British Executions

Samuel Henry Smith

Age: 45

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 10 Mar 1903

Crime Location: 4 Fourth Terrace, Hope Street, Grimsby

Execution Place: Lincoln

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Billington


Samuel Henry Smith was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Lucy Margaret Lingard 33 and sentenced to death.

He stabbed her to death at her home at 4 Fourth Terrace, Hope Street in Grimsby on Tuesday 18 November 1902.

Lucy Lingard was a married woman but lived apart from her husband and Samuel Smith would occasionally cohabit with her when he was in dock.

At the time of the murder Lucy Lingard and her 13 year old daughter had been living at the address along with a lodger that had rented the front room.

Samuel Smith had visited Lucy Lingard on the morning of 18 November 1902 and they later went out together at about 2pm and returned about 4pm when high words were heard by Lucy Lingard's daughter and Samuel Smith struck Lucy Lingard, giving her a black eye. However, the quarrel then stopped and they went out again, not returning until about 10.30pm.

The lodger had been in with a woman when they returned and the woman later stated that both Samuel Smith and Lucy Lingard had been the worse for drink and that Samuel Smith later became very quarrelsome.

The woman said that Samuel Smith then said that he wanted some supper and Lucy Lingard's daughter got him some although it was heard that Samuel Smith had been in the same sort of mood after.

The lodger said that when he came in he saw Samuel Smith pull a knife partly from his pocket and put it back again after which the lodger went out to look for a policeman.

In his absence it was heard that Lucy Lingard's daughter saw Samuel Smith take out his knife and then rush at Lucy Lingard and stab her several times in the breast after which he made an attempt to draw the knife across his own throat but left no mark. Lucy Lingard's daughter said that Samuel Smith then threw the knife into the fireplace but then took it out again and stabbed Lucy Lingard again at which point Lucy Lingard's daughter ran out of the house and got a neighbour.

When a policeman arrived he found Lucy Lingard lying on the floor and Samuel Smith said to him, 'I have done it. I struck her four or five times, there is the knife'.

Lucy Lingard was taken to hospital but died twelve days' later on 30 November 1902.

Samuel Smith had been a fisherman.

He was described as a revolting character and had attracted little public sympathy and it wasn't until after his conviction that the public took any real interest in his case and a petition was got up. A letter published in a newspaper from the Chaplain at Lincoln prison to the port missionary in Grimsby read:

The unhappy man Smith, now lying under sentence of death in Lincoln prison, has asked me to write to you and ask if there is any possibility of your being able to do anything in getting up a petition for his reprieve. He seems to have known you. Of course it is an axion that drunkenness is no excuse for crime, but possibly his inebriated condition might be taken into consideration by the authorities now that sentence has been passed. He seems thoroughly broken down and penitent, but I find him a man of the lowest possible type of intellectual development, and I find it almost impossible to teach him spiritual truths, not from any unwillingness on his part to receive them, but through sheer feebleness of mind. At the same time it would be difficult to pronounce him of unsound mind. It would, I consider, be an act of true Christian charity to petition for his reprieve. From my position I am unable to move in the matter. Unless he is reprieved the execution will be on March 10th, so no time is to be lost.

However, his sentence was not interfered with and he was executed on Tuesday 10 March 1903 at Lincoln Gaol. It was noted that there was a small crowd outside the gaol for the execution but that in accordance with the recent Home Office order the black flag was not hoisted.

Samuel Smith was not visited by any of his relatives since his condemnation but received one letter from his mother.

Samuel Smith was said to have passed a good night and to have listened attentively to the ministration of the chaplain who entered his cell at an early hour. He was said to have submitted quietly to pinioning and walked without apparent tremor to the scaffold and his death was described as instantaneous.

see National Archives - HO 144/697/105311, ASSI 13/33

see Nottingham Evening Post - Thursday 04 December 1902

see Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 20 November 1902

see Western Times - Saturday 21 February 1903

see Lincolnshire Echo - Wednesday 25 February 1903

see Leeds Mercury - Saturday 14 March 1903

see Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Saturday 21 February 1903