British Executions

William Wright

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 27 Mar 1855

Crime Location: Lydiard Tregoze, Swindon, Wiltshire

Execution Place: County Goal, Fisherton Anger

Method: hanging

Executioner: Calcraft


William Wright was convicted for the murder of Ann Collins who he killed at their home in Lydiard Tregoze on 18 November 1854.

They had lived together in Wooton Bassett with a little girl. Ann Collins wasnt his wife but passed herself off as Ann Wright, however, she left him saying that she was going to see a friend but instead went off with another man.

William Wright, who was a blacksmith was so affected that he could not go about his normal work and his master said he thought his mind was unbalanced.

After a month Ann Collins returned. William Wright's master had taken a cottage for him in Hook and so they went to live there. They lived there for 20 weeks under amicable terms and were not known to quarrel until 18 November 1984 when a neighbour heard Ann Collins screaming loudly.

William Wright said 'We were sitting at breakfast, and I happened to mention about the man. She said she would soon be away with him another month. I laughed at her. she jumped up and seized a razor on the top of the cupboard, and was in the act of coming to me. I got up and went round the table, and gave her a cut at the back of her neck. The little girl went to the door, when she saw the blood. I did not know the door was locked. I let her out, and came back and cut my own throat.

When he was hung his throat wound opened up again adding to the horror of the spectacle which was watched by thousands of people.

After he was hung and was left hanging for the correct time a woman repeatedly attempted to force her way to the gallow. when asked why she said that she had since birth been afflicted by evil but would be cured if she touched the hand of a fellow mortal whilst hanging from the gallows.

see Newry Examiner and Louth Advertiser - Saturday 17 March 1855

see Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette - Thursday 29 March 1855

see Reading Mercury - Saturday 31 March 1855