British Executions

James (or John) Godwin


Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 25 May 1874

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Newgate

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


Godwin, John

Twenty seven year old John Godwin was a hearth-rug maker convicted of the murder of his wife Louisa who was also twenty seven, at Islington. Godwin, his wife, and their two children occupied a room in a house on Kinglands Road, Islington. On 22 April, a neighbour heard noises coming from their room. She knew that Godwin was in the habit of ill- treating his wife, and thinking that he was beating her up, she knocked on the door. Godwin refused to open up, saying that there was no trouble and that everything was fine. The neighbour, Sarah Wilkins, then went back upstairs but watched over the landing for someone to leave. Moments later, Godwin left the room whereupon Mrs Wilkins entered and found Godwin's wife dead in a pool of blood. She had been battered to death with a piece of wood later found under the bed. Godwin was soon arrested, and after conviction he was hanged by William Calcraft and Anderson. This was to be Calcraft's last execution. The sentence was carried out in Newgate on the 25 May 1874.