British Executions

James Henry Clarkson

Age: 19

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 29 Mar 1904

Crime Location: Yard a 9 Bennison Street, Guisborough, Cleveland

Execution Place: Leeds

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Billington


James Henry Clarkson was convicted for the murder of Elizabeth Mary Lynas 12 and sentenced to death.

He cut her throat in a yard at 9 Bennison Street, Guisborough, Cleveland on 27 December 1903.

Her mother last saw her at 6.15pm on 27 December 1903 as she went off to church.

She had gone to church and had returned with some friends who had parted with her near her home about 8.10pm.

She was noted as being missing around 1-pm and a search was made and she was later found dead just after 11pm on the same day lying on the highway side on the edge of the causeway in a direct line behind Back Bennison Street.

Her feet and hands had been tied tightly with a rope which was passed three times around her waist and her throat was cut. A blood-stained rag was also found tied around her throat tied with two knots covering the wound.

The police then began to inspect the back doors in Back Bennison Street and at No. 9 found blood and wet mud on the door handle. At about 1.30am they went back to 9 Back Bennison Street where they saw James Clarkson standing in his shirt which was stained with blood on the arms, front, flap and breast. it was noted that he also had blood on his hands and had two cuts on the forefingers of each hands. He said that they had been made with a pocket knife.

In the back kitchen they also found a towel smeared with wet blood and drops of blood on two bricks. in the yard near the grate they also found some water that appeared to have blood mixed in it and in the coal house they found wet blood on the coals and on the walls as well as the girl's hat. They also found a razor on the kitchen shelf which was smeared with blood.

When questioned James Clarkson said that he had gone out just before 8pm for a walk across Applegarth to Whitby Road and back returning about 8.20pm but said that he had met no one he knew.

James Clarkson's father who was a fitter said that he had gone out at 4pm and had returned around 9.20pm and had found James Clarkson sitting by the kitchen fire. He admitted that the razor was his but said that he could not account for the blood stains on it.

see Leeds Mercury - Wednesday 06 January 1904

see Nottingham Evening Post - Wednesday 06 January 1904

see Dundee Evening Post - Tuesday 29 March 1904