British Executions

Charles Holmes


Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 12 Aug 1872

Crime Location:

Execution Place:

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


August 12th: Charles HOLMES
A labourer sentenced to death at Worcester Assizes on 22 June for the murder of his wife at Bromsgrove. Holmes earned a respectable living at a Bromsgrove quarry, and his wife also received a good wage working in the forge at the village nail works. They had lived quite happily with their young crippled son, until relations between them floundered when he took to drink. On 7 March, Holmes was drinking in the Rose and Crown pub, when his wife came in and summoned him home. At the house, neighbours heard him shout that if she didn't fetch his supper he would 'make her fit for a coffin.' She took the next day off work, and together with her son, went to stay with friends. When Holmes came home and found her gone, he went to the friends' house and tried to persuade her to return. Four times that night he called at the house and each time she refused his request to come home. Finally, he went to the house just as she was taking the child upstairs to bed. Holmes called out to his son and asked him if he would like some pocket money. Mrs Holmes carried the child towards her husband who stood at the door and as they approached, the boy held out his hand. Holmes reached into his pocket but instead of pulling out money, he withdrew a razor and slashed his wife across the throat, killing her instantly and covering the boy in blood. He made no effort to escape and admitted his guilt. Hanged by Calcraft, he was the first person to be hanged at Worcester for almost forty years, and died after a brief struggle.