1819: John Markham, abominable offence 1819: John Booth and Thomas Wildish, minor crooks

1948: Arthur George Osborne, as per Harry Allen’s journal

December 30th, 2015 Headsman

On this date in 1948, Arthur George Osborne hanged at Armley Gaol in Leeds for murdering 70-year-old Ernest Westwood in the course of a robbery.

Osborne’s execution date was also his 28th birthday.

Mustachioed assistant executioner Harry Allen kept a handwritten journal of the executions he officiated in his 23-year career — a journal recently sold at auction. From it we have notes on each prisoner’s height (5 feet, 6.5 inches in Osborne’s case), weight (188 pounds) and the consequent length of the rope’s drop (8 feet).


Very good job? but not expected to be so. Was hung on his 28th birthday at HMP Leeds by S. Wade got highly complimented on the speed of the job.

Harry Allen was eventually promoted to a chief executioner, in which guise he became Britain’s Last Executioner: he carried out one of the two simultaneous last hangings in England, as well as the last in Scotland and the last in Northern Ireland.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,Murder,Theft

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Recent Comments

  • Gillian Gill: A very sad case. It sounds like the little girl had a very difficult life. If only she she had been...
  • nah: Good job, i like to know who wrote it
  • Jessica Gardner: George was my Grandpa Virgil Barrett’s great uncle. I just went and saw the marker they put up...
  • Jim morrison: I have written my own novel about the countess…and they weren’t accomplices of the...
  • Bruce Battle: My Mom first told me of the Jeremiah Reeves incident when I was 5 or 6 years old. My family moved to...