British Executions

William Corder

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 11 Aug 1828

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Bury St Edmunds

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


William Corder was hanged at Bury St Edmunds for the murder of Maria Marten at the Red Barn a year before.

Very popular broadsheet selling 1.65m copies. ref

Has its own Wikipedia entry.

The Red Barn Murder was a notorious murder committed in Polstead, Suffolk, England, in 1827. A young woman, Maria Marten, was shot dead by her lover, William Corder. The two had arranged to meet at the Red Barn, a local landmark, before eloping to Ipswich. Maria was never heard from again. Corder fled the scene and although he sent Marten's family letters claiming she was in good health, her body was later discovered buried in the barn after her stepmother spoke of having dreamt about the murder.

Corder was tracked down in London, where he had married and started a new life. He was brought back to Suffolk, and after a well-publicised trial, found guilty of murder. He was hanged in Bury St. Edmunds in 1828; a huge crowd witnessed Corder's execution. The story provoked numerous articles in the newspapers, and songs and plays. The village where the crime had taken place became a tourist attraction and the barn was stripped by souvenir hunters. The plays and ballads remained popular throughout the next century and continue to be performed today.[1]