Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page

EXECUTION --! c.......A-''.i/..\..j.....\1…



THE SCKNK ON THE I SCAFFOLD, | "FA DASTARDLY | i!2LR I ten, 'J.'hursdav Morning. 3 at eight o'clock Thomas]| at eight c'ctock lllOmas •^fcoharcSs, a saiior. of Borth, was hanged ;.d £ c & ^•-rmartiieu pt'.o! for murdeung Maryg tho sister of his own wife, on thrjg wOrt;»ng of Keptcmber 21st. The story iJr ^'ie ftriaie, thoug!i lacking nothing sen | :ilational, uas to. eor two leatures of interest.!) In it.. The fact is Rinliavds seems to ttave cai l ied cut his foul objcct without the| ^nirst of bloodshed whi 'b characterises mostB ^rrterero.for headopte-3 a meihod ofdest-roy-p lng life which has not bc-en common since thee da\ s of Othello. He >"<JeLhercJ his victims a pillow-, tisen i ob="?d her of a considcr-g ^ble suai of reone.v an1 ring, Auotiier^ ICllrions clmracteriatic i 1i¡¡,¡,t Richards, who? Q, a sailor, arrived at Swansea in ^leetra" the same day as the iiusband ol3 b's vt3iiiUj who followed a similar occupation.! the same tov.n in the steamer Riggio.'g vessels appear lo have sighted each other! *n i»v:(RIhiy. Riobards appears t.-> haveE traight to tho residence of Mir i jr lhv¡. iioith. a iitt'c pILke near| and,after drinking Rome beer all a-puhlic-hsusc close bv, to have entered the bou'sy of trie Ueee.asou, a-id thare he found hi si vieti; a anp rvrnotECTKi>, I nnd r.r.u'dered her in the way described. IT eg "■ben decamped with what valuables he c.-juldE ani was u few days aflenvarisg atr«ste.i ;it Neath. The eharge of robbers.8 %xhir:i; was tlien preferred against him. -lfterwardi; suppl^&iented by the more Kerious^ of iv* :'ui murder. lie was tried at C¡r- •Srtlicn on November 10th be tore Justief '•^wranco, ;.nd found guilty, l'e provesteda ill# ninocenee, but. while admitting that hoi t,J' £ ht caiu-ed the de tth of Mrs. Dairies,| *°Usnj:siy i!i;( that he placed^ piiiow over her face merely o^ Prevent tier sei eams, and to facilitate! «et of robbery. Ti;e lav/, however.^ <lf;C'ariHlthath'i v :t* guilty of wilfully taking the life of a human being, and t^emiieei liim to be huny. g bis iriai Riehtrds has exhibited t: ej ^tnest 8i Atrois. The n.inistrations cf thel of the gaol, the Rev. T. R. Walters,! been received with him in tearful hum;! £ f'} aiul concern, lie has divided iiis attention! between tLe sOlace of religion and the hope of^ 'Die Bible ;.mi u- Welsh hymu-§ b:i\a been his constantconiprnicujs, aiid| I vaneii h s prayer of forgiveness with-; COj'It:t' VttOTFSr/.TiO»C5 C/ I'N.VOCENCS | tl»e intent to do murder. Sfrenuous| r ,.(,t Lave been to i .ducc tiie Homed *tai— to iuftrfeie v^itb the ord inary ^"urst* of 'ustice but without a rail. The prisoner been 1 by his relatives,andi ■b-is wrutcu t)).m fnr.'ber protestations oil ^naoccncc. bisi u has availed him nothing. J;bis, the fatcfisl uwrnin»~his last hours in| ^'o Lesii — u?lmd .RieWirds fate io face withs prison walls, and* to c.irry out I ho dreadful tenc0 of As on the| °eea.«ioii of t-ne previous execution atj ^riusrihsa Guol. when George Tiion.aa was ior'ing hid sweetheart, ^ei>oitei.j were not.- permitted to give the ::HJ¡:C an :inbiassed and fa thrul r'(1r.t tliat sentiHu;); had been properly and decently y -ifid out. It is, we MiitA, to be regretted tendency of tbone in jiutiiority to\ the pies from executions has fciundl in conservative Garmartben. Therel be good I oason3 for such an attitude, •■p' uny rate, they have not been state !.fe Ri' h irds ivill have, by the time Ules >| urn ii) piiut, undoubtedly mel bis deat'-jj pad the pjiiaity or ins crime, buffi be di.l so e.v.ts t y iit a manner which* 'OHvsponos to the iotei'.uou of the law, or iv;j lettable to the s*cnse ot public opinion, is* ePe'>dc.H ,ent>i-»-iy upon the testimony oi'a t^'ibii, oHiot us. who are interested in hidiui'» £ :n :-hc -piibiic gaza pameuiars oi a iy iiit. he p«en iiugut occur ni tne proper c.trrymj ontfi 1 *"h e of de.itb- | a.J iU- OCTSIDIC THE PRISON. I I The slumberous bid borough of Carmarthen^ fand its surroundingb do not form a »r.itables* |bac>grounU to the gr;m picture of u gallows-? |and its attendant horrors. Wuni\ i!s nrow»i 1 iiljreclitcts,. with its grey walls and ibulus oiS pjackd.iws, ii. is easier t o think of the bridle ofg |the <"nd-eoated huntsman than the noose o'$ tithe hangman, and the lowing of cattle th&n|j Itbe knell of the murderer's passing lull, antiS ithc cutting of the harvest thau the stranghngp iof a felon. NVhen the peace of Hie town ¡I jgblotted by the carrying into effect of the! 'gravest puuishuient which the law eang iiiifiiet, it acts like a nightmare. It is paui-B |ful while it lasts, bat the ciTect is transient,! land the inhabitants soon sink back into theirg plaCld habits. This morning seven o'eloc tiie town w*s wrapped in < A GREY MIST, which rose from the river below and clung to the rocky base of the prisou, which stands Swhero once was the ancient castle, The courtyard, which contained small shed ill which Richards was executed, stands within what were once the walls of the old eastlo, and is overlooked by a remnant and an old turret. It was from the top of the latter that two venturesome pressmen saw the death procession on the occasion of the iaatS ^execution, which took place at the same gáol., At. about 7.30 some three hundred of thl) liuhabiLants had tumbled out of their beds! pud stood languidly in the raw morning air in| 'ronL ot' the prison entraaee to see tb« ascent! of the black iiag. Above the arch, whichl curved over Use hon-stu.ided doors, rose flagstaff, which, under tiio circumstances,# seemed endowed with a great deal moreg intelligence and grim reserve' than flagstiuTo| usually do. A thiu rep« ran up to a groove atl I ts top. 1 I SHORT.Y Ai'l'ttli &KVE.5 O CLOCK i itbe chaplain, the Rev. T. il Walters, arrived,| Ifollowed shortly by one or two magistratesg land officials. The executioner, Bihin £ ton,fl who arrived .it Carmarthen on Wednesday;! was ready within the prison. From where the| crowd stood there was an entrancing glimpsel ot the Towy Vale with its greeny slopes bulf shrouded in the grey^ There was an absence of Incitement aniongot tbe throng, which wasg lalmost inconsistent with the feet that an^S lawful tragedy, of which no sound could begs |heard, was being enacted not 50 yards awav.E jjihe crowd waited with something liko apathyg |until a few minutes before eight o'clock. » IXi'.K HOLi.O'A CLA\<> OJ? THB TA^SING BELC|j| ^resounded throughont the courts of theg| Sprison, and t<Md those without that Riekartts|| Ivvas about to walk to sudden death. Almostjg 'before tl.e spectator* had time to realise theg Igrim significance attached to the sound of theg sbell, the rope attached to tbe flag-staff waste, Iseen to quiver. An answering tremor|, lant; something iike a gasp ran through tke|j |erowd when 1 THE BLACK FLAG | -appeared above the grey wails of the prison,| ^rapidly reaching the top of the pole. Then| Severy man, woman, and child knew thntl fliicbards had an instant previous met with a| fdcath as stid.len and relent,Sees as t'at| |vvhic'n he had intlicted up >n his victim. Ai Cew minutes a'terwar-ls a warder eniergedj| Ifroiii the galewav. and uifixed to tbw outsideB Iwall I | A CF.RL1HCAXE, I |signed by one or two of the officials, that! SKichards's execuliori was accomplished. Re*P Jluctantly the people dispersed, and the bla. kK ^i'ag alone, drooping dolefully in the still,S ffi osted air, remained to show that Richards^ gone where no criminals are asked to Jplead, and whero neither protestations ofjjs ^innocence or admission oi guilt are necesattry.l A LATER MLS.SAGR. I tz has now been given to tile; Representatives of the press by the goal [officials that liicuard = slept soundly throngii-f Otlt the night, and was aroused at ^o'clock. He was visited by the chaplain a|j ilittle later, to whom lie e:.presseci himself in a|i SresigneJ ana peaceful manner. The execu-S [tioner, whose duty it was to carry out t-ieffl Jdread sentence of the law, entered the c-cll otp rtlic condemned a few minutes before eights Jji.'elock: and was himself surpriseul |ut. the sfea.Iy bearing and ouietS Jcourage of the convict, who, aiiorg Ibeing pinioned, walked totiia scalToid without! {assistance, making audible responses to tln»j| ^prayers of the churc h scrviee, wnicli tbeg ;cbn plain read in a trembling voice, js |Tbe gaol ./fCcials declare that the! |«,st scene was enacted without the siighte&tl 'hitch of an\ sort, and that, the executions |was, from tkeir point of view, aS jmost satisfactory one. The black flags gwas hoisted at exact iy one minute past eJghL jo'eleek, which is in itself a siighi, indieation| ft hat the law had been vindicated withontg Ihiteh or delay, | A crowd of about 300 persons gathered ing jthe precincts of the gaol, and many morel [endeavoured to gain a view of the execution! Sfrom the tops of t-he adjoining bouses. iobject was fnFtrated, However, by the Fauthoritiss, who f laced p number of polices Jaroun'l to prevent the dread scene beingg ^witnessed. An official, who vras present | |informs me that from the moment Biilingtonp tenlered the cell till the fall of the platforms I which launched the culprit into eternity nnhl i0ne ami a half minutes elapsed. 8 | CONFESSION HY TEL CONVICT. 1 | Our representative has been able to seeuref ithc written statement which Richards, before! the received the Sacrament on Saturday.! Signed, and declared Before his God" tog Ibe a true version of what had occurred- iAfier sptitking at. great length of bis move I Inents after leaviaa his ship (the Eloetra) II. ^Neatli cn Scptetubcr 19 (a Wednesday), and ;the drunken bouts he had with various com- itpanions, the couviet says :— i | "r don't remember leaving Swansea, gliow T left there. \Y:1; l'ellt"<,cier, when i asked if 1 could liavt* J"a drinu, ami i am not sure whether i had one*" gor not. The next place 1 remember l"Aberystwith Station, and I think 1 outj ^straight. I remember goine in a the2 Inn, but I won't, swear I went in.5 L'his was after ten o'clock. Very few eanÎ tei1 i am drunk until t sj. cak to me, ^d> inU does not ailect n.y walk verv mnc'e.S f.Tbe next time I remember anything wasS 4turmeg ' a field, and 1 have an| bindistuict recollection of catching a vony.aj I'i'he peuv was n fresh one. | had not| ^ridden for many years, and had no reins. Ig know 1 got our of the held L ^uember going through with m. arms ijthe pony, and w'nen near i5ry!i-tla I let go myE trm and fell on ni v back. j. then passed niyft [gown house. It was my intention to go to mv8 Sown bouse, but just by the board school some" I flthing e-ame to my mind and told me to go tof Imv bister-in-law's house to i'ei-ch r ouev. l| igunew si,e bad money. end hint an idea kept it, That is wbeie Iniothcr i ept it when I lived then J |for two years immediately alter we married t I thought she kept it in tbe small drawer.v the top of tbe chest of drawers on the leaf te.hnnd. I went, and did not go near ii>v owus r::(;'¡"I' I saw nobody about. When i.V;ot tot rjjibe deceaseds r.ousc, 1 tried the window fir^t,^ gaud found there was no bolt. I lifted ■ window right up and w« nt in. I am positive! ^of tbii-. Allhougli 1 am reminded of the gim-1 ilithelein the ba k door. 1 know notion^ ol'S itbe gimlet or tbe back door. After going in if ibegan to look tor tbe drawer. I lit a match audi arouud the drawer looked and I saw keys on the! Stop of the ehe-t of drawcr«imtriediatoly ai.ovo| itbe drawer. XI e ring v.-as also flu-re. J tooks Jjihe ring »ucl optn.-d the door. 1 f<> i»d ibo| aj.ieposit- aiia a fi5 note. This took me aboatjp «:'Sve niinutei j.edoo- of the parlour was^ lope' i then went upat;tirs, and, as 1 v as^ |goiog upstairs, I beard beard her strike ymaicli. I went forai d to tho bedroom,' audj •^saw tiie deceased with ono foot out of thea I thnll; It wau the left foot. She hadg *not got v. liolly out of bed. Wlieu she sawi £ u;e she scruatuoJ onre, and 1 gave her B M (small push on the breast, which caused her. to rfait on the bed. andtlren threw the pillow face with one h; nd to nreTent- herg fscieaming. No unnecessary violence wasjl •vised io any way. and all I thought was^j gto get away. I was then anxious to get out,t|j Jand I believe I ble-v the candle out and v.euiS fdo'vnstairs and out through the froot-door.jgn |i had put the window down when I first weetfg fin. i was net there a moment, 1 did nothing's |to her in any way indecent, nor had f •■verll |done anything to her. I did not do am-jj Ifhing to her except as J have said, and ifl |diel not intend to harm her in any wav, as|p |i had no cause to do anything to her. Im |am innocent of nny intention of doindS her nny harm. I think I heard bcraj sereain as 1 went through the front-door.^ but not much, f did not kuow siie was deacfl u!it;l the Chief-constable of Cardiganshire^ r-old me on Wednesday. I was only in the house tlittle over live Minutes. There wasH no struggle at all except as 1 have said. In have saiet ail that has taken place. I nothing to her and he said nothing to Me, as when she began to soresm l was afraidsome-M body would bear and rouse tho village up. L lett tbe keys in the same, place as 1 found them, unless I left them in the lock.S L took nothing a.way except the ring, theg deposit rote, and the £ 5 note. 1 don't known what possessed me to take them. Ait-erg! leaving i went up to »y own house anel ithe £ 5 note under the front door of my wife'sBg | ho use. 1 had no gimlet, and have no reco!-S' llection of any such thing. 1 don't know wbyl j?L didn't go into the house. 1 beard the clock strike two when I was doing thi," 1 then left for Aberystwith, and when I to Moeieerini 1 went into a field and slept until day light, when 1 proceeded to Aberyst-^ with. I first went to the Skinners' Arms'j about eight o'clock and had several beers*! there, 1 don't know how long I staved^ there. Aiiss Ellis's story is true as to whatjl took place, 1 admit everything that witnesses^ say as to tbe money, bwt I most emphatieal'\P deny the murder. I don't know why I took tbe £ 64. I sent the dceeased the aotep for the £200 on the Friday morning. y I a-crnit all the witnesses say as to whats took place on Saturday. I do not rememberE saying anything about the ring, as I wasg drinking hard the whole time. I stayed^ at the Koyal Oak until the Monday, ;i left for Lianeily, and there saw Peake, do not remember what 1 said as I wasji muddled, 1 bought shoes there and 1 alsoSj bought fowls from there, and that is all ill jjremeniber. I was drinking hard there, lis jdo not remember that I said anything abouf^J jthe ring. From Lianeily I went to Neath,|3 •about seven o'clock, and went to tho .Falcon,gg luntil 1 was arrested. Ii said when arrested, and it may b? jthe police say is true. When I first saw the|| |chief be said in Welsh that he charged me Iwith three things—breaking in the house, (stealing the money, and cau&iug ber daatb. Ira do not remember that, I said, They aretmis-s taken.' This evidence is. as far as I am con-gs jcerned, false. 1 bad no gimlet, I was com-i ipieteiy overcome when he told me she waslg juead. and I hardly knew wbat I said as to|| jPugh's evidence. My recollection is that ill [went to the bank, produced the note, and jjhim how much I wanted, and he asked me toil liign. 1 uid so, ",j. D. He did not ask mel jto sign my own name. When I was on kboard the Coquette, captained by CaptainM j.Jenkins, Havelock ilia, Aberystwitn, ;n§ [the west coast of Africa, I got a fever,S jwhieh allecteel my joints and head, 1 was! 'never in my mind. All I thought was t.) getjf jthe money, and whea I considered that thevtg |would find the money gene I sent my wife tiie|| | £ 40, as knew she would not use it, and itli Jwouid be there for the deceased. 1 did Jwouid be there for the deceased. 1 did not pjiiiow she was dead until the chief told me &tlj 'Nerth. Before my God I say I never in-Iif Steried her any injury or to murder her. got the money before 1 went upstairs. don't know what possessed me to go upstairs,|| ji.nless it was to to her in mvffi !silliness. She used to sleep at times!! in the parlour, where the moneys was kept, i don't know whetiierP sup recoguised me. I did not touclt her body|| fanywhere, except on her chest with my open^ Jhand. i did not touch her face or thigh—didja jnot touc'n ber clothing, in fast, did nor. toucb^ jjoer at all, exceot as L have said. Wiien 13 ^touched her I used ttio left hand, which bad^ j'.he effect of niakingher lie across the bed, andg ^1 look up the pillow with tbe right..1 dicip ]not intend to strangle her. and only meant- tow her, for I put cut tbe candle at tbe samca (j11e, We bad no struggle in any 1m only come to myself since I have been luga •custody lam Jbas happened. | I -(Signed) I THOMAS RICHARDS. | "crmarhen Prison Uctober, 189iV |

[last meeting of the old!…