British Executions

Isaac Marks


Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 2 Jan 1877

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Horsemonger-lane

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


In the spring of 1874, Isaac Marks, a Jewish antique dealer, began to court Caroline Bernard, and later, as the relationship flourished, he proposed marriage. Frederick Bernard, father of thirteen and a fellow Jew, checked out his prospective son-in-law and gave his blessing to their engagement. All was well until the summer of 1876, when Marks' house was destroyed by fire. Bernard helped Marks to make the insurance claim, and later presented him with a hefty bill for his services. Marks was so angry at being asked to pay what he considered an unreasonable amount, that he broke off the engagement. This caused great animosity between the two men. On the afternoon of 24th October, Marks waited outside a shop in Lambeth and as Bernard emerged he fired seven shots at him, killing him instantly. He was immediately detained by a member of the public and held until the police arrived. A shopkeeper testified that he had sold a gun to Marks only an hour before the crime, effectively ruining the defence of non-premeditated murder. Marks's counsel claimed that he was insane; he was known in his family as 'Mad Marks', and both his parents had died in an asylum. Marks was hanged by William Marwood in Horsemonger Lane on the 2nd Januray 1877 at the age of twenty three.