British Executions

George William Butler

Age: 50

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 7 Nov 1905

Crime Location: 28 Union Street, Marylebone

Execution Place: Pentonville Prison

Method: hanging

Executioner: Pierrepont


George William Butler was convicted of the murder of his paramour Mary Allen 47 and sentenced to death.

He stabbed her to death on 24 September 1905 at 28 Union Street, Marylebone.

They had lived together for the previous four years and had frequently quarrelled.

He pulled her out of bed, knocked her down and stabbed her four times with one of his shoemaker's knives.

She was taken to the Middlesex Hospital where she later died.

Two weeks earlier George Butler had had his jaw broken by one of Mary Allen's sons and George Butler had threatened that he would 'Do for the two of them before long'.

Early on the Sunday morning the landlady heard screams of 'Murder' coming from their room and then Mary Allen called out 'Come up, he is killing me this time'.

A dressmaker who lived in the same building said that on the Saturday, 23 September 1905 she had gone into George Butler's room at about 10pm for about ten minutes and said that George Butler and Mary Allen, who she referred to as Mrs Butler, her son and three or four other people were there. She said that she went back to her room where she had some friends of her own and that at around midnight Mrs Butler came up and asked her not to make so much noise as Mr Butler was fidgety. She said that her friends stayed but later left at around 12.45am and her mother then went to bed but she stayed up doing a few things for herself. She said that then at around 2am she heard voices as if quarrelling apparently coming from the Butler's room. She said that they sounded as though they were angry voices but that she could not distinguish what they were saying. She said that she then went to sleep. She said that the next thing she heard was the scream of 'Murder' and that the word was repeated several times and then a bumping noise against the Butler's door. She said that she then heard the landlady go up and say 'Butler what did you do it for?' or words to that effect. She said that she didn't leave her room but later saw Mary Allen through the window being taken away.

The woman's father said that they occupied the top floor which was on the third floor and that their living room was above George Butler's sitting room. He said that they had been in the house for about five months and that he knew George Butler and Mary Allen. He said that occasionally George Butler and Mary Allen had quarrels and that Mary Allen had come into their rooms for protection from George Butler twice, and on both occasions had remained in their rooms for the whole night. The father said that during the Saturday night Mrs Butler came up and said 'Don't make a noise' and that his daughter had said 'We are not' and that Mrs Butler had replied 'He would make me come up, he is so fidgety'. He said that Mrs Butler then went back downstairs and said that she had looked rather dazed and stupid as if aroused from sleep. He said that later some friends that had been with them left and he went to bed. He said that later he was woken up by his daughter who told him that the Butler's were having a row and that he next heard the landlady come up and then heard Mrs Butler say 'He has stabbed me, I am in a pool of blood, take me to the hospital'. He said that he didn't leave his room but went to the window and saw Mrs Butler being taken away.

The landlady said that between 3am and 4am she and her husband were in bed on the ground floor on 24 September when she was woken up by some shouting. She said that she heard Mrs Butler shout 'For god's sake come up he is killing me this time'. She said that she got out of bed and went upstairs in her night apparel and went to the second floor where Mrs Butler lived and pushed open the door which was not locked and saw Mrs Butler sitting on a chair just inside the door to the left. She said that she said 'Good God Butler, what is the matter?' and that Mrs Butler had replied 'Oh, he has done me in this time'. She said that she went nearer to Mrs Butler and found that her foot was in a pool of blood which was on the floor. She said that she opened her nightdress and saw blood teeming down her body. She said that she also saw Mr Butler who was on the opposite side of the room and said that she asked him 'What did you do it for?' and that he replied 'I don't know'. She said that she then got some sheets and wrapped them around Mrs Butler and called for a lady visitor and then went to the first-floor window and blew a whistle and two constables called out 'What do you want?' and that she said 'I want a cab there is a woman bleeding to death'.

When the police arrived at 3.30am they found that Mary Allen had been stabbed in the breast and abdomen with a shoemaker's knife. She was sat on the chair almost slipping off. They caught her and asked her what was the matter and she looked across the room to George Butler and said 'He has stabbed me'. The policeman said that he left Mary Allen in the care of a woman and then went up to George Butler and pushed him onto the bed and put his hands down his clothing to see if he could find any weapon but did not. He then told him that he should take him into custody for stabbing Mary Allen and that George Butler replied 'All right, you know your business'. Mary Allen was then taken to hospital.

George Butler was charged with causing grievous bodily harm but after Mary Allen died he was charged with her murder.

When he was initially charged with causing grievous bodily harm George Butler said, 'Her son broke my jaw'.

Whilst Mary Allen was in hospital one of her sons went to see her and said that she said to him 'Look after the birds, and don't worry. I won't have anything to do with him when I come out, I would sooner beg or sell matches in the street'.

George Butler had been a bootmaker.

He was executed in Pentonville Prison on the morning of Tuesday 7 November 1905. It was said that as the hour approached for his execution that he appeared to be overcome and that a great contrition for the murder came over him. He said, 'It is only right I should suffer the penalty'. He was said then to have remained in earnest prayer until shortly before the final expiation.

His executioner was Pierrepont.

Union Street was later renamed Daventry Street.

see National Archives - CRIM 1/99/7, HO 144/802/133626

see Grantham Journal - Saturday 11 November 1905

see Western Times - Friday 20 October 1905

see Beverley and East Riding Recorder - Saturday 11 November 1905

see Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper - Sunday 22 October 1905