British Executions

Thomas Bates

Age: 23

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 29 Mar 1837

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


Thomas Bates murdered James Giltro who he killed on 29 August 1836.

James Giltro was a gamekeeper to Colonel Hammer at Soulbury. He later confessed to the murder in front of his wife and another man.

He killed him in the village of Heath and Reach near Leighton Buzzard. he was found dead at the side of Bragenham Warren. At first it was thought he had committed suicide after having killed another man whilst rabbit hunting the previous autum but that was soon ruled out after his mangled body was seen.

He had been beaten so much that even his closest friends found it hard to recognise him.

When the area was searched a small peice of a gun stock together with a trrigger gaurd and percussion lock were found about 8 yards from the body in the grass which was quickly identified as being those from Thomas Bates gun.

Thomas Bates's statement was 'When I left Rushmore Pond I went through the warren into Mr Chew's wheat and stubble field. I sat by tho gates a little while thinking to see a rabbit. I saw a pheasant coming towards the hedge. I waited till it got near enough, and I shot at it. i thought I hit it, but it flew into the warren. I then went into Six Acres, under the hedge. At that instant I saw Gillrow running towards me, as fast as he could, and I popped through the hedge into the warren, and squatted in the ditch. Gillrow passed me; he went into Mortimer's field, and soon came back again. When he saw me in the ditch, he said, I've got you at last; I have been looking for you a long time, and now have got you. I said that it was the first time, and hoped he would forgive me. He said No, he would not; he told me to come out of the ditch, and we walked up by the side of the freeboard, and I again asked him to forgive me several times, but he said No. I then raised my gun, and knocked him down with the but end. He said Oh, dear and I kept hitting him. I then left him, and went home, and got to bed about half past eight. I got up early next morning, and went to look for the piece of gun. The moon shone bright, but I could not find it. I was there an hour, and then left, for fear somebody might see me, as it was getting light, and went to work on the railway where I was taken.'

see Hertford Mercury and Reformer - Tuesday 14 March 1837

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Saturday 10 September 1836

see Bucks Herald - Saturday 08 April 1837