British Executions

Ernest Hutchinson

Age: 24

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 2 Mar 1909

Crime Location: 20 Great Albion Street, Halifax

Execution Place: Wakefield

Method: hanging

Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint


Ernest Hutchinson was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Hannah Maria Whiteley 30 and sentenced to death.

He stabbed her to death at 20 Great Albion Street, Halifax on 24 December 1908.

Hannah Whiteley was a married woman but she was living separately to her husband who lived in Barrow-in-Furness. She had left her husband five years earlier. They had been living together for five months with a 5-year-old daughter.

On the night of the murder quarrelling was heard and the following day neighbours saw blood seeping out from behind the door. They entered the house to find her dead against the door having been stabbed with a butcher’s knife.

Ernest Hutchinson was found nearby having attempted to cut his own throat with a razor. The child was found unharmed.

Ernest Hutchinson had constantly ill-treated Hannah Whiteley and had given her black eyes and on one occasion had bitten her on the cheek.

He had accused her of having other men and said that she had brought one home on the night that he killed her, however, her 5-year-old daughter said that her mother had come home alone.

On 24 December 1908 neighbours said that they heard the windows to Ernest Hutchinsons house break and then saw the shadow on the blind of a woman falling. When the blood was first seen to trickle out through the street door, no entry was made until the next morning.

It was thought that Ernest Hutchinson had attacked Hannah Whiteley with a knife and that she had tried to attract attention at the window and had defended herself as best she could before falling down at the back of the street door.

When she was found she was clasping money in each hand.

She had three severe, but not fatal, wounds to her head, a stab wound to the back of her neck and two stab wounds to her throat which were fatal.

Ernest Hutchinson was found nearby having attempted to cut his throat and when realising the he didn't have the courage to do it, he had attempted to gas himself.

He was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death but with a strong recommendation to mercy on account of his aged but was executed on 2 March 1909.

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 26 December 1908

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 05 March 1909

see National Archives - HO 144/903/175634