British Executions

Richard Wigley

Age: 34

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 18 Mar 1902

Crime Location: Lion Hotel, Westbury

Execution Place: Shrewsbury

Method: hanging

Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint


Richard Wigley cut the throat of his girlfriend Eliza Mary Bowen 28, at The Lion Inn, Westbury, Shropshire on Saturday, 30 November 1901.

Notable as Henry Pierrepoint’s first hanging as chief executioner. Wigley, a 34-year-old slaughterman, and his wife had separated and he had started to pay court to 28-year-old barmaid, Eliza Bowen. Eliza Bowen tried to end the affair. On 30th November 1901 Richard Wigley walked into The Lion Inn public house where Mary worked and cut her throat with a butcher’s knife.

When he was arrested by the police he said 'I have killed that little woman. It's all for love. I loved her and nobody else shall have her'.

He was found guilty at Shrewsbury Assizes and hanged at Shrewsbury Prison on 18 March 1902 by Henry Pierrepoint and John Ellis.

see Execution Of The Day

see Shropshire Star

see National Archives - ASSI 6/37/3