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.
On this day..
- 1962: The only hangings in independent Cyprus - 2016
- 1873: A day in the death penalty around the U.S., courtesy of the New York Herald - 2015
- 1628: John Lambe murdered - 2014
- 1930: Lee Akers, after the Ohio Penitentiary Fire - 2012
- 1857: Twelve blown from cannons in British Punjab - 2011
- 1683: James Smith and John Wharry, Covenanter bystanders - 2010
- Unspecified Year: Clever Tom Clinch, hung like a hero - 2009
- 1798: Rigas Feraios, Greek poet - 2008