British Executions

James Connor

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: unknown

Date Of Execution: 8 Sep 1873

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Liverpool

Method: unknown

Executioner: William Calcraft



A powerfully built London boilerman sentenced to death by Mr Justice Brett on 16th  August for the murder of Sheffield born James Gaffrey and the attempted murder of William Metcalfe on Monday 11th  August. Connor had been drinking and visited a music hall in Liverpool. On leaving the theatre, he made conversation with Mrs Mary Shears, the wife of a ship's steward, and asked her to join him for a drink. When she refused he began to get violent and accused her of stealing money from him. Gaffrey and Metcalfe were walking down Mill Street, Liverpool, when they saw Connor strike the woman. They rushed over and asked him what was going on and during the ensuing row, Connor struck Gaffrey in the face. When Gaffrey responded by punching him back, Connor drew a knife and stabbed him behind the ear, then turned on Metcalfe, wounding him. Connor pleaded manslaughter through provocation but was convicted of murder. He was hanged by William Calcraft who was assisted by Marwood. It was another in the long line of botched executions by the aged hangman. Connor was pinioned in the usual fashion and took his position under the beam. As Calcraft pulled the lever, the rope snapped under the strain and Connor fell into the drop, landing in a heap on the floor where he squirmed about in a great deal of pain and unable to move due to his bindings. A new rope was fetched, Connor was brought up and then dropped a second time. This awful fiasco took place on the 8th September 1873 in Liverpool