British Executions

Thomas Mead

Age: 33

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 12 Mar 1909

Crime Location: Crooks Yard, Well Street, West Street, Leeds

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint and John Ellis


Thomas Mead was convicted of the murder of Clara Howell 36 and sentenced to death.

Thomas Mead had lived with Clara Howell for about seven years and was said by Clara Howell's sister to have mistreated her during that time.

They had been drinking with friends on the evening of 27 November 1909 and went home at about 11pm. They were heard quarrelling a little later at 1am on 29 November 1909 and Thomas Mead was heard by neighbours to be accusing Clara Howell of stealing 2/- from him and to have been threatening her in vile language. Clara Howell was also heard to be shouting 'Don't Tommy'.

Around that time the police knocked on their window and asked them to be quiet. They were quarrelling until about 3am.

The next day Thomas Mead was heard to boast to two fellow-workmen that he had 'Done the tart in' and that he had 'Left her as dead as mackerel'. He described to them how he had hit her on the nose and said that as she fell forward he gave another 'Bang on the cunt'. He told them that when he got up at 6am he found her moaning and groaning and said that he carried her upstairs where she died five minutes later.

Later he went to a woman's house where he lay down on a sofa. He was said to have appeared to be daydreaming and to have said that he had killed Clara and that he could feel the rope round his neck. He stayed at the woman's house for the night but left hurriedly the next day when he heard that her body had been found.

Clara Howell was found lying dead and naked in an upper room and was described as being one mass of bruises from head to foot. Her nose was broken and her death had resulted from shock following a rupture of her small intestines caused by a blow and general ill usage. Her clothes were found torn to pieces in the lower room and it was thought that her injuries had been inflicted after her clothes were off.

Police found a broken broom handle with blood and hair on it which had evidently been use to beat her with.

He was convicted and sentenced to death with no recommendation to mercy.

see National Archives - HO 144/902/175549