British Executions

Charles Wood Whittaker

Age: 43

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 2 Dec 1903

Crime Location: 99 Husband Street, Collyhurst, Manchester

Execution Place: Manchester

Method: hanging

Executioner: John Billington


Charles Whittaker was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Elizabeth Range 43 and sentenced to death.

He stabbed her at 99 Husband Street, Collyhurst, Manchester on Saturday 8 August, 1903.

Elizabeth Range was married but had separated from her husband and gone to live with another man. However, her husband who worked at the Newton heath Railway Works said that she could come back and live with him as long as she promised to reform.

However, Charles Whittaker would visit Elizabeth Range secretly while her husband was away or at work. they had known each other for about 6 months.

The knife that he used was described as being brand new, having been bought for the occasion, and had been expressly sharpened for the purpose.

Elizabeth Range's husband had left home that morning for work leaving Elizabeth Range in bed. when he returned he was told that his wife was dead. they had been married for 18 years but she had left him after 5-6 years but later returned to him with a son that was not his.

The son said that when he came down for breakfast on the Saturday morning he his mother and a man he knew as 'Charlie' together in the front room. He saw her give the man a glass of beer and then heard her say 'This won't do, I must wash myself and go out'. She then went into the scullery and took off her jacket and went to the slopstone to get some water. He then saw Charles Whittaker go into the scullery with his mother and draw a knife from his inside breast pocket and then push Elizabeth Range into a corner. He said that they then both went out of sight around the corner but he then heard his mother screaming and shout 'Murder!'. The son said that he then ran into the scullery and that Charles Whittaker then ran past him and into the backyard.

He found his mother sitting on a stool bleeding from the left side of the neck. He then went out to get a policeman and a doctor and when he got back he found his mother bathing her wound under the water at the slopstone.

Charles Whittaker surrendered the following day at Albert Street Police Station. He said 'I believe you want me'. The policeman then asked him what for and Charles Whittaker said 'For the murder yesterday'. He was taken into the office and when the Inspector looked at the 'description list' Charles Whittaker said 'Oh, it's all right, you need not look at that. I should have come before only I wanted some drink'.

Elizabeth Range was a laundress by trade.

see Western Daily Press - Tuesday 11 August 1903

see Lincolnshire Chronicle - Friday 04 December 1903

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Friday 21 August 1903

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Friday 14 August 1903

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Monday 10 August 1903

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Friday 14 August 1903

see National Archives - ASSI 52/92, HO 144/731/113145