British Executions

William Cooper

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 20 May 1879

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Manchester

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Marwood


Forty two year old William Cooper was a former Bolton soldier who was convicted at Manchester Assizes of the murder of Ellen Mather. Cooper and Mather had been courting many years earlier but had split up after a petty quarrel. As a result Cooper had joined the army and left the country, returning just two days after she had married another man. In 1878, Ellen and her husband split up and she began working as a barmaid at the Albert Inn on Derby Street. When Cooper learned of this he became a regular and although she still liked him she had no wish to get involved in a serious relationship. On St Patrick's night, Ellen was asked if she would like to earn extra money by waiting on a dance at a local hall, so after her shift at the pub she set off on the two mile walk. As she neared a railway station, she was waylaid by Cooper who tried to prevent her from going to the dance. After a short argument, he cut her throat. Cooper was immediately arrested and charged with her murder. He was sentenced to death and hanged in Manchester by William Marwood on the 20th May 1879.

Also reference to him here.