British Executions

Frederick James Andrews

Age: 45

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 3 May 1899

Crime Location: 4 Garden Cottages, Lower Kennington Lane, Kennington Butts, London

Execution Place: Wandsworth

Method: hanging

Executioner: James and Thomas Billington


Frederick Andrews was convicted of the murder of his paramour Frances Short 54 and sentenced to death.

He killed her at 4 Garden Cottages in Lower Kennington Lane, London.

Frances Short had been a widow and had for the previous seven or eight years lived with Frederick Andrews at 4 Garden Cottages. Frances Short's 23-year-old son had also lived with them, but he had left a week before the  murder.

Frances Short was described as an industrious woman and had supported both herself and Frederick Andrews by selling greengrocery from a stall in Newington Butts, which she had been in the habit of taking out daily.

However, Frederick Andrews was said to have used her in the most cruel manner and the day before her murder she complained to her neighbour about his violence and showed bruises about her face.

On the night of 15 March 1899 sounds of quarrelling were heard in the room occupied by Frederick Andrews and Frances Short which lasted until 3am. A faint scream was heard and later on Frederick Andrews was seen to leave the house, taking Frances Short's barrow with him. One of the neighbours asked what he had been doing to Frances Short, but Frederick Andrews told them that she was not at home, and had gone to her daughter's.

However, in consequence of what was heard, an entry was effected to the house and it was then discovered that Frances Short had been brutally murdered. Her body lay huddled up on a bed in the corner of the room covered by a flock bed that had been fetched down from an upstairs room.

An examination of the body showed that Frances Short's head had been drawn back and her throat cut. In addition he had also stabbed her in both eyes with a penknife as well as about the face. She had no fewer than 41 separate stab wounds and neck, besides the cut throat.

After the murder Frederick Andrews had left the house, taking Frances Short's shoes, one of which had been seen sticking out of his pocket. He also took her shawl. He later sold the shoes and shawl for 6d.

Frederick Andrews was missing for the whole day, but he was later arrested on 16 March 1899 sitting in a public house in Long Acre.

When he was first arrested he told the police that his name was Brown, but afterwards admitted that it was Andrews and he confessed to the murder. On the way to the police station he said, 'This is a bad position to be in. I did it in drink. I had better be hung, and get out of it quick'.

When the charge was read over to him he made use of coarse expressions respecting Frances Short adding that he, 'would hang like a man for her'.

He was tried at the Old Bailey on Friday 14 April 1899 and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He was executed at Wandsworth on 3 May 1899.

Garden Cottages were just behind Mansion House public house at 48 Kennington Park Road, to the side of Rood Cottages, but the cottages have since been demolished as have most of the housing between Mansion House Street and Opal Street, which has been replaced with a park. The yard to Garden Cottages and where the cottages would have stood is now a car park.

see National Archives - CRIM 1/55/1, HO 144/276/A60972

see Dundee Courier - Saturday 15 April 1899

see Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press - Saturday 06 May 1899

see South London Chronicle - Saturday 22 April 1899

see Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 22 March 1899

see Bradford Daily Telegraph - Friday 17 March 1899