British Executions

Joseph Still

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 22 Mar 1717

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


Executed At Stanford-Hill, March, 22, 1717, For Murder

   THIS man came to London in search of a livelihood, and for some time maintained himself by selling poultry in the streets; but growing weary of that employment, he enlisted into the army, in which he continued nine years. Having obtained his discharge, he became acquainted with a set of thieves, who committed depredations in the neighbourhood of London; and being apprehended, he was tried at the Old Bailey, and whipped.

   Soon after he obtained his liberty, he returned to his former way of life; and being taken into custody in Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, he was tried, convicted, and punished by burning in the hand. After this he began the practice of robbing higglers on the highway, and he obtained the appellation of Chicken Joe, from his singular dexterity in that employment.

   After continuing in this way of life a considerable time, he commenced footpad, and committed a great number of robberies on the roads near town, escaping detection for a long while, on account of his wearing a mask over his face.

   At length almost all his companions were hanged, and he was reduced to such distress, that he went once more on the road to supply himself with the means of procuring the necessaries of life. Having drunk at an ale-house in Kingsland Road till his spirits were somewhat elevated, he proceeded to Stoke-Newington, and after sauntering awhile in the fields, without meeting with any person whom he durst venture to attack, he went into Queen Elizabeth's Walk, behind the church, where he saw a gentleman's servant, whose money he demanded. The servant being determined not to be robbed, contested the matter with Still, and a battle ensuing, the villain drew a knife, and stabbed the footman through the body.

   He immediately ran away; but some people coming by while the footman was sensible enough to tell them what had happened, Still was pursued, taken, and brought to the spot where the other was expiring; and being searched, the bloody knife with which he had committed the deed was found in his pocket. The man died after declaring that Still was the murderer; and the latter was committed to Newgate; and being indicted at the Old Bailey, the jury did not scruple to find him Guilty, in consequence of which he received sentence of death