British Executions

Henry Wainwright


Sex: male

Crime: unknown

Date Of Execution: 21 Dec 1875

Crime Location:

Execution Place:

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


Henry met 20-year-old milliner's apprentice Harriet Louisa Lane in 1871 and installed her as his mistress in a house in Mile End. Wainwright was a brush-manufacturer with a shop, and wife, at 215 Whitechapel Road. Over the next couple of years Harriet, who called herself Mrs Percy King, had two children by Wainwright. Henry found that the cost of running two homes was getting too much for his limited income and moved Harriet and the children to cheaper accommodation in Sidney Square. Even this could not prevent him becoming bankrupt.

Harriet arranged for friends to look after the children and the last that was seen of her was when she left Sidney Square with her night clothes wrapped in a parcel. When the friends became worried about Harriet's disappearance Wainwright told them that she had gone to Brighton. This was followed by a letter that explained that she was going to live on the continent with a man named Edward Frieake.

Because of his financial position Wainwright was forced to move from his shop and enlisted the help of a former employee named Stokes to help him move two parcels. Stokes noticed the weight of the parcels and the disagreeable smell and, while Wainwright went to fetch a taxi, he looked inside one of the bundles. It contained a decomposing arm and head. He helped Wainwright load the parcels into the cab and then decided to follow on foot. Stokes summoned a policeman and they apprehended Wainwright taking the parcels into his brother's house.

Wainwright had killed Harriet at his shop and buried her under the floor. Then, a year later and aided by his brother, Thomas alias Frieake, they had disinterred the body and cut it into manageable pieces.

The pair were tried at the Old Bailey in November 1875. Thomas Wainwright was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and Henry was sentenced to death. He was hanged outside Newgate on 21st December 1875.