British Executions

George Loake

Age: 64

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 8 Dec 1911

Crime Location: 8a The Butts, Off Warwick Street, Walsall

Execution Place: Stafford

Method: hanging

Executioner: Thomas Pierrepoint


George Loake was convicted of the murder of his wife Elizabeth Loake 46 and sentenced to death.

He stabbed her to death at 8a The Butts, Off Warwick Street, Walsall on 6 August 1911.

They had been married for 8-years.

George Loake had been an engine driver and had worked for the London and North Western Railway for about 50 years.

In February 1910 he had run his engine into a stop block and was suspended but was afterwards reinstated. However, in January 1911 he was dismissed for leaving his engine to obtain drink.

Following his dismissal, he was out of work and in June 1911 Elizabeth Loake left him.

Elizabeth Loake went off to live with a friend who let her stay at her cottage and George Loake went to live in a lodging house. George Loake would visit Elizabeth Loake and wanted her to come and live with him again, but Elizabeth Loake said that she was comfortable where she was.

On Sunday, 6 August 1911 George Loake paid his lodging money early in the day and said that it was the last that he would pay. The next morning, he gave his soap to the attendant saying that he had no more use for it.

He then went to the cottage where his wife was living at 10.15am where they had a conversation. After a few minutes conversation, Elizabeth Loake got up to leave the cottage and George Loake caught her and stabbed her several times in the neck with a pocket knife. One of the wounds severed her jugular vein and another pierced a lung. She was also cut on the forearm and fingers.

Afterwards, George Loake inflicted two scratches on his own throat.

At the police station George Loake said, 'Her should have stuck to me'.

He later said 'Nobody knows why I done it, only her that's gone. I would not tell anybody not even my own children. She should not have done what she did. I did not intend to have it done on me'.

At his trial his defence put forward a plea of insanity and his sons and daughters said that he had been depressed and strange at times. However, the Medical Officer said that he had no doubt that George Loake was perfectly sane and that the symptoms that were described were no more than one would expect in a man in his circumstances and who was given to drink.

He was sentenced to death with no recommendation to mercy. His appeal was also dismissed.

The police report noted that George Loake had been sober on the morning of the murder. It also noted that George Loake and Elizabeth Loake sometimes quarrelled when Elizabeth Loake pawned clothes. The police report added that some weight could be placed on George Loake's long railway service and the possibility that his drinking habits which had led to his dismissal had dated from his marriage. However, the police report also stated that George Loake had long been given to drink and that Elizabeth Loake had been a respectable woman until they were married.

He was executed on 8 December 1911.

see National Archives - ASSI 6/46/9, HO 144/1176/216591

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Thursday 28 December 1911