British Executions

Samuel Curtis

Age: 60

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 20 Dec 1905

Crime Location: Three Post Boys Pub, Wrotham

Execution Place: Maidstone

Method: hanging

Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint


Samuel Curtis was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Alice Clover 35.

They had lived together and had two children in Bedford.

However, she left him suddenly and went to live with another man in Wrotham, Kent

Samuel Curtis went from town to town searching for her and when he found her in Wrotham he cut her throat and left her to bleed to death in the gutter where she fell.

Samuel Curtis was a rag and bone collector. Alice Clover had lived with him for 14 years.

After Alice Clover left him he first went to Leicester where they had previously lived to look for her. After that he put their children into the workhouse and went to London to find her.

After he had got back from Leicester he told a flower hawker that he knew 'She is not there, but I'll do for her when I get hold of her'.

He also said to a police officer who had helped look for her for him 'When I do find her I'll knife her and kill her'. He also said to another police officer 'If I can find her I'll do for her'. She got me three months at Leicester saying I lived on her prostitution, but I never had any of the money'.

In July 1905 Alice Clover had been working at Stacey's farm in Kent and living with a man. Three weeks before that she had been living at the same place with a different man.

Around the same time Samuel Curtis had gone to work on another farm in the neighbourhood, either by accident or because he knew she was there. However, they did not meet until the day of the murder.

On 22 July 1905 Alice Clover and the man that she was living with went to drink at the Rose and Crown pub in Wrotham. By accident Samuel Curtis went to the same pub where he recognised Alice Clover.

He went to speak to her and said 'Just the woman I have been looking for. I have not seen you for the past twelve months. Are you coming with me or what are you going to do'. Alice Clover then replied 'No, I love one man' and then walked towards the man that she had been with.

However, Samuel Curtis managed to get Alice Clover outside where they had words but Alice Clover said that she would fetch a policeman. They then had words and when it looked like there was going to be a row they were turned out of the pub.

Alice Clover and her new partner then walked off to the Three Post Boys pub followed by Samuel Curtis a few yards behind. When Samuel Curtis saw them arrive there he went to a shop and bought a clasp knife for 1/6.

About an hour later Alice Clover came out of the pub for a temporary purpose by herself and Samuel Curtis suddenly appeared and went up to her and stabbed her in the neck. She fell and died instantaneously, the knife having penetrated deep into the blood vessels.

Samuel Curtis then rushed into the tap-room and threw down the bloody knife on the table and said 'I have done the job, if anyone wants the knife there it is'.

The man that Alice Clover had been with then heard that Alice Clover had been knocked down and came in to struggle with Samuel Curtis, but Samuel Curtis regained the knife and threatened to use it and then escaped but was arrested a few hours later at the farm where he had been working where he was hiding in a pea field.

When he was arrested he said 'I shall give you no trouble. I did it. I meant to do it the first time I saw her and that was last night. I bought the knife for the purpose'.

see National Archives - HO 144/805/134871

see Closed Pubs

see Western Times - Thursday 21 December 1905