British Executions

John MacDonald

Age: 24

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 30 Sep 1902

Crime Location: Wentworth Street, Spitalfields, London

Execution Place: Pentonville

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Billington


John MacDonald was convicted of the murder of Henry Groves and sentenced to death.

He stabbed him in Wentworth Street, Spitalfields, London on Thursday 28 August 1902.

They had both been staying at a Salvation Army Shelter in Middlesex Street in late July 1902 when someone stole 5s from him as he slept.

John MacDonald blamed Henry Groves and on 21 August was seen sharpening a knife and saying that he was going to stab Henry Groves.

A week later John MacDonald saw Henry Groves in a crockery shop in Old Castle Street and they started arguing. They then went out into Old Castle Street and then turned into Wentworth Street where they started to fight.

A man broke the fight up a couple of times but John MacDonald then pulled out his knife and stabbed Henry Groves in the neck. The man then jumped on John MacDonald and held him down until the police arrived. Henry Groves managed to stagger 50 yards down the street before he died.

see National Archives - HO 144/672/100350, CRIM 1/75/7