Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page

PABLIAIENTABY JOTTINGS,

.EXECUTION AT STAFFORD.

News
Cite
Share

EXECUTION AT STAFFORD. The last dread sentence of the law was carried into effect at eight o'clock on Tuesday morning at Stafford, on the body of William Collier, aged 35 years, a small farmer who resided at Whiston Eaves, near Cheadle, in North Staffordshire, and who was found guilty, at the last Staffordshire assizes, of the murder of a young gentleman, named Thomas Smith, the eldest son of a gentleman who resided on his own estate at Whiaton. The murdered gentleman was only 25 years of age, and was much respected in the neighbourhood of his home. He was known amongst the peasantry as the young aqnire." He lived with his father, who was the Lord of the Manor, helping him to farm and manage the large extent of land belonging to him. The particulars of the murder may be told very briefly. They are as follows:-At sunrise on the morn- ing of the 5bhof July, Mr. Smith, jun., went to a game preserve near to his father's house, known as the Black Plantation, for the purpose of watohing for poachers. As he did not return to breakfast, his father became alarmed, and, accompanied by one of his ser- vants, went in search of his son. Upon coming to the spot where the young man was in the habit of staying when guarding the covers, Mr. Smith, sen., found his son's leggings, and also a piece of sacking, which, spread upon the grass, served for a resting place. A little further on the servant picked up his young master's hat riddled with shot. In the band there was a white rose, which the un- fortunate young man had placed there on the pre- vious night. Deeper in the plantation, and almost covered by the ferns and brambles that grew in great profusion there, the dead body of the deeeased was discovered lying in a pool of blood. The back portion of the head had been beaten in in a terrible man- ner, apparently by some heavy blunt instrument; and scattered about the grass near to the body were picked up several pieces of the stock of a gun, two ^un locks, and a broken trigger, with also a ramrod, beveral of the trees near were examined, and about a dozen shots were picked out of the bark. Up to this time Collier was not suspected. While the police were searching the wood he remained in sight, working in one of the fields of his small farm, and taking no interest in the un- usual proceedings going on so near him. Subsequently, however, he was observed by the wife of one of Mr. Smith's servants to go in the direction of a ditch in one of his fields, carrying something under his arm, and from time to time casting furtive glances on either side. This woman told her husband of what she had seen, and he, suspecting that all was not right, went to the mouth of the ditoh, and found the double-barrel of a •gua> broken off at the stock. This gun was identified aa that belonging to Collier, and, upon com- paring it with the trigger, looks, and ramrod found in the wood, they were found to correspond exactly. Collier was then arrested. He did not reply to the charge, and made no remark when an officer showed him several spots of blood on his clothing. During the magisterial examination the prisoner maintained a very reserved demeanour. When on his trial at Stafford he manifested only little emotion. He fre- quently yawned, as if tired of the proceedings, not- withstanding that they were to him a matter of life or death. Every now and then, however—and this was especially the case when Professor Taylor read his report as to the analysis of the blood spots on the prisoner's clothing, and when the father of the deoeased was giving. his evidence, Collier appeared interested, and, getting up from the chair with which he was accommodated, he leaned forward apparently not to miss a word of what was said. After sentence of death was passed, the condemned man, who had received with folded arms and compressed lips the intelligence of the horrible award of his crime, turning hurriedly from the front of the dock, his face twitching nervously, as if he was commanding his composure only by a severe effort. A few daya after he had been condemned to die, he took a farewell of his brother (who is a respectable publican at Cheadle) and his -wife and. seven children. As may be imagined, the interview was most heartrending; subsequently, however, the convict recovered in a great measure the composure which has so characterised him. As he was a Catholic, he was attended by the Rev. Canon U bulhvan the recently-appointed Catholic chaplain to the t gaol. It is understood that he confessed his crime to the rev. father. He also made a statement to the chief warder of the gaol, in which he acknowledged his crime and the justice of his sentence. The crowd present at the execution in the morning was not so large as usual. The rain had poured down nearly all night, and doubtless prevented many per. sons in the Jrotteries from undertaking a pedestrian journey to btattord. The hangman was Smith, of Dudley. n. As Collier died the crowd hooted his executioner. The formalities of the hanglng had to be gone through twice, and when the drop first fell the rope slipped from the head. The convict's confession was complete he shot his victim twice.

[No title]

THE MURDER OF A WARDER OF…

SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT BIRMINGHAM.

SUDDEN DEATHS FROM CHOLERA.I

[No title]

A OLEVER ARISTOCRATIC SWINDLER.

..>UR ""~CITY" ARTICLE.. -----

fsmta anfo €omtx^ ISarkts,…