British Executions

Robert Galloway

Age: 27

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 5 Nov 1912

Crime Location: Burrett Lane, Walsoken

Execution Place: Norwich

Method: hanging

Executioner: Thomas Pierrepoint


Robert Galloway was convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Minnie Morris 21 and sentenced to death.

He strangled her in Burrett Lane, Walsoken, on 16 July 1912.

Robert Galloway was a labourer and had served two years, 1908-10, as a stoker in the Navy. He also had a list of previous convictions.

He was released from Wandsworth Prison on 16 April 1912 after serving a 3-month sentence for stealing.

He then went to Walsoken for fruit-picking where he made the acquaintance of Minnie Morris who was also a fruit picker.

However, it was heard that Minnie Morris was of easy virtue and had also been carrying on with another man.

Robert Galloway found Minnie Morris with the other man in a public house on Sunday 14 July 1912, but she refused to leave the man. When Minnie Morris and the man came out of the pub, Robert Galloway said to them, 'If I can't find you, I will find him'.

Robert Galloway was later seen drinking with Minnie Morris in a pub on Tuesday 16 July 1912 and later at about midday they were seen walking along a road.

At about 3pm a person on a bicycle saw a man kneeling over a woman who was lying on her back on the road side. When the cyclist returned a few minutes later he saw Minnie Morris was still there, but that the man had gone.

However, it wasn't until 5pm that a labourer that had been passing found that she was dead.

Following the murder, Robert Galloway had called at about four public houses where he had been drinking and was heard to talk vaguely about only having six weeks to live and saying that his next appearance would be at the Assizes. He also wrote his name on pieces of paper and gave them to two witnesses.

At about 6pm Robert Galloway told a police constable in Wisbech that he had strangled a woman and gave him an accurate description of where her body could be found, saying that he had done it from jealousy. It was noted that he had been quite sober when he had said that.

When Minnie Morris was examined, it was found that her death was caused by a handkerchief that had been tied tightly round her neck and that it had initially been hidden from sight by the swollen folds of flesh of her neck.

When Robert Galloway was later arrested and made a statement on 17 July 1912, he said that Minnie Morris had asked him to end her misery.

At his trial, Robert Galloway said that he had no recollection of killing her and couldn't remember anything for some considerable time before or after the murder, and his defence said that his condition was due either to insanity or prolonged drinking. However, doctors that had examined him claimed that there was no evidence of insanity and it was also shown conclusively that Robert Galloway had been sober at the time and knew perfectly well what he had done.

His list of convictions was detailed as:

  • 3 August 1904: Marylebone Police Court, stealing watch, 14 days.
  • 5 July 1909: West London Police Court, Drunk etc, 10/- or 7 days.
  • 16 October 1909: West London Police Court, stealing overcoat, 28 days hard labour.
  • 22 November 1909: West London Police Court, wilful damage, 1 month hard labour.
  • 31 January 1912: Westminster Police Court, stealing glass cloths, 3 months.
  • He also had two naval convictions.

see Dundee Courier - Monday 21 October 1912

see Lichfield Mercury - Friday 25 October 1912

see National Archives - HO 144/1233/229437