British Executions

Arthur Garrod

Age: 49

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 20 Jun 1911

Crime Location: 4 Garretts Buildings, Ipswich

Execution Place: Ipswich

Method: hanging

Executioner: John Ellis


Arthur Garrod was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Sarah Chilvers 46 and sentenced to death.

He hit her about the head with a chopper and then cut her throat at 4 Garrett's Buildings in Ipswich on 5 February 1911.

He was an ex-soldier but had done no work for some years and had made his living by poaching, fowl-stealing and on the immoral earnings of Sarah Chilvers.

Sarah Chilvers was a widow and had been married twice.

Arthur Garrod had been living with Sarah Chilvers for about four years and in 1909 he was sentenced to 3-months imprisonment for living on her earnings and had also been twice convicted for assaulting her.

Sarah Chilvers's son said that he went to bed on the evening of 5 February 1911 leaving both Sarah Chilvers and Arthur Garrod downstairs saying that they were both friendly and sober.

He said then, that at about 11pm he heard a noise and that when he went down he found Sarah Chilvers lying dead and Arthur Garrod lying beside her with his throat cut.

There has been a violent struggle in the room and Arthur Garrod had his knife in his hand and a chopper lay on the table.

It was found that Sarah Chilvers head had been smashed in at the back and severely cut on the forehead by the chopper and that she also had two gashes in her throat that had been inflicted with the knife after she had been rendered insensible with the chopper. It was noted that she also had a cut on her wrist which had apparently been done with the chopper as she had tried to protect her head.

When Arthur Garrod was asked if he did it he said 'I did it. She is as dead as a rat. I wish to God I was too'.

Arthur Garrod later said that Sarah Chilvers had threatened to get him 12 months for living on her earnings.

The police report later stated that there was evidence that Sarah Chilvers used to abuse Arthur Garrod when she was drunk and that he would get away to avoid a quarrel.

It also stated that Arthur Garrod appeared to have been jealous of Sarah Chilvers going out drinking with a man, but it also noted that it was probable that his real complaint was that the man gave her drink and not money.

He was convicted of murder at his trial by the jury, but he was recommended to mercy on the grounds of provocation due to Sarah Chilvers's nagging and her threat to get him imprisoned. However, the police report stated that the jury were at the time unaware that Arthur Garrod had already been convicted of living on her and that he was living on her at the time of the murder. It stated that Sarah Chilvers paid the rent and that only that evening, 5 February 1911, she had given Arthur Garrod and her son 6d to buy drink.

It was noted that the judge attached no weight to the jury's recommendation to mercy and the police report stated that it saw no grounds for interference.

Arthur Garrod was executed on 20 June 1911.

see National Archives - HO 144/1145/209552