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IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT.

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THE PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT.

EXECUTION AT HORSEMONGER-LANE…

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EXECUTION AT HORSEMONGER-LANE GAOL. Caleb Smith, who was convicted at the late Croydon Ateizes, before Mr. Justice Grove, of the wilful murder of a woman, named Eliza Osborn, with whom he cohabited, was executed on Tuesday- morning at nine o'clock, within the walls of Horse- monger-lane Gaol, the county gaol of Surrey. The deceased was a married woman, but she left her husband, and went to live with Smith, about two years ago, and notwithstanding the fact that he de. stroyed her life in the most determined manner, the evidence at the trial left no doubt that the prisoner was fondly attached to the unhappy woman, and that he was to a great extent actuated to commit the crime through a belief that she intended to leave him. They resided at Croydon, and on the day of the murder they went out together and drank freely at several public- houses, and when they returned home they were both very much influenced by liquor. For some time they appeared to be very friendly, but after a short interval the prisoner appeared to have brought up the subject of the deceased's leaving him, and this led to a violent quarrel, during which the deceased threw a glass of beer at the prisoner. He did not attempt to return this act of violence at the time, but after a few minutes had elapsed he went to a shelf and took a razor from it, and then deliberately walked up to the deceased, put his arms round her neck, and cut her throat in such a frightful manner that death took place almost in an instant. The pri- soner then attempted to cut his own throat, but the in- jury he inflicted upon himself was of a very trifling character, and when he had recovered and was about to be taken away by the police, he earnestly requested to be allowed to kiss the deceased woman, and when he had done so he exclaimed that he loved her and was prepared to die for her. There was a rather shocking incident in se, that the principal witness against the prisoner was one of his own children by his former wife, an intelli- gent little girl ten years of age, who was in the room, and who detailed, in a most artless manner, the cir- cumstances under which the terrible deed was com- mitted, evidently without the slightest notion of the dreadful consequences likely to result to her unhappy parent from the statement she was making. "Since his conviction the prisoner has sent a petition to the Home Secretary, praying for a remis iion of the capital punishment, but the reply was unfavourable, and no one else seems to have interfered in the matter.. Indeed, the prisoner would not have had any counsel to defend him at the trial but for the interference of the Rev. Mr. Jessop, the chaplain, and the High Sheriff, who provided the necessary funds. The prisoner slept very little on Monday night, and in the morning he asked Mr. Keene, the Governor, to allow him to have half a pint of beer, which request was, of course, at once granted. During the operation of pinioning, the prisoner did not utter a word, but he pl* previously several times made use of the expressions that he loved the deceased dearly, and that he would die for her like a man. He had a last interview with his four children, one aged sixteen, and three other younger ones, including the one who had given evi- dence against him, on Monday, in the presence of the Governor and the Chaplain. It was most distressing. The younger children clung round their wretched parent, and it was with difficulty they could be sepa- rated. The execution took place in presence of the Tender Sheriff of Surrey, one of the justices of the peace for the county, Mr. Keene, the governor of the goal, the Rev. Mr. Jessopp, the chaplain, three representatives of the press, and some of the prison officials. Mar- wood was the executioner and, Smith being a man about 5 feet 8 inches high, he arranged that the drop should fall between six and seven feet. The convict emerged from his cell a few minutes before the hour appointed for his execution, and was pinioned in the corridor leading to the yard. He was pale and haggard, and submitted very quietly to the operation. There was a wild and inquiring look in his eyes, and his mind was evidently occupied with thoughts of other things than his dire surroundings. He had come out of his cell with a checked scarf round his neck, but Marwood speedily divested him of this garment, and turned down the collar of his shirt as also that of his coat. A procession was then formed to the scaffold, the prisoner walking pretty firmly, but still deep in contemplation; and the chaplain reading, as he proceeded, I am the resurrection and the life," In the midst of life we are in death," and other passages of Holy Scripture. Having taken his place on the spot where he was to expiate his crime, a cap was drawn over the doomed man's face, the fatal noose was adjusted, the bolt was withdrawn, and the body fell with a heavy thud. There were a few convulsive movements for a minute or so, and then—all was over. A black flag was hoisted outside the prison to inform the few persons who had gathered in front of the gaol that the dismal rtrama had been enacted and the body, after having been allowed to hang the usual time, was cut down and buried. Smith was a man of about thirty-eight years of age, with well-shaped features and a clear and intelligent countenance. During the period he passed in Horse- monger-Une Gaol, his demeanour is reported t > liave been quiet aud resigned. He never entertained any hope that mercy would be extended towards him, and he employed his time in reading the Bible and in writing to his relatives.

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