British Executions

Charles Paterson

Age: 37

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 7 Aug 1907

Crime Location: 86 Crondall Street, Moss Side, Manchester

Execution Place: Liverpool

Method: hanging

Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint


Charles Paterson was convicted of the murder of his partner, 39-year-old Lillian Jane Charlton, and sentenced to death.

He cut her throat at 86 Crondall Street, Moss Side, Manchester on 29 June 1907.

Charles Paterson had been a mulatto and had lodged with Lillian Charlton for the previous eighteen months.

However, she had wanted him to leave and they had an argument on the Saturday night during which Lillian Charlton asked him to leave but Charles Paterson replied, 'I'm not going away till I'm ready'. Lillian Charlton then said 'What a fool I am to have lowered myself to a man like you. If you won't go I'll make a start first'. She then put on her boots and went upstairs.

Her son went in to the yard to clean his shoes and whilst he was outside he heard a scream and when he ran up the stairs he saw Charles Paterson in the bathroom standing over his mother’s dead body and then ran off to get the police.

When the police arrived he said, 'I am ready'. He then said, 'I've done it'.

Lillian Charlton had separated from her husband, who was a bookkeeper about thirteen years earlier.

Lillian Charlton's son had been a vanman and lived with his mother, brother, sister and Charles Paterson. He had slept in the front bedroom with his brother whilst his sister slept in the back room. He said that his mother and Charles Paterson slept in the middle bedroom.

Lillian Charlton's son said that Charles Paterson was a sailor but had been out of work for about 18 months and was kept by Lillian Charlton.

He said that at 1.15pm on 29 June 1907 Charles Paterson came home sober and Lillian Charlton asked him for some money but Charles Paterson replied 'I have not got any'. He said that Lillian Charlton replied, 'Well what am I going to do?', and that Charles Paterson replied 'You know what day it is, it's Saturday, I am going'. He said that Lillian Charlton then said 'You had better go quietly without causing any bother'. He said that Charles Paterson then went upstairs and dressed himself up and then came back downstairs and said 'I am going' and he went out but returned about five minutes later to brush his boots but then went out again.

Lillian Charlton's son said that Charles Paterson returned at about 5.15pm and when he came in his mother said to him, 'I thought you had gone Charlie' and that Charles Paterson replied, 'I am not going until I am ready'. He said that his mother then said, 'Why don't you go without any bother?', and that Charles Paterson replied again 'I am not going until I am ready'. He said that his mother then said 'Why don't you be a sensible man Charlie and go away quietly without causing any disturbance' and that Charles Paterson replied 'Go and fetch a policeman and have me locked up'. He said that Lillian Charlton then said, 'No I don't want to cause any bother, as I don't wish for you to be locked up. You have been trying to make bother for a fortnight and I don't know what for. What a fool I have been letting you have the use of my body'.

Lillian Charlton's son then said that Charles Paterson said, 'If you get my temper up I will dammed well show you up amongst all the neighbours' and that his mother then said 'Go on, show me up, I don't care if you do show me up, fancy having to keep you for the last twelve months and buy tobacco for you and you not giving me a copper, and I have nothing to get any food with for tomorrow'. He said that Charles Paterson then sat down on a chair in the kitchen and that his mother said, 'I am going to wash me and then I am going out', and that she then went upstairs saying, 'I will leave you to it'.

Lillian Charlton's son said that he then went into the back yard to clean his boots leaving Charles Paterson sat on the chair in the kitchen. He said that about five minutes later as he was coming out of the yard into the kitchen he saw Charles Paterson going upstairs. He said that immediately after Charles Paterson went up the stairs he heard Lillian Charlton say, 'Why don't you be a peaceable man and let us be comfortable together'. Lillian Charlton's son said that he then went back into the back yard again and was there for about five minutes when he heard his mother scream. He said that he ran upstairs at once, breaking two uprights in the stair banister as he did so and went to the bathroom door which he said was closed and kicked the door with his foot until it opened a little. He said that he then saw his mother lying on the bathroom floor with her head near the door and her neck covered in blood. He said that Charles Paterson was standing in the bathroom near the bath and that when Charles Paterson saw him he rushed at him and so he ran downstairs and that when he was about halfway down he fell to the bottom and then ran off to a shop at 82 Crondall Street and asked the man to come. The shop keeper told the son to get a policeman and then the shop keeper went to the house.

When Lillian Charlton's son returned he saw another man in the house and he went upstairs to see his mother but as he got halfway he was told to come down as she was dead.

He said that Charles Paterson was sitting on the sofa in the kitchen with the police.

Lillian Charlton's son said that there had been frequent quarrels between Charles Paterson and his mother for the last five months but said that he had never struck her in his presence. He said that they had quarrelled about eight weeks before when Charles Paterson had pawned their clothes and said that Charles Paterson had picked up a poker and said to his mother, 'I will smash everything in the house and kill you'. He said that he went to get the shop keeper who came by and that Charles Paterson then put down the poker and was quiet.

Lillian Charlton's son also said that about a fortnight earlier he had missed his overcoat and that when he asked Charles Paterson 'Where is my overcoat Charlie', he had replied 'I have pawned it, never mind I will get it out'.

Charles Paterson was tried at the Liverpool Assizes and sentenced to death. He was executed at Walton Gaol, Liverpool on 7 August 1907.

The executioner had been Henry Albert Pierpont of Clayton, Blackburn, who was assisted by Thomas William Pierpont. A drop of seven feet two inches was given.

Charles Paterson  had been a native of Jamaica.

see National Archives - ASSI 52/128, HO 144/860/154936

see Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 07 August 1907

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Tuesday 02 July 1907

see Illustrated Police News - Saturday 06 July 1907