British Executions

Henry Jones

Age: 50

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 29 Jan 1904

Crime Location: 14 Back West Street, Hanley

Execution Place: Stafford

Method: hanging

Executioner: John Billington


Henry Jones was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Mary Elizabeth Gilbert 48.

He beat her with a coal hammer and cut her throat as they lay in bed together on 29 January 1904 and then cut his own throat although survived. They were later found together in bed although Mary Gilbert had died from her wounds.

Henry Jones was a collier and lived with Mary Gilbert at 14 Back West Street in Hanley which they shared with another man. Henry Jones was jealous of the other man and decided to kill Mary Gilbert and himself.

They had gone to 14 Back West Street about 3-4 weeks earlier and the man that Henry Jones was jealous of was already living there.

Henry Jones later said that it was all through the other man that he had killed Mary Gilbert.

Earlier on 25 January a woman who lived at 22 Back West Street in Hanley and worked at the Messrs Bishop and Stoner's China Factory in Stafford Street said that she was a friend of Mary Gilbert and had been to her house at 14 Back West Street whilst Henry Jones and the other man were there and heard Henry Jones say that the man had had a connection with Mary Gilbert but the man denied it.

Later, in a statement the man said that it was untrue that he had had connections with Mary Gilbert and that when Henry Jones had accused him of doing so he gave Henry Jones a weeks’ notice to leave his house, something that only applied to Henry Jones and not Mary Gilbert or their children.

One of Henry Jones's children who was 11 said that he got up at 4am on 29 January 1904 and went into his mother's bedroom and asked Henry Jones if he wanted the fire lighting but said that Henry Jones told him that it was too early for that. He said that he could not see his mother and that it was dark. He said then that at about 6.20am Henry Jones called out 'Go fetch a bobby'. He said that he got up and sent down stairs and found that the fire was alight and then sat down and that shortly after the other man came home from work and found a paper on the chimney piece and then went out for the police.

The man said that when they came back and went into Henry Jones's room they saw that he had blood around his throat. He said that Henry Jones said 'This is through tha'.

The police arrived at 6.25am and found Mary Gilbert in bed lying on her right side with a large quantity of blood around her and Henry Jones in bed besides her. The police then found a knife lying on a tin box near the bed that was covered in blood and had hair on the blade. The policeman said that when the other man came into the room Henry Jones said 'This is through you' referring to the other man and he then said 'He has been riding this woman and I thought I would kill her before he should have her. He meant to force me out and keep her.'.

see Western Times - Monday 14 March 1904

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Monday 14 March 1904

see National Archives - ASSI 6/39/4