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EXECUTION AT STAFFORD.

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EXECUTION AT STAFFORD. STAFFORD, Tuesday. The last dread sentence of the law was carried into effeet at eight o'clock this morning, at Stafford, on the body of William Collier, aged thirty-five years, a small farmer, who resided at Johnston Eaves, near Cheadle, in North Staffordshire, and who was found guilty of the murder of a young gentleman named Thomas Smith, the eldest son of a gentleman of the same name, who resided on his own estate at Whiston, at the last Staffordshire Assizes. The murdered gentleman was only twenty-five years of age, and was much respected in the neighbourhood of his home. He was known among the peasantry as the young squire." 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. It will be remembered that the back portion of the deceased gentleman's head was beaten in in a terrible manner, apparently by some heavy blunt in- strument, and scattered about the grass near to the body were picked up several pieces of the stock of a gun, two gun-locks, and a broken trigger, with also a ramrod. Subsequently Collier 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 ditch, and found the double barrel of a gun broken off at the stock. This gun was identified as that belonging to Collier, and, upon comparing with it the trigger, locks, and ramrod found in the wood, they were found to correspond exactly. Collier was then arrested. A few days after his condemnation he took 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. Sub- sequently, however, the convict recovered in a great measure the composure which had so characterised him. As he was a Catholic, he was attended bj the Rev. Canon O'Sullivan, the recently appointed Catholic chap- lain to the gaol. It is understood that he confessed his crime tothcrcv. gentleman. He also made a statement to the chief warder of the gaol, in which he acknow- ledged his crime and the justice of his sentence. The crowd present at the execution this morning was r 11 not so large as* usual. The rain had poured down nearly all night, and doubtless prevented many persons in the potteries from undertaking a pedestrian journey to Stafford. The hangman was Smith, of Dudley. The wretched man had to go through the agony of being twice sus- pended, for the rope at first slipped from the beam. When he was brought again to the drop the spectators hooted and cried Shame." His confession fully con- filmed the evidence for the prosecution.

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