Date Of Execution: 23 May 1881
May 23rd: James HALL (53)
A Sheffield cutler who killed his licentious wife, Pol'y, by splitting her head in two with an axe. Shortly before midnight on 26 March, Hall's daughter and her boyfriend walked home from the pub and found they were unable to gain entry into the house. Looking through the window, she saw her father standing over her mother holding a hatchet. After repeatedly knocking on the window, Hall eventually opened the door and as the young couple entered, Hall struck his daughter in the face with the weapon. Her boyfriend managed to overpower Hall, while a neighbour who had been attracted by the commotion, called the police. Once in custody, Hall confessed to the murder and explained his motive. He claimed that three years earlier he had come home from work unexpectedly and found his wife with another man. He later forgave her but warned that if she was ever unfaithful again he would kill her. At 11pm on the night of the crime. he came home from the pub sooner than usual and found his wife on the sofa with a neighbour. William Londe. Mrs Hall grappled with her husband while the man made his escape. Then. in a violent, drunken rage. Hall picked up a hatchet and attacked her. His daughter denied that her mother was an adultress, as did Londe. who claimed he was nowhere near the house on the night in question. Sentenced to death at Leeds Assizes and hanged by Marwood.