British Executions

Joseph Hurst

Age: 26

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 4 Aug 1896

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Strangeways

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


August 4th: Joseph HIRST (26)
Hirst, a bricklayer, and his sweetheart Martha Ann Goddard (20), a laundress, had lived in various parts of the country before they settled in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. Soon after, Martha gave birth to a baby girl. In March they moved again to new lodgings but still in the same district. On 2 April, they left the house carrying the child, after telling their landlady they were taking her to Stockport to be cared for by Hirst's mother. Hirst and Goddard returned later without the child; soon afterwards a body was found floating in a nearby canal. Acting on information received, the police called on the couple, and after satisfying themselves that it was their child in the canal. they charged them with murder. They stood trial at Manchester Assizes on 14 July. Although Goddard was to be charged as an accessory. the prosecution offered no evidence against her and she was discharged. Hirst confessed that he had strangled the child after he had become tired of it. Hanged by James Billington.