British Executions

Sargent Philp

Age: 33

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 1 Oct 1912

Crime Location: 31 Morny Road, Old Kent Road, London

Execution Place: Wandsworth

Method: hanging

Executioner: John Ellis


Sargent Philp was convicted of the murder of his wife Rose Philp 36 and sentenced to death.

He cut her throat at 31 Morny Road, Old Kent Road, London on 26 July 1912.

Sargent Philp was a blacksmith who was sometimes out of work but at other times earning very good wages.

Rose Philp had left him and made claims against him at the police courts.

He was summoned to Lambeth Police Court for cruelty and wilful neglect to provide reasonable maintenance for his wife and family. Although there was no evidence of serious cruelty, neglect was established, and an order was made against him on 8 July 1912 to pay 14/- a week, although he offered 10/-.

Rose Philp and their baby had been living with her sister and mother since 9 June 1912 and on 15 July 1912 Sargent Philp brought the other children to her and left them with her, and paid the first instalment.

Sargent Philp saw Rose Philp several times after the Police Court proceedings, and he told her that he wanted her back, however, she said that she wouldn't come back until he had a home.

On one visit to Rose Philp's mother's house, Sargent Philp said, 'If she has done this to get money out of me, she is mistaken', and then added words to the effect that he would rather swing or go to the gallows.

Sargent Philp returned to the mother's house on 22 July 1912, but Rose Philp was not there as she had gone to her brother's house, having been warned that Sargent Philp was coming, and Sargent Philp walked about outside until very late waiting for her.

Sargent Philp went back to the house a few days later on Friday 26 July 1912 at about midday and sent word to Rose Philp that he wanted to speak to her. She then came into the kitchen where her sister was already, with Sargent Philp standing at the door, and Sargent Philp said, 'I've got some news for you', to which Rose Philp asked, 'Have you got any work?'. Sargent Philp then replied, 'I've got a job to go to on Monday, a good job', but Rose Philp replied, 'That's no news, you are always getting good jobs'. Sargent Philp then asked, 'Will you come back to me?' and Rose Philp replied, 'When you get a home'.

Sargent Philp then ran at Rose Philp, but she dodged round the table and called out for her sister to get a policeman. The sister then ran out for help and Rose Philp ran out of the house and along the street and then into an area of the next house, followed by Sargent Philp who had a shoemaker's knife in his hand.

He was soon after seen leaning over her as she lay on the ground in the area of the next house. He had cut her throat, severing her windpipe and jugular with a stabbing motion. Rose Philp also had a cut on the left side of her jaw, a severe cut on her left wrist, and several cuts on her left hand and fingers.

Sargent Philp was then at once seized by two men, and he said, 'I've done it, and meant to do it, and if her mother had been here I'd have done her the same. She has been the cause of all my trouble'.

The mother came up a few minutes after, and Sargent Philp repeated either to her or the sister, ''If you had been here, I should have done you the same'.

It was noted that as Sargent Philp was seized by the two men as he was leaning over Rose Philp, he appeared to have started an attempt to cut his own throat, but his hand was seized.

Other remarks that he was said to have made included, 'I told you what I would do, and I have done it', and 'I don't care. I am glad I've done it. You don't know what I have been through'.

When Sargent Philp was arrested, he said, 'Is she dead. It's her own fault. She won't stay with me, all through her mother'.

Then, on the way to the police station he said, 'I've had no food for 3 days. It's all through her mother and sisters. They are the biggest liars on the face of the earth. I love my wife. It's the children I am thinking about'. He later said, 'I shaved with that knife this morning. I could have done her sister in as well if I could have seen her. I am hungry. I did not know what I was doing, if she had come back to me this morning, this would not have happened. All right. She drove me to it. I did it'.

It was also noted that when he was seized, he seemed to be in a dazed, agitated and exhausted condition, as if he hardly knew what he was doing. However, he was also described as being calm and not excited, as well as being sober.

The police report noted that there was nothing against his character other than being drunk now and then, as well as drinking and betting away the money that he ought to have used to maintain his family.

The sister gave evidence stating that Sargent Philp had once assaulted Rose Philp, but not seriously.

It was further noted that there was no allegation of misconduct on the part of Rose Philp or of nagging or quarrelsomeness although it was stated that she had refused marital rights to Sargent Philp for some months.

The police report concluded by stating that the murder appeared to have been a deliberate and determined murder by a sane and sober man without anything that could reasonably be called provocation.

It was later noted that Sargent Philp had apparently acquiesced that he was not going to appeal or petition and was making no complaint as to his fate.

They had five children.

see Western Times - Monday 29 July 1912

see National Archives - CRIM 1/133/6, HO 144/1226/228135