Hello again Readers
Almost there now, just over 48 hours! This blog will be about a very important scene in my book – the very public execution of a condemned man. Once again the three Nottingham newspapers were a wonderful resource, each with its own different version of events. I also had to use various websites to gain more detail. Who was the executioner? What were jails like in 1844? What took place leading up to the execution? How did the crowd receive the event? Was it a short or a long drop?
The execution should have taken place on Monday 5th August. It did not because the condemned man made a last minute confession on the Sunday. Details had to be sent to the judge who could have halted the execution by sending a Queens Messenger. The details of the last days of the prisoner reveal what appears to be an attempt to evade the drop. I cant go into details here but his behaviour became very strange. It seems the prison surgeon was not fooled.The execution was rearranged for Wednesday 7th August. The prisoner enjoyed a hearty breakfast and was then prepared for his final journey. The crime for which he was about to pay was indeed a brutal one but he claimed he was not totally responsible, that another had contributed and taken the lives of his three children. He showed little fear and the bravado he showed at Coroners Inquest and Trial was there for all to see. He asked the hangman to make sure he was not long on the drop. Shortly before eight o’clock he was taken up onto the scaffold. at precisely eight o’clock he was pitched into eternity. He struggled briefly but after a few minutes his body was still……
The huge crowd had come to see a show,many expected he would take the opportunity in his last moments to speak or cry out. With the show over so unexpected early many in the crowd then began to leave the scene. At this point something unforeseen happened, something never seen before at a Nottingham execution. Lives were in great danger, people rushed ever faster to get away. It became a struggle for life…………………….within a few minutes it was all over. Many many thousands had come to Nottingham to see a public execution. Some of them would not be going home again.
OK thats all for now, in my final launch blog I will explain how these events resulted in questions being raised in the House of Commons!