By Alison Bruce

ISBN-10: 0752474065

ISBN-13: 9780752474069

James Billington, previously a pub entertainer after which a barber, have been single-minded in his choice to safe the publish of executioner for London and the house Counties. yet did he feel he used to be basically a gain to society and justice, or have been his purposes for short of this place extra own? 3 of his sons, Thomas, William and John, in his footsteps and jointly the relations have been accountable for 235 executions in nice Britain among 1884 and 1905. Billington: Victorian Executioner offers an entire account of the tales in the back of James Billington's 151 executions, in addition to introducing the reader to the genuine guy in the back of the rope. This attention-grabbing biography is a thrilling addition to any precise crime bookshelf.

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Extra resources for Billington. Victorian Executioner

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It is also worth bearing in mind that spelling of names varied within families, for example Whitham and Witham, which indicates how much more emphasis we put on the consistent spelling of names than in Victorian times. CONTENTS Title Dedication Acknowledgements Introduction One: ‘Thaal Nivver Feel It’ Two: ‘Worse than Helen’ Three: ‘He Never had a Dream in his Life’ Four: Into the Mills Five: ‘Poisoning He Goes’ Six: ‘A Copper Pot’ Seven: ‘Knock, Knock, Knock on the Floor’ Eight: A Murder Charge Made for Two Nine: Boyhood Haunts Ten: In a Position of Trust Eleven: Scandal Quote Twelve: ‘Nobody Believes Her’ Thirteen: Too Many Lies Fourteen: ‘I Wish I had Never Come’ Fifteen: William’s Reign Sixteen: The End of the Billingtons Nigel Preston Interview Author’s Note Appendix 1: Execution Ropes Appendix 2: School for Hangmen Appendix 3: Index of Executions Bibliography Plates Copyright INTRODUCTION James Billington executed some of Britain’s most notorious killers including the serial killer Dr Cream, and Mrs Dyer, the baby farmer, but I quickly discovered that the little-known cases were equally macabre; like the man who attempted to boil away the body, and the woman who played loudly on the piano to conceal the murder taking place in the upstairs room.

This regional role served as an apprenticeship for his subsequent arrival as number one. ’ Billington conducted eight executions during this period, beginning with the hanging of fifty-four-year-old Henry Hobson on 22 August 1887. Hobson had been in the army for fourteen years, during which time he had been awarded three good conduct badges. After leaving in 1875 he took up employment at a Sheffield engineering works owned by the Stothard family. ’ Over the following ten months he found it impossible to hold down regular employment.

There was a gap of only a couple of hours between his threat and her arrival at the police station. Ann Turner also claimed that part of her reason for trying to conceal the crime was the fear that local people would lynch them if they heard that she and her son were involved. There was no evidence put forward to support this. She had taken an active part in disposing of Barbara Waterhouse’s body, so it was a doomed argument from her defence counsel, who tried to convince the jury that her only offence was allowing her ‘great maternal love’ to motivate her into trying to protect her son.

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