Sean
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Sean asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

When did public executions stop in the UK?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    29th of May 1868. Parliament passes the Capital Punishment (Amendment) Act.

    Timeline of capital punishment in Britain.

    22nd of March 1868. Last fully public hanging in Scotland - that of Joseph Bell at Perth.

    2nd of April 1868. Last public hanging of a woman - Francis Kidder at Maidstone for murder.

    11th of May 1868. Third reading of The Capital Punishment within Prisons Bill by parliament.

    12th of May 1868. Last nominally public hanging in Scotland. Robert Smith was executed outside Dumfries prison but the authorities ensured that the public saw very little.

    26th of May 1868. Last fully public hanging in England - Michael Barrett at Newgate for the Fenian bombing at Clerkenwell which killed 7 people.

    29th of May 1868. Parliament passes the Capital Punishment (Amendment) Act, ending public hanging as such, and requiring executions to be carried out behind prison walls. However the Act did allow the sheriff of the county in which the execution took place the discretion to admit newspaper reporters and other witnesses, including the victim’s relatives to the hanging.

    Members of the press, the murder victims family and other persons specifically invited by the Governor of the prison and the Sheriff of the county were permitted to witness executions.

    13th of August 1868. First nominally private hanging : 18 year old Thomas Wells executed at Maidstone for murder.

    8th of September 1868. Alexander Mackay becomes the first person to be hanged in private in Newgate's new execution shed for the murder of his mistress.

  • 1 decade ago

    The most famous of place of public execution in Britain, Tyburn (modern day Marble Arch), saw it's last visitors hanged on the 29th August 1783 - William Ryland for forgery and John Austin for robbery.

    However, public executions still continued (only moved from Tyburn because the area was becoming more upmarket and local residents objected to the vast crowds gathered to attend) but took place at the Old Bailey, next to Newgate prison. The final public execution in Britain took place on the 26th May 1868 when Michael Barrett, an Irish Republican, was hanged for trying to blow up the Middlesex House of Detention but managed to demolish a terrace of houses, killing twelve and injuring forty.

    After this, all executions took place within prison grounds.

    Capital punishment, in regards to homicide, was abolished in 1965 - Peter Anthony Allen being the last man hanged for murder the previous year - and the final offences that still held that sentance were changed in 1998.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I know, you could be having a field day executing all the radical muslims over there now.

    It was the liberal government after the second great war that brought a halt to capital punishment. They decided to stop all executions for being "too inhumane". Instead they decided to lock people up and waste tax payers money. The last person to hang was an Irishman more popularly known as "Lord Hawhaw".

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