June 13th, 2013 Headsman
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.
Also on this date
- 1628: John Lambe murdered
- 1930: Lee Akers, after the Ohio Penitentiary Fire
- 1857: Twelve blown from cannons in British Punjab
- 1683: James Smith and John Wharry, Covenanter bystanders
- Unspecified Year: Clever Tom Clinch, hung like a hero
- 1798: Rigas Feraios, Greek poet