British Executions

Robert Goodale


Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 30 Nov 1885

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Norwich

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown



Condemned to death for the murder of his unfaithful wife at Walsoken, Norfolk. Goodale was a fifteen stone giant of a man who worked as a market gardener and farmer. Each day after work, he and his wife would travel into Wisbech where they would spend the night. On 16 September he returned to the town alone and his manner caused some suspicion among his friends. When a search of Goodale's farm was carried out, his wife's body was discovered at the bottom of a well - her skull had been smashed with a sharp instrument. He was hanged by Berry at Norwich Castle. The hangman, who already had had two unnerving scenes that year with the failure to execute John Lee at Exeter in, and the decapitation of SHRIMPTON, was to have another unfortunate experience. He calculated a drop of seven feet eight inches but on observing the condemned man's build, he decided on a shorter drop of five feet nine inches. He selected the same rope he had used to hang WILLIAMS the week before, and made his usual preparations. Goodale was in a state of terror when Berry entered his cell and had to be half carried to the gallows. When the drop fell, officials were horrified to find that his head had been torn clean from his shoulders.