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Berry, James (1852–1913), hangman, was born at Heckmondwike, Yorkshire, on 8 February 1852, one of the large family of Daniel Berry, a woolstapler, and Mary Ann Berry (née Kelley), both Wesleyan Methodists. He attended Heckmondwike day school and a boarding-school, Wrea Green Academy...

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Brandon, Richard (d. 1649), common hangman and probable executioner of Charles I, was the son of Gregory Brandon, whom he succeeded in the post of common hangman. His father was certainly hangman of London by 1611, when he was living in Rosemary Lane, Whitechapel...

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G. C. Boase

revised by J. Gilliland

Calcraft, William (1800–1879), hangman, was born at Baddow, near Chelmsford. He was a cobbler by trade and had once been a nightwatchman at Reid's brewery in Clerkenwell. He then hawked meat pies around the streets, and particularly around Newgate, where he became known to the execution staff and to the hangman, ...

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Ellis, John (1874–1932), executioner, was born on 4 October 1874 at Buersil, Rochdale, the eldest child of Joseph James Ellis, a hairdresser, and his wife, Sarah Ann, née Dawson. He left school to work for the local Eagle Spinning Company. When he was twenty, he married ...

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John Ellis (1874–1932) by unknown photographer PA Photos

Article

Ketch [Catch], John [Jack] (d. 1686), public executioner, is in himself an obscure figure. Neither his parents nor his date of birth are known. Parish and probate records provide a little information. Ketch married a woman named Katherine, who survived him, and he and his wife are probably the ...

Article

G. C. Boase

revised by J. Gilliland

Marwood, William (bap. 1818, d. 1883), public executioner, was baptized at Goulceby, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, on 8 November 1818, the son of William Marwood, cordwainer, and his wife, Elizabeth, and followed his father into the shoemaking trade. He was married, first, to Jessie (1805/6–1867)...

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Pierrepoint, Albert (1905–1992), executioner, was born on 30 March 1905 at home at 5 Green End, Clayton, Bradford, the eldest son and third of five children of Henry Albert Pierrepoint (1874–1922), clogger and executioner, and his wife, Mary, née Buxton. He was aged eleven when he discovered what his father's second occupation was, and why he was away from home so frequently. In a bizarre echo of young Jerry Cruncher in ...

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Albert Pierrepoint (1905–1992) by Ian Tyas, 1973 Getty Images – Ian Tyas

Article

Thrift, John (d. 1752), public executioner and murderer, is of unknown origins and nothing is yet known of his life before he became the common hangman of London. He could not write his own name. His wife, whom he had married by 1748, was named ...