British Executions

John Henry Johnson

Age: 37

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 3 Apr 1877

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Leeds

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


During the evening of 26 December 1876, John Henry Johnson and his paramour, Amelia Sewell, visited several Bradford pubs. When they entered the Bedford Arms they met Amos White, an old acquaintance. Later, as Sewell walked across a yard to the toilets she was accosted by White and screamed for Johnson to help. The two men squared up and traded a few blows before being separated. Johnson then staggered home, returning later with a gun with which he shot White dead. A friend of the victim helped detain Johnson who was immediately arrested. He was convicted before Mr Justice Lopes and hanged by Askern who badly botched the execution. Firstly the rope snapped and when a new one was secured, the drop wasn't sufficient to cause instant death, leaving Johnson slowly choking on the end of the rope. Even so the job was finally completed on the 3rd April 1877 in Leeds. Johnson was thirty seven years old when he died.