British Executions

Michael Dowdle

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 6 Dec 1899

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Strangeways

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


Michael Dowdle for the murder of his wife ,Ellen

Michael Dowdle was a forty year old pensioned Irish soldier who worked as a quarryman and was convicted at Manchester Assizes for the murder of his wife at Whitworth, near Rochdale. Ellen Dowdle had left her husband in the summer of 1899 due to his increasingly quarrelsome and brutal behaviour. On 12th August, she went to stay with friends who lived less than a quarter of a mile away. On l9th August, Dowdle called at the house and found his wife alone. He made a passionate plea for her to return home and promised to mend his ways. She refused and after repeated attempts also failed, his temper got the better of him and he attacked her. At that moment, one of their friends' children came home and witnessed the attack. He rushed out into the street and found a policeman to whom he pleaded: 'Come quick, Mr Dowdle is hacking up his wife's throat with a carving knife.' The officer hurried to the house where he found Dowdle walking towards the police station, followed by a crowd of children. Dowdle had served with gallantry in the Zulu war but was sentenced to death in November. He was hanged by James Billington and William Warbrick in Manchester on the 6th December 1899..