British Executions

James Murphy


Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 29 Nov 1886

Crime Location:

Execution Place:

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


November 29th: James MURPHY
In March, Murphy, a collier from Dudsworth near Barnsley, was arrested by a PC Austwick on a charge of drunkenness. He received a summons and later a fine, and as a result he bore a grudge against the officer and swore revenge. On 31 July, a neighbour reported a disturbance at Murphy's house, and as s result PC Austwick went to investigate. Murphy recognised him at once and shouted: 'Oh, it's you I want, wait here!' Murphy then rushed off, returned shortly with a gun and shot the officer dead; the shot was heard by the PC's wife at their home nearby. Murphy fled and was at liberty for many weeks. A reward was offered for information but it was still some time before he was finally taken into custody. He was convicted at York Assizes and remained calm to the end. Introduced to Berry on the eve of his execution, Murphy, who was eating at the time, said in a letter to his family that despite the meeting, he consumed his meal none the worse for it. On the morning of the execution as Berry adjusted the noose, Murphy said to him: 'Put it right old boy and don't be nervous.'