British Executions

James Dilley

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 25 Aug 1879

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Newgate

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


James Dilley was a forty one year old picture framer of Shefford, Bedfordshire, convicted along with his paramour Mary Rainbow who was a twenty nine year old domestic worker, for the murder of their three month old illegitimate child. Dilley, a married man, also worked part-time as a letter carrier for the post office and through this job he met Miss Rainbow who worked six miles away at Baldock, Herts. On 22nd April she gave birth to the child. On 10th May. Dilley called at her home and after spending the night together. they set off' for London. They then deposited a parcel at St Pancras station. and were seen drinking together later that afternoon. Next day a workman at the station opened the parcel and discovered the remains of the child, which had been beaten to death and poisoned. They were tried together on 8th August and both convicted. Miss Rainbow was reprieved on Saturday 23rd August, while he was hanged by William Marwood on the 25th August 1879 at Newgate.