British Executions

Arthur Henry Franklin

Age: 44

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 25 Jun 1935

Crime Location: Hanham Woods, Hanham Abbotts

Execution Place: Gloucester

Method: hanging

Executioner: Thomas Pierrepoint


Arthur Franklin murdered his girlfriend Bessie Gladys Nott 28 by shooting her in the head in Hanham Woods, Hanham Abbotts, near Bristol on 8 May 1935.

Arthur Franklin and Bessie Nott both lived in seperate small one bedroom cottages in Hanham Woods about 100 yards from each other. Bessie Nott shared her cottage with her husband and had been there for 3 years since 1932. Arthur Franklin shared his cottage with his younger brother.

In 1933 Bessie Nott moved in with Arthur Franklin but in early May 1935 she moved back in with her husband. On 8 May 1935 she was walking towards her husbands cottage when Arthur Franklin came up behind her and shot her, completely shattering her head. He then shot her again on the ground. When her husband came to investigate the shots Arthur Franklin saw him and said 'And you, too, you rat' and shot him in the head causing him to loose an eye. Arthur Franklin said he was going to play with him like a cat with a mouse but he had no more cartridges left.

After the shooting a some neighbours went up to see what had happened and they saw Arthur Franklin stood there with a gun in his hands and asked if there was anything the matter and Arthur Franklin said 'Yes, you'd better fetch the police, I've killed Gladys. Arthur Franklin then said 'Half a minute, I want a word with you' and he walked up to them with the gun in his hands looking nervous and trembling and said 'You'd better fetch the police I've killed Gladys and put a shot in him'. They then walked to the gateway of Bessie Nott's cottage and waited.

When Arthur Franklin's brother came by and asked Arthur Franklin why he shot Bessie Nott, Arthur Franklin said 'She didn't feel any pain, i'm sure of that'  and when asked about her husband he said 'He's not worth it. Let him suffer'.

Bessie Nott died whilst her husband recovered later in hospital.

see National Archives - HO 144/20018, ASSI 6/70/5

see Western Daily Press - Thursday 09 May 1935

see Hull Daily Mail - Wednesday 05 June 1935