British Executions

George Smith

Age: 50

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 28 Dec 1905

Crime Location: The Kells, Riddings Road, Ilkley

Execution Place: Leeds

Method: hanging

Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint


George Smith was convicted of the murder of his wife Martha Smith and sentenced to death.

He stabbed her and cut her throat at The Kells, Riddings Road, Ilkley on 12 September 1905.

After killing her he went to Wakefield where he was arrested on 14 September 1905 at about 5am.

A constable had been on duty and walking along the Long Causeway near the Asylum when George Smith passed him and said 'Good morning'. The constable said that he didn't know George Smith but thought he was suspicious and so turned back and arrested him and when he got back to the police station he found out that he was the man being looked for.

He was then secretly taken back to Otley at 12.26pm. He was still wearing the clothes that he had been wearing on the day of the murder and they were taken from him as evidence.

When his hands were examined they found two recent small cuts, 3⁄8 of an inch long, one on his little finger and the other on his ring finger. When his clothes were examined they found a blood stain six inches long and three inches wide on his right trouser knee. There was also blood found on both knees and his shirt sleeves.

When he was remanded in court and asked if he had any reason why he should not be he said, 'No, all I can say is that I have not done it, and I shall try to prove that'.

see National Archives - HO 144/806/135024

see Leeds Mercury - Friday 15 September 1905

see Wharfedale & Airedale Observer - Friday 22 September 1905