Date Of Execution: 17 Aug 1789
Execution Place: Northampton
Thomas Gordon was the son of a London surgeon who had decided to move out of London and live with his family in Northamptonshire. Mr Gordon continued his practice and was successful. His neighbours did not like him very much and considered him an outsider in their small community. This ill feeling would cause frequent quarrels and eventually a warrant was obtained against him on a charge of assault.
A constable went to the Gordon house to serve the warrant only to be told by Mrs Gordon and her son that Mr Gordon was not there. The constable knew this to be a lie so he went away and soon returned with some neighbours who tried to make a forcible entry. The mother and son tried to keep them out while the mob threw stones at the windows. The son was armed with a pistol and when his mother told him to fire, he did so. The shot hit the policeman and he died instantly.
Both mother and son were arrested and tried. The son was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. On three occasions he was reprieved and on each occasion he expected a pardon to follow but was to be disappointed. An order eventually arrived for his execution. He was nineteen years old when he was hanged at Northampton on 17th August 1789.