British Executions

Henry March

Age: 58

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 20 Nov 1877

Crime Location: Wymondham, Norfolk

Execution Place: Norwich Castle

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Marwood


Henry March was convicted of the murders of Henry Bridewell and Thomas Mays 76.

Henry March had worked at farm as a blacksmith for Thomas Mays who was a retired veterinary surgeon and who carried on a small farm and also ran a business as a shoeing smith for which he had employed Henry March for some 30 years. Henry Bridewell had also worked for Thomas Mays.

However, Thomas Mays planned to retire and he gave Henry March and Henry Bridewell notice that he intended to give the business up and that he would not require their services after Christmas.

It was said that the matter preyed on Henry March's mind and he was said to have expressed his dissatisfaction at having to look out for another situation at his time of life.

Later, on 20 October 1877 Henry March was heard to argue with Henry Bridewell in the smithy. They were seen from Thomas Mays's house by a girl in their service there, which was a distance of 28 feet away through the open shutters of the forge. The girl said that she heard Henry March say, 'If you don't hold you tongue, I will knock you down'. She said that she then ran to the window and saw Henry March hit Henry Bridewell with a 2 foot long  iron bar that was made for making horse shoes. She said that when Henry March struck Henry Bridewell that Henry March blew the bellows two or three times and then said, 'I may as well kill you at once, as I shall have to be hung for it' after which she saw him strike Henry Bridewell several more times about the head as he lay on the ground.

The girl said that she then went and got Thomas Mays and told him what had happened.

Thomas Mays then put on his hat and went out to the forge and said to Henry March, 'Oh, March, what have you done?' and went to look at the body of Henry Bridewell.

Henry March then struck Thomas Mays over the head with the bar causing him to fall and then hit him again on the head whilst he was on the ground.

Henry March was convicted of murder on Thursday 1 November 1877. and executed at Norwich Castle on 20 November 1877.

see Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser - Saturday 24 November 1877

see Illustrated Police News - Saturday 03 November 1877

see Essex Standard - Friday 02 November 1877