Executions in Lancaster 1801-1910

Executions In Lancaster 1801-1910 by Christine Goodier MA

For most of its long history Lancaster Castle has been closely associated with the administration of justice. The town was the only place in Lancashire with Right of Assize, an honour it held onto jealously until 1835, when a second Assize was opened in Liverpool. The heyday of the court (and indeed of the town itself) came in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. At this time the Assize in the castle was known as The Hanging Court, as more death sentences were passed there than at any other court in the country outside of London. The number of offences at this time that carried the Death Penalty was in excess of 200. Prior to 1800 hangings had taken place on the moors above the town, but after 1800, when the new courts were opened, executions moved to Hanging Corner, within the castle precincts. Executions were in public until 1865.

What follows is a list of the people who were hanged in Lancaster between the years 1800-1910, and the crimes for which they died.

  • 1801 – September 12th

    William Gallant for Seducing a Soldier (from his Duty)
    Arthur Geraghty for Uttering Forged Notes
    John, Joseph and Simon Madden for Burglary
    John Rhodes for Highway Robbery
    Isaac Slater for Stealing Printed Calico
    Thomas Walmesley for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1801 – September 18th

    Elias Gibson for Forging a Will

  • 1802 – April 13th

    Patrick McConville for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1802 – September 2nd

    Henry Hurst for Wilful Murder

  • 1802 – September 18th

    Nicholas Sherlock for Highway Robbery

  • 1803 – April 9th

    Patrick Quigley for Burglary
    Henry Rice for Burglary
    George Short for Sheep Stealing

  • 1804 – April 28th

    Barker and Chadwick for Burglary

  • 1804 – May 5th

    Joseph Brown for Highway Robbery

  • 1804 – September 8th

    James Ogilvie, Thomas Smith and Thomas Boadle for Forgery
    James Bridge and John Bradshaw Magee for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1805 – April 1st

    John Lever for Wilful Murder

  • 1806 – April 19th

    Mary Jackson for Forgery
    James Foxcroft for Burglary
    Christopher Simpson for Highway Robbery

  • 1806 – September 13th

    Joseph Holland, S. Stockton and John Dowell for Sodomy
    Luke Lockhard and Peter Higgins for Forgery
    James Yates for Rape

  • 1806 – September 27th

    T. Rix and Isaac Hitchen for Sodomy

  • 1807 – March 18th

    Richard Reeves for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1807 – September 5th

    James Callaghan, James Freeman and Thomas Byrne for Highway Robbery

  • 1808 – April 9th

    Mary Charnley for Robbery

  • 1809 – April 22nd

    Eli Lowe, John Richardson, James Madden, John Potts, Martin Goodall, Charles Turner and Thomas Barker for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1810 – April 21st

    Henry Cooper for Highway Robbery
    Thomas Hallpike and William Sandbach for Uttering Forged Notes
    Adam Brooks for Sodomy
    Henry Young for Wilful Shooting

  • 1810 – October 13th

    Robert Welch for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1811 – April 27th

    William Cunliffe and Nathaniel Dearden for Burglary
    Patrick McCourt for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1812 – June 13th

    James Smith, Thomas Kerfoot, Job Fletcher, Abraham Charlson, John Howarth, John Lee, Thomas Hoyle and Hannah Smith – all for riot.

    This was the result of the Special Assize held to deal with the ‘Plug Loom’ riots at Houghton. Fifty seven people stood trial for machine-breaking. The youngest to be executed was Abraham Charlson who was sixteen.

  • 1812 – September 10th

    John Wright for Forgery and Uttering Forged Notes
    James Cogan for Highway Robbery
    Henry and Joseph McGlead (brothers) for Burglary
    Thomas Robinson for Cutting and Stabbing

  • 1813 – April 24th

    Thomas Dwyer, John Davis, Timothy O’Brien, Tobias Tool and James Rogers for Highway Robbery
    Robert Barber for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1813 – September 4th

    Robert Dewhurst for Uttering Forged Notes
    John Thorpe for Highway Robbery

  • 1814 – March 19th

    John Buckley for Murder

  • 1814 – April 2nd

    George Ellwood for Feloniously Shooting
    Charles Taylor, Benjamin Butterworth and James Ashworth for Burglary

  • 1814 – September 24th

    William Murphy for Uttering Forged Notes
    John Brown for Horse Theft

  • 1815 – April 22nd

    George Lyon (‘The Wigan Highwayman’), David Bennett and William Houghton for Burglary
    Moses Owen for Horse Theft
    John Warburton for Highway Robbery

  • 1816 – September 16th

    Susannah Holroyd for the murder of her husband

  • 1816 – September 28th

    John James, John Jones and Michael McGuire for Burglary
    Peter Hughes and James MacLean Boyd for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1817 – April 19th

    William Matthews for Burglary
    Edmund Lord for Uttering Forged Notes
    John Hughes, William Crabtree, William Moore, Hall Wylde, Thomas.McCullock, Joseph Bratt and Peter Jones for Highway Robbery

  • 1817 – September 6th

    John Nuttal and Henry Schofield for Murder

  • 1817 – September 8th

    James Ashcroft Snr, James Ashcroft Jnr, David Ashcroft and William Holden for ‘The Pendleton Murders’

  • 1817 – September 20th

    Jenny Cheetham, John Weld, John Ashworth and Patrick MacManus for Uttering Forged Notes
    Thomas Armstrong for Arson

  • 1818 – April 18th

    Margaret Dowd, William Stewart, Robert Wardlow and Thomas Curry for Uttering Forged Notes
    George Hesketh for Burglary

  • 1819 – April 17th

    John Horsman Drake, John Clark, John Kay and Henry Entwistle for Uttering Forged Notes
    Henry Moncrieffe for Rape
    William Smith for Highway Robbery

  • 1819 – September 25th

    Thomas Price for Highway Robbery
    James Hagin for Burglary

  • 1820 – March 27th

    John Dunn for Murder

  • 1820 – April 22nd

    John Todd, Philip Rogers and Peter McCormick for Uttering Forged Notes
    William Parker and Charles Miller for Highway Robbery

  • 1820 – September 16th

    William Hall for Highway Robbery
    Henry Houghton for Forgery

  • 1821 – March 24th

    Abraham Wade and John Quin for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1821 – October 20th

    William Davis for Malicious Shooting
    Joseph Jones for Burglary

  • 1822 – April 20th

    George Farrow, James Gallagher and John Lawless for Burglary
    John Duckworth for Uttering Forged Notes

  • 1824 – March 22nd

    Henry Griffiths for Wilful Murder

  • 1824 – April 3rd

    Kay Aspinall and John Jolly for Burglary

  • 1826 – March 20th

    John Diggles for Wilful Murder

  • 1826 – August 21st

    Alexander and Michael McKean (brothers) for Murder

  • 1827 – March 26th

    Rachel Bradley for the murder of her infant bastard child

  • 1827 – April 7th

    Samual Ashcroft, Daniel Graham and Michael Fitzpatrick for Highway Robbery

  • 1827 – September 10th

    William Robinson for the murder of his wife

  • 1827 – September 29th

    William, Roger and George Heyworth (father and two sons) for Highway Robbery

  • 1828 – March 8th

    Jane Scott for the murder of her mother

  • 1829 – March 23rd

    James Cliffe for the murder of his wife

  • 1830 – March 15th

    Alexander Gibbon for Murder

  • 1830 – April 3rd

    Thomas Miller for Burglary

  • 1830 – September 18th

    Joseph Rowbottom for Bestiality

  • 1831 – March 14th

    Moses Fearneley for Murder. Ashton and William Worrall for ‘The Hollinwood Murder’

  • 1831 – April 2nd

    John and Thomas Mulvay (brothers) for Highway Robbery

  • 1832 – March 12th

    William Heaton for MurderJohn Thomas for Murder

  • 1833 – August 19th

    John Roach for MurderPatrick McPartland and John Howarth for Murder

  • 1834 – March 19th

    Mary Holden for the murder of her husband

  • 1834 – August 9th

    John Heyes for Rape

N.B from now on all convictions were for Murder

  • 1834 – March 26th

    John Orrell

  • 1835 – March 14th

    Norman Welch

  • 1853 – September 3rd

    Richard Pedder the last man to die on the Short Drop in Lancaster

  • 1857 – August 29th

    Edward Hardman

  • 1862 – August 16th

    Walker Moore who died by drowning himself in the prison cistern on the morning of his execution

  • 1865 – March 25th

    Stephen Burke the last public hanging in Lancaster

  • 1875 – August 16th

    Mark Fiddler and William McCullough

  • 1879 – February 11th

    William McGuinness

  • 1886 – February 9th

    Joseph Baines

  • 1887 – August 1st

    Alfred Sowery

  • 1910 – November 15th

    Thomas Rawcliffe

Read our Castle Stories

duchy of lancaster