Date Of Execution: 15 Dec 1903
Crime Location: Pokehouse Wood Quarry, Lucton, Leominster
Execution Place: Hereford
Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint
William Haywood was convicted of the murder of his wife Jane Haywood 59 and sentenced to death.
He assaulted her in Poke House Quarry where he was working at some time on Saturday 11 July 1903 although it was not thought that she died until much later that night. After assaulting her he washed her face and later put her on a wheelbarrow and attempted to take her home but was met by some people who became worried for Jane Haywood and sent for help.
However, from the first moment that he was seen he claimed that Jane Haywood had died accidently when he had heaved rocks up out of the quarry even though she was found to have multiple injuries including a fractured skull and a broken leg and that she had also had stones inserted into her vagina as far as they would go.
Earlier on the Saturday 11July 1903 he went to an inn where he told a person, 'I threw a stone at my ---- old woman and hit her just above the ear, and it's bleeding, and I can't stop it. If the poor old ---- is dead when I get back I will bury her in the brook'.
He was later seen taking the body of Jane Haywood from the quarry where they had worked to their home in Yarpole in a wheelbarrow by a couple and then shortly after by a woman near Mortimer's Cross Mill to whom he denied that she was dead even though she was said to be clearly dead and covered in blood.
It was said then that when a labourer suggested they lay Jane Haywood out on the grass and that soon after some more people arrived after which the police and a doctor were called.
After a policeman took a look at Jane Haywood he said that she was obviously dead and arrested William Haywood. Just before William Haywood was arrested he walked off towards the river saying that he might as well drown himself but he was arrested before he could do so.
William Haywood lived in Yarpole near Aymestrey with his wife and daughter and was employed by the Surveyor to the Leominster Rural District Council for the previous two months at Poke House Quarry. Poke House Quarry was on the Croft Castle estate and was being worked by the Leominster Rural District Council. It was also noted for its great geological interest including its strata and its fossils.
The River Lugg also ran pasts it and Mortimer's Cross Mill and was described as a pretty spot and popular with anglers many of whom would stay at the Mortimer's Cross Inn whilst there fishing.
His daughter said that William Haywood and Jane Haywood left their cottage for Leominster at about 7am or 8am on 10 July 1903 and later returned at about 1pm. She said that there was nothing unusual about them and that after that William Haywood went off to the inn and that about 20 minutes later Jane Haywood went to the village. She said that she came back about 10 minutes later and then left again and came back about 15 minutes later alone.
She said that William Haywood came home at about 3.30pm and that when he came in he told Jane Haywood not to fetch him from the inn or he would 'damb her nose'.
William Haywood's daughter said that William Haywood then changed his clothes, putting on his working clothes and then had his dinner and some coffee during which time he appeared quite sober and that after that he went off to work.
She said that she saw no more of him that day and that he didn't return. She said that it was not unusual for him to stay away all night although he had not done it for some years.
She said that she knew that William Haywood was working at the Poke House Quarry and that Jane Haywood had been in the habit of going to the quarry to help him and that she did so on the morning of Saturday 11 July 1903 to take William Haywood his breakfast and also to go to work.
She said that she didn't see Jane Haywood alive again after she left the house that morning.
A stonebreaker that lived in Ludlow but who had been lodging in Yarpole said that he remembered being in the Bell Inn in Yarpole at about 1pm on 10 July 1903 at which time he saw William Haywood who had a quart of cider. He said that whilst he was there that Jane Haywood, who he said he knew by sight, came in and told him that his dinner was ready and asked him to come down and have it. However, he said that he didn't go and asked Jane Haywood to have some cider and poured out some cider for her. He said that Jane Haywood sat down and drank one half of it and that William Haywood then said to her, 'If you won’t have any more cider go home and I will follow you directly', or something to that effect.
He said that Jane Haywood then stood up and asked him to come at once and then left and that he saw William Haywood leave about 15 minutes later. He said that he saw no more of them that day.
However, he said that he saw Jane Haywood at about 7.40am on Saturday 11 July 1903 whilst he was breaking stone saying that she passed him with a basket on her arm which had two bottles in it. He said that she was going in the direction of Poke House Quarry and that he had a conversation with her and that that was the last time that he saw her alive.
A licensed victualler that kept the Mortimers Cross Inn at Aymestrey said that he had known William Haywood for some time past and that at about 7.30am on Saturday 11 July 1903 he came to his inn and had a pint of beer to drink and also asked for a pint of beer in a bottle which he lent him and also bought a bottle of whiskey. He said that William Haywood paid for the two pints of beer and also paid 3/- for the whisky.
He said that he next saw him at about 1.30pm the same day whilst he was loading his waggonette up at the front door at which time he had no hat on and his shirt was outside his trousers on one side. He said that William Haywood said, 'I want a drink'. The licensed victualler said that he gave him a bottle of ginger beer, noting that he gave him that because of the way that he asked for it, noting that he had never addressed him by his christian name before. He said that William Haywood was none the worse for drink and that he got him the ginger beer because he had called him by his christian name. He said that William Haywood paid him for the drink and then said that there was 'something the matter with his old woman and he ought to have a doctor'. The licensed victualler said that he told William Haywood that the doctor was gone up the road towards Aymestrey. He said that William Haywood then said, 'There was blood coming from her ear'. However, he said that William Haywood didn't tell him where she was and added that he was busy and lost sight of William Haywood and saw no more of him until the police brought him which would have been about closing time.
A baker that lived in Kingsland said that on 11 July 1903 he had been at the Mortimer's Cross Inn at about 1.15pm at which time he saw William Haywood, who he knew, there, noting that he was there when he arrived and he had no hat, coat or waistcoat on. He said that he heard William Haywood ask for a drink and said that the landlord said, 'You had better have a ginger beer', or something to that effect. He said that when the landlord went to fetch the ginger beer William Haywood was not in any way excited and that he was neither drunk nor sober. He said that William Haywood had his drink and spoke to him and said, 'I threw a stone at my bloody old woman and hit her just above the ear and it is bleeding and I can't stop it' and that he then went on to say, 'If the poor old bugger is dead when I get back I will bury her in the brook'. The baker said that he noticed a mark on William Haywood's forehead, noting that it was a fresh mark. He said that after that William Haywood went off towards the mill.
A woman that lived in a cottage that was on the left hand side of the road entering Aymestry village, just a few yards down Bacon Lane, just off the road from Mortimer's Cross Inn through Aymestry heading towards Wigmore said that Poke House Quarry was just opposite their door and that they could see the quarry distinctly from their house. She said that she saw William Haywood at about 1.45pm on Saturday 11 July 1903 going up into the quarry, noting that he had been wearing a red shirt at the time and that about ten minutes later she saw him going towards the river. She said that he had something in his hand hanging down and that that was the last time that she saw him.
The labourer that came across William Haywood with Jane Haywood in the wheelbarrow said that it was about 8.45pm on Saturday 11 July 1903 when he and his wife were going underneath Poke House Wood towards Aymestry when they met William Haywood. He said that they were in the wood when they met William Haywood with his wife in the wheelbarrow and said that Jane Haywood's legs were hanging down between the handles and her head was over the corner by the side of the wheel. He said that when they met William Haywood that he sopped and put the barrow down and that he then asked William Haywood, 'What's the matter Bill?', and that William Haywood replied, 'I've knocked the old woman in the head throwing stones up out of the quarry. I did not know I had done it', and that William Haywood then told him that he was taking her home.
The labourer then said to William Haywood, 'You had better get a doctor Bill as soon as you can'. He said that he then noticed Jane Haywood's body in the barrow and said that he heard a moan and saw her move slightly. He said that William Haywood then picked up the barrow and went on and that he and his wife went on their way. He said that he appeared to have been sober.
He noted that he had seen William Haywood going towards Mortimer's Cross Inn at about 7am that morning and then again returning towards the quarry at about 7.30am.
The labourers wife said that she knew William Haywood and that on 11 July 1903 that she saw Jane Haywood pass her house going towards Poke House Quarry carrying a basket. She said that she called to her as she passed.
She said that she later saw William Haywood that evening at 9pm as she was going through Poke House Wood towards Aymestery with her husband, saying that she saw him wheeling Jane Haywood along in a wheel barrow. She said that William Haywood told her that he had been throwing out of the quarry and had hit Jane Haywood but that he hadn't known that he had done it and that he was taking her home. She said that her husband advised William Haywood to get a doctor as soon as he could.
The labourer's wife added that she heard a moaning noise coming from Jane Haywood and also saw her move slightly.
She said that William Haywood then passed on towards Mortimers Cross Mill and that at the time he appeared to be sober.
A woman that lived in Lucton with her brother who kept the mill there said that on Saturday 11 July 1903 that she had left her house with her sister at about 9pm when she heard a man's voice, William Haywood's, saying, 'Jane, Jane', several times and that she then went in the direction of the voice and then saw William Haywood with a wheelbarrow with something in it. She said that he was on a public road through the fold and that William Haywood told her that there had been an accident at the quarry and then mentioned something about Jane Haywood that he didn't understand.
She said that it was then that she discovered that Jane Haywood was in the wheel barrow and said that she was lying still. She said that William Haywood then said that he wanted a horse and cart to take Jane Haywood home in and that he wanted her and her sister to stop with the wheel barrow whilst he went off to the inn to see the inn landlord. However, the woman said that she said that she would go for the landlord and went off towards Mortimers Cross Inn. However, she said that on the way that she met their servant and sent her off at once for assistance and then continued on to the inn after which she returned to where William Haywood was with the wheelbarrow along with some other people, noting that by then William Haywood was very much distressed and put about.
A farmer that resided in Lucton said that on Saturday 11 July 1903 that he had been at Mortimers Cross Inn at about 9pm when following a communication received, he and others went towards Mortimers Cross Mill where he saw William Haywood in the middle of the road and his wife in a wheel barrow. He said that Jane Haywood was lying with her legs between the handles and her head resting in William Haywood's arm. He said that he saw blood about Jane Haywood but noted that she had the appearance of having been washed and that he concluded that she was dead and told William Haywood that he thought that he had better take Jane Haywood out of the wheelbarrow.
The farmer said that he then asked William Haywood what the matter was and said that William Haywood said that he had been throwing stones out and that one must have struck her. He said that when he said that Jane Haywood was dead that William Haywood said, 'Never poor wench or girl'. He said that he then suggested that her body should be removed out on to the greenward and said that William Haywood then took her body out of the wheelbarrow after which he said that he had a good mind to go and drown himself. The farmer then said, 'What's the good of that boy, that won’t mend matters'.
The farmer said that he then told William Haywood that he would fetch the doctor and the police and left to do that and that when he got to the inn that he saw the landlord there with a trap and sent him for the doctor and the police from Kingsland and that he then waited for them to arrive which they did a little before 10pm after which they went to the place that they had left William Haywood by which time they found William Haywood lying down beside Jane Haywood's body in the road.
He said that when the policeman asked William Haywood what had happened that William Haywood told the policeman what he had said earlier about throwing rocks out of the quarry. He said that the policeman then examined Jane Haywood and then asked William Haywood how he accounted for more than one mark on Jane Haywood's head and said that William Haywood replied that he did not know.
The farmer said that he then noticed something about Jane Haywood's foot and then called the policeman's attention to it, noting that it was bandaged up with something. He said that the policeman then cut off the bandage and that William Haywood then walked away quickly towards the river bridge. The farmer said that he then called the policeman's attention to the fact that William Haywood was walking away and said that the policeman then went after him and brought him back and then handcuffed him.
The farmer said that he then assisted in taking Jane Haywood's body to the inn and was there when the doctor arrived and that he left soon after.
The farmer noted that whilst he had been at the inn waiting for the doctor and the police earlier on that William Haywood had come into the house and told the people there that there had been an accident in much the same way that he had told him earlier. He said that William Haywood had a drink out of somebodies pint and then took some money out of his purse to get more drink but said that he suggested that he should not do so and should get back to the body upon which he said that William Haywood went away at once.
He said that when he got back to where Jane Haywood's body was the second time that there had been no one else there but William Haywood and that he would say that William Haywood had been sober at the time.
The policeman that was called out said that following information that he received at about 9.35pm on 11 July 1903 that he went to Mortimers Cross Inn where he met the farmer after which they went to Mortimers Cross Mill where they saw William Haywood and Jane Haywood lying side by side, Jane Haywood lying on the greensward and William Haywood on the margin. He said, 'What's the matter Haywood get up', and that when William Haywood got up he told him that Jane Haywood had been wheeling stone for him in Poke House Quarry and that he had hit her on the head with a stone and next saw her down bleeding from the head. He said that William Haywood then told him that he had got some water and washed her and tied up her leg and put her in the wheelbarrow and brought her to Mortimers Cross Mill where she expired in his arms, adding that he didn't know what time that was.
The policeman said that he then looked at Jane Haywood's body and found that she was dead, noting that she was cold but not stiff.
He said that he noted that Jane Haywood had a long wound on the head about 2 inches in length and quite open punctured wounds between her eyes and on her left cheek long with abrasions on her right cheek and traces of blood on her face. He said that his attention was drawn to Jane Haywood's left leg which he found was fractured and with the bone penetrating. He said that that aroused his suspicion and that he then asked William Haywood whether he could account for all of Jane Haywood's injuries. He said then that as he was carrying out a second examination of Jane Haywood's body that William Haywood moved towards the river and that when the farmer brought his attention to that fact that he went after William Haywood and caught him and then handcuffed him and charged him with causing his wife's death. He said that William Haywood appeared to be dazed and that he could not understand what he said. He said that he then called upon the bystanders to assist him and then handcuffed him to a man.
The policeman said that he then attended to Jane Haywood's body and moved it with all speed to the Mortimers Cross Inn and sent for the doctor and his superintendent to whom he later handed William Haywood.
The policeman said that he then proceeded to the quarry, which was about 1¼ miles away, as soon as he could procure a light, arriving at about 1.15am on Sunday 12 July 1903.
He said that when he arrived at the quarry that he found traces of a severe struggle having taken place on the bank in front of the quarry. He said that he found a quantity of blood and that in one place the soil was pressed smooth and that there was an imprint of dress material in it. He said that the marks of blood extended from 4 to 5 feet in length and about 12 inches in width. He noted that there was also a wheelbarrow there with marks of blood on it. He said that he also found a large stick with fresh blood upon it and three smaller sticks with blood on them. He also found a bonnet, cup, basket, tie and handkerchief which were all taken in as evidence, all of the items being found within a radius of about 4 to 5 feet from the spot where the struggle was thought to have taken place. He also found a bucket with water in it which was also tinged with blood and contained flesh and hair . He said that he also found two bottles, one which appeared to have contained beer and the other that appeared to have contained whiskey, both of which were also near to the scene of the struggle.
He noted that the whiskey bottle had been empty.
The policeman said that he also found stones that appeared to have been thrown out of the quarry, but said that they were all small, some of which he took as evidence along with some soil that he found that contained fresh blood, noting that the soil had been saturated. He also took possession of a hacker that he found there which also had marks of blood on it.
The policeman noted that the deck to which William Haywood would have been throwing the stones would not have been more than 4ft from him and so would have been in full view of anyone working there.
He noted that the larger stones were all properly stacked and that a large stone could have been easily thrown from the quarry to the spot where the struggle appeared to have taken place.
The policeman also noted that when he arrested William Haywood that he had spots of blood about him and that he had been sober.
A police superintendent stationed at Leominster said that on 12 July 1903 that he proceeded to Mortimers Cross following information received on 11 July 1903 at about midnight and took William Haywood into custody. He said that when he asked William Haywood whether he knew what he was being charged with William Haywood said, 'He told me it was for murdering my old woman but it was only an accident, I was throwing stones out of the quarry and must have hit her'.
The superintendent said that when he went to the quarry that he saw marks of a struggle, noting that the ground was completely baked. He said that the spot was not where the quarry had recently been worked and that he found marks of pressure on the soil as well as marks of a dress material. He said that the marks extended about 5ft in radius. He added that there was about 5ft of soil that was saturated with blood that was on average about 12in wide with the nearest mark of blood to the quarry being about 9ft 8in from which the blood marks extended from the quarry about 5ft.
He said that there were no signs of stone having been thrown up at that spot and that the first bed of stone would have been about 4ft down. He said that he found several things there that were taken away in evidence including tools but said that the quarry did not appear to have been worked for two days. He said that anyone throwing stone from the quarry would have been able to see where it would alight.
He noted that the distance from the quarry to the mill was 1416 yards.
A police constable stationed at Leminster said that on the morning of Monday 13 July 1903 that he had been on duty at the lock up when William Haywood had asked for his clothes and said that he began muttering something that he did not understand about his wife. He said that William Haywood said that he could not think how it happened unless a stone hit her as he was throwing them up. He also said that William Haywood said that he had had a bottle of whiskey and that he had put about three parts of it in a bucket of water to drink and that Jane Haywood had drunk some of the rest of the bottle and that he wondered if that had got over her head as she appeared to lose her senses before the accident. He went on to tell the police constable that when he found that she was hurt that he washed her hair in water and tied up her leg but that he didn't know what to do with her and so he put her in the wheelbarrow thinking to take her home but could see that she was getting worse on the road and that when he stopped and picked her up in his arms that she drew her last breath.
The doctor that carried out the post mortem and whose practice was in Kingsland made the following statement:
The history of the case of Jane Haywood of Yarpole deceased as known to me is as follows: I have attended her but not for some years & cannot remember for what complaint. I have made a post mortem examination of the body & find a bruise on the right leg, inner side, of tibia 1½ by 1½ inches punctured wound on right patella down to bone. Abrasions inner side of right thigh, circular bruise right gluteal region 3 inches in diameter. Another bruise over right iliac crest. Bruise back of right hand, large bruise back of right forearm with incised wound three quarters of an inch long half an inch deep & 2 inches below elbow. Abrasions over right elbow behind and both inner & outer sides of elbow extending from middle of forearm to above elbow back of arm bruise inner side of left gluteal region, bruise left hand. Abrasions left elbow & outer side of left arm extending over left shoulder. Compound fracture of left leg about centre oblique, contused wound just below seat of fracture on front of tibia, extensive bruising with extravasations of blood round seat of fracture. Mud about private parts. Condition of brain. Contused wound over left malar bone, bruise over left jaw, scabbed wound over right lower jaw, wound on upper part of left ear one inch long, through cartilage leaving skin behind intact, curved wound on right parietal region 2½ inches long exposing bone, on removal of scalp there was bruising over back of left parietal bone on periosteum and bruising with extravasation of blood on frontal side of frontal bone with laceration of inner surface of scalp. Extravasation of blood surrounding semi-circular scalp wound. Brain contusion on under surface of left frontal lobe with slight extravasation of blood. Condition of Thorax and Viscera. Healthy condition of abdomen and the viscera. There were two stones in the upper part of vagina against osuteri. My conclusions as to cause of death are. Shock from injury to the brain & outer multiple injuries described. I produce the stones which I found in the vagina, pushed up 3 inches or as far as is possible to put them up. I first examined the deceased on Saturday the 11th July 1903 a the request of the policeman. It would be about 11pm. I made the post mortem examination on Sunday evening July 12th 1903. It was then in the same condition as it was on the Saturday night. The deceased's clothes were covered with blood. On a subsequent occasion 19th July, I examined the clothes of the prisoner produced to me by the police. I found blood stains on the slop. I was also shown the sticks. They are marked with stains of blood. I could not say if the deceased had had any whisky before death. There was no smell. I found undigested food in the stomach. The injuries might have been produced by a stone, stick or kick. Deceased had been dead not more than 5 or 6 hours. Prisoner had some marks about him. He had a bruise on the left eye the size of a 6d piece. He had bruise on the left eye lid about the same size and scratch one inch under left eye half an inch in length. Blood on prisoner's slop recent'.
At the trial William Haywood's defence pleaded insanity.
Evidence was heard that his mother appeared quite simple and whilst she was a tenant at Pritchard's Court in Bargates, Leominster that she would frequently complain about the Dels above her saying that she was sure that they would break in. The small farmer that had rented her the property said that she had appeared simple and that in his mind she was not quite right in the head.
A corn merchant from Leominster said that he had known William Haywood's mother for some years, noting that she had lived in Leominster most of her time and said that about 12 years earlier that he noticed that she suffered from delusions. He said that she imagined that she was being disturbed by witches and that one morning she had produced a bed sheet upon which there were round rings and declared that witches had placed them there. However, the corn merchant said that upon examination they found that oil had been deposited on the sheet when it was folded which had resulted in the regular circular markings. He said that that was explained to her but that that was just a sample of the delusions that she had suffered from then until the current date.
A woman that live in Ryelands Road, Leominster and who was the wife of an engine driver said that she had known William Haywood's mother for between 14 and 15 years and that during the whole of that time she had suffered from a variety of delusions, imagining that people were attacking her and going to kill her. She said that she would frequently come to the door and shout about witches being about the garden and that she used to fasten a knife on the end of a stick with which she would hit the door and call out, 'Shoo you witch'.
A man that knew William Haywood said that he had known him for about 7 or 8 years and that he found him to be very eccentric and considered him not accountable for his actions. He said that he frequently saw him since he had been working on the road as well as when he was going to and from Lucton School. He said that on one particular occasion whilst he was returning from Lucton school on a bicycle that William Haywood pushed his wheelbarrow right across his path in front of him nearly upsetting him, saying that that was sometime about spring 1903. He said that he remonstrated with William Haywood for doing so but said that William Haywood only laughed. He added that on several other occasion that William Haywood had pretended to push his shovel through his bicycle wheel as he passed.
A doctor at Hereford County and City Asylum at Burghill that examined William Haywood said that he had read the case depositions and had visited William Haywood twice whilst he was in prison for four months, 13 November and 18 November 1903 and concluded that he was 'suffering from no acute disease'. He described him as well-nourished and muscularly well developed and that he could discover no evidence of William Haywood having suffered from hallucinations of organic senses or delusions. He said that his memory as to recent events was good although he continued to deny committing the deed for which he was accused and persisted in the explanation that he had given at the inquest and had earlier given the police. He noted that William Haywood's facial expressions as indicating the existence of normal emotions was distinctly at fault noting that at both interviews he maintained a stolid unrelaxing expression on countenance and was unmoved when the subject of his offence was introduced and discussed adding that callousness and indifference to a marked degree was evident. He said that William Haywood had slept well and that his nourishments were taken satisfactorily and that he showed little concern at the ultimate fate that justice might lay down for him. The doctor noted that William Haywood had been heard to say that he hoped that he would soon get over the bother and be done with it.
The doctor said that he found some evidence of retarded mentalization and memory when simple arithmetical calculations were presented in the form of a problem, stating that for instance, when getting at the ages of his elder children he was asked if A was 19 and B was two years younger then what was B's age, which it was note he could not do until he was instructed to subtract 2 from 19. The doctor noted that other similar questions presented to him posed similar difficulties to his mind and had to be simplified to get an answer.
He said that on physical examination that he found evidence of degenerative organic disease of the nervous system, but said that it was to a limited extent. However, he said that there existed commencing facial paralysis of the right half of his face and paralysis of individual muscles of the trunk and paresis of other. He added that he found various diminished or exaggerated reflexes and commencing cataract of both eyes with defective vision and areas of diminished cutaneous sensibility or hypersensitiveness.
When the doctor concluded his report he stated that after careful examination of William Haywood and his past personal and family history that he had concluded that William Haywood was not in full possession of his senses so as to be capable of pleading to the indictment with due caution or doing what was necessary for his defence and classified William Haywood as an imbecile of the higher grade endowed with an intelligence of a kind but deficient in his moral conceptions and defective in judgement weakened further by chronic alcoholism. The doctor added that William Haywood hardly realised to the full extent the enormity of the crime of which he was accused or the depravity of his past life.
The doctor said that he then went on with his enquiry to elucidate William Haywood's mental condition at the time he committed the crime and said that for that purpose that the question of heredity had to be determined. He said that family history established conclusively a proneness to insanity, moral obliquity and states of mental enfeeblement. His report included:
When the doctor detailed William Haywood's life he said the following:
When a child suffered from obsession. Saw animals in the guise of sprites often screamed from fear in open daylight when in the company of other children. A daughter narrated the following story, 'Father often used to tell us his head had never been right since he was marked on his forehead by a cross, he felt it laid on his head, it came all of a sudden very strange to him'.
He enlisted about the age of 19. It is uncertain how often he was a deserter from every regiment in which he enlisted. When his regiment was in Ireland he absconded with an Irish girl and lived with her in Sheffield until her death. He was discovered and captured in Sheffield, tried and sentenced to two years imprisonment. Punishment for regimental offences was frequent, if for any other grievous offences besides I have been unable to ascertain. On discharge from the Army he returned to England but wandered the country for a year before returning home. He then married his late wife who had borne him a child prior to marriage and before he absconded with the girl from Ireland. She also had a second illegitimate child before her marriage to William Haywood from a different father. From this time forward the prisoner worked as a general or farm labourer, roadman, quarryman etc shifting from one situation to another and changing his occupation, drinking and a terror to the neighbourhood in which he lived. He did not discriminate his person, employer, fellow workman, police, chance acquaintance and stranger, towards all he attempted or threatened personal violence on small provocation most often when drinking. In what have been described as 'sober moments' he was orderly, hardworking and well conducted. The deceased wife as far back as 17 years ago often told the superintendent of police that she lived in dread of him and that she was sure he (her husband) would someday kill her. Assaults were frequent and severe. Occasions have also been noted in which impulse to dangerous violence to persons have not been kindled by drink. Small provocations let loose the frenzy to main or kill and the accident of place and surrounding alone decided the nature and degree of the violence attempted. It needed less provocation when he had alcohol. Relatively he was seldom seen actually drunk when aggressive but a half pint of beer made him dangerously so. The father of accused removed from Bircher Common when the prisoner settled there. He left fearing violence from his son. The prisoner was given (on his own confession to me) to occasional bouts of drunkenness. When drunk the prisoner states his feelings were the reverse of 'savage' though people say so to the contrary. His feelings he describes to be a state of despondency and he could 'lay down and die'. The mental bent indicates by his description an inclination to alcoholic suicide. The prisoner was often noticed to be strange when there was no suspicion of alcohol being the agent at work. He often complained of feeling queer in his head to people and on one of the several eccentric visits he paid his sister in Liverpool he repeatedly told his sister on one day that he felt so strange in his head upon times that he thought he would never live to die a natural death. That was about 10 or 12 years ago. There is also evidence of symptoms which I regard as attacks of transitory insanity (mania a potu). He often saw imaginary objects in the house and heard noises to which he called the attention of members of his family. He is known to have led his wife to see objects which no one else could discern. He flew into a passion if he was contradicted and experience had taught them acquiescence was necessary.
A statement favoured me by HM Coroner at Leominster demonstrate the degree and quality of his obliquity in the moral sphere. The Coroner wrote, 'It appears that immediately prior to the committal of the offence the prisoner's wife had left her cottage at Yarpole because of assaults which he had committed upon her and she had come to stay at Leominster. It was during her absence that the prisoner raped his daughter. One of the acts of violence which the prisoner’s wife told me was that the prisoner had got a stick and rounded it off with his knife and that on one occasion at all events he had pushed the stick up her private parts. I remember it being stated that this stick was kept in the oven. No charge was made against the prisoner for these acts of violence and his wife's statements were not reduced into writing'.
The affective personality of the prisoner seems well-nigh to have been blotted out even to its shadow. At the post-mortem examination the nature of some of the injuries found on the wife seem to have been the work of an individual devoid of all moral and affective feeling.
Examining the evidence offered at the inquest, it does not disclose the nature of the provocation which it must be assumed there had been. The wife was given to 'nagging' and was as intemperate as her husband. There is no premeditation alleged. There is no attempt at concealment of the crime on the part of the accused although a denial of 'how caused' is maintained. No ulterior motive or purposive conduct to attain an end is suspected. No emotional agitation consonant with the nature of the sufferings afflicted is present. The call 'to Jane' is all that is deposed. Some of those who first saw the prisoner after the act described him as 'sober' others as 'dazed' but withal his conduct appears throughout as casual. He was seen in view of other people lying on the grass by the side of the body of his dead wife. He had been drinking the previous day and had been drinking on the morning he perpetrated the crime. The assault was of a peculiarly ferocious and cruel character commonly observed in alcoholic homicide.
I am therefore forced to the conclusion that inherited mental instability and feebleness of mind, associated with alcoholic intoxication led to a sudden and explosive impulse on receiving some trifling provocation and that the prisoner committed the assault when 'he was prevented from knowing the nature and quality of his act or that such act was 'wrong', owing to disease affecting his mind.
William Haywood's trial was held at the Hereford Assizes on Saturday 28 November 1903 where it was reported that William Haywood was defended by direction of the judge. The witnesses were heard in an attempt to prove insanity and it was additionally heard that William Haywood had fallen on his head some years ago and that very little drink upset him.
However, when the judge summed up he said that the jurors ought not to trouble their minds with the nice questions and distinctions raised by medical men but should use common sense, applying as a practical test this, 'Did the man at the time know that he was doing wrong'? He said that lunatics were not to escape punishment merely because they were lunatics and that plenty of lunatics knew when they were committing sin and said that it would be dangerous not to hold lunatics responsible in cases where they were conscious of wrongdoing. However, he added that if the jury felt that the man did not know that what he was doing was wrong then they were to acquit him. The judge then said that the question of whether William Haywood knew or not could best be determined by considering his conduct before and after the occurrence, noting that no doubt William Haywood's mind was inflamed by drink, but said that both before and after the event he was acting and speaking in all respects as if he were fully conscious of his deeds and words and of the effects of them. The judge added that William Haywood was probably drunk at the actual moment of the attack, but said that drunkenness was no excuse for crime and that it would be a pity if it were so. He added that it was noteworthy that after the crime that William Haywood had an excuse ready for the occurrence and said that he thought that William Haywood must have very soon after the deed have been casting about for some story to account for the death. The judge added that there were also other matters, besides the crime, that proved William Haywood to be given to extraordinary wickedness. He then said that the enormity of William Haywood's offences could not plead in his exculpation of his offences, otherwise, the greater the crime, the greater would be the chance of escaping with impunity.
The jury were absent for a very brief period and brought in a verdict of guilty and William Haywood was sentenced to death.
When his sentence was passed one of his daughters shouted out to him, 'Good-bye, Dad!'.
William Haywood was executed at Hereford on the morning of Tuesday 15 December 1903
see National Archives - ASSI 6/38/2, HO 144/728/112654
see Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 15 December 1903
see Worcestershire Chronicle - Saturday 08 August 1903
see Hereford Journal - Saturday 05 December 1903
see Ludlow Advertiser - Saturday 18 July 1903
see Leominster News and North West Herefordshire & Radnorshire Advertiser - Friday 17 July 1903 (picture of William Haywood on his way to Hereford)
see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 15 December 1903
see Star of Gwent - Friday 24 July 1903
see Flintshire Observer - Thursday 03 December 1903