MARWOOD’S successor, assisted by Samuel HEATH. BINNS is said to have arrived drunk and when in a tipsy sleep became violent when awakened, he would not give his appliances to his assistant and continued with the hanging. A doctor accused him of having no idea how to execute scientifically, their were defects in the way he carried out the hangings. A jury severely censured his incompetence . After the hanging he then goes off to exhibit the instruments of his ghastly trade in a public house.

Liverpool Mercury, Dec 4th, 1883

The execution at Kirkdale yesterday will revive a controversy of interest to medical men. The “Lancet” in the last issue, discussed with due technical propriety the method by which BINNS has been reported to put male factors out of existence. MARWOOD placed the eyelet of the rope under one ear, while BINNS placed it at the back of the head. The effect of the drop arranged by MARWOOD was generally to break the cervical vertebra, to kill instantly, where as under the arrangement of BINNS death cannot take place for a period. The jerk of the rope at its full length would throw the head forward, first arresting respiration and then the action of the heart, but the instant the body is released from the jerk, hanging straight downwards, the heart resumes its movement and continues till the process of strangulation or asphyxiation is completed. The unfortunate culprit DUTTON, struggled for two minutes after he fell and his pulse beat continued for eight minutes. The heart survived the shock of the drop and death proceeded from the stifling of breath by the sheer tightness of the rope round the neck. Dr BARR the prison surgeon found that the cervical vertebra had not been broken, and he blamed the executioner for not extinguishing vitality at once., the rope he said was too thick and the drop too short for a light man like DUTTON, and the placing of the noose in the nape of the neck prevented dislocation. It would be far better for an executioner to inflict a minimum of suffering upon his subject and if he can dislocate by the disposition of the noose, the length of the drop and the proper thickness of the rope, it is advisable that he should make all the requisite preparations with scrupulous care. The law is merciful as well as just, in demanding a culprit is put to death it is opposed to the infliction of unnecessary agony. BINNS would do well to assure himself of the quickest mode of despatch and adhere to it in the future. One thing that should be insisted upon by the public is that the press should be represented at all executions, the coroner yesterday emphasised the necessity for the presence of reporters, in the public interest. It has been objected by the authorities, that they have used their opportunities to pander to morbid tastes, leaving themselves open to reproach. The coroner is right in saying that fear is more imaginary than real, the advantage to be gained by giving them free access would more than counterbalance any tendency on the part of a few to rush into ghastly sensationalism.

Catherine FLANNAGAN and Margaret HIGGINS, of Skirving St, for the murder of Thomas HIGGINS the husband of the latter, by poisoning with arsenic, for the burial money, in Sept 1883, after the trial they were implicated for three other deaths those of John Flannagan, aged 22, [the son of Catherine FLANNAGAN, died suddenly in Dec 1880, and was of previous good health] Mary HIGGINS, aged 8, [daughter of Thomas HIGGINS died a couple of months after their marriage after a short illness Catherine collected the burial money] and Margaret Jennings [lodger died Jan 1883, aged 19, her burial payout collected by Catherine] traces of arsenic were found in the remains of all three. Hanged 3rd, March 1884

Michael M’LEAN, aged 17, for the murder of a Spanish sailor named NUNEZ stabbed to death in Blackstone St, on 5th Jan, hanged March 10th, 1884, he protested his innocence until the last. There were originally 5 young men charged with the murder of the deceased, three were acquitted, and M’LEAN and another young man named DUGGAN were found guilty and sentenced to death. A few days ago DUGGAN was reprieved, but the Home Secretary could not interfere in the case of M’LEAN. BINNS allowed over 10ft for the drop, M’LEAN who was diminutive in stature. At the inquest Major LEGGETT charged BINNS the hangman with having arrived at the jail in an intoxicated condition last Saturday, the Jury censured BINNS for his misconduct and general incapacity. After leaving the gaol BINNS drove in a cab to a public house accompanied by two men on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway. He afterwards visited another public house where he imbibed pretty freely and exhibited his ropes and straps. He then proceeded to Lime Street Station and booked to Dewsbury.

Peter CASSIDY, aged 54, tinman, for the murder of his wife, hanged Aug 19th, 1884, executioner James BERRY of Bradford

George THOMAS, aged 28, a native of British Guiana, a sailor living 73 Mill St, for the murder of Margaret ASKINS, at Toxteth Park, on 8th Sept 1884, hanged Dec 8th, 1884

Ernest EWERSTAEDT, a Russian sailor, for the murder of Elizabeth HAMBLIN, Sept 1884, a woman who he cohabited with in Anson Place and became jealous of other sailors visiting the house, hanged Dec 8th, 1884, BERRY executioner.

Arthur SHAW, a tailor murdering his wife Elizabeth by strangulation at Dalton St, Manchester, on 3rd Nov 1884, through his wife’s drunkenness and neglect of home duties which aggravated him. Hanged Dec 8th, 1884, BERRY executioner.

John CONWAY, a native of Ireland, marine fireman, for the murder Nicholas Martin, aged 9, whose mutilated body was found floating inside a sailor’s kitbag in Liverpool Docks, hanged 12th Aug 1891, the head of CONWAY was nearly torn off James BERRY executioner was sacked a month later.

The Executioners and hanging


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