Ellen Thomson, the only woman ever executed in Queensland, was hanged this date in 1887, along with her lover John Harrison — both condemned for murdering Ellen’s husband William.
She became a housekeeper for William Thomson, a man almost twice her age.
Unsurprisingly, they ended up in matrimony.
Unsurprisingly, that May-December match ended in grief.
Ellen’s relationship with the younger marine John Harrison brought the conflict to a head; the husband was murdered in October of 1886. On the eve of the hanging, Harrison attempted to protect his paramour by claiming sole responsibility for the crime … but it was too little, too late. Both were hanged at Boggo Road Gaol.
Port Douglas’s Court House Museum still maintains an exhibit on this milestone case.