British Executions

William Gower

Age: 18

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 2 Jan 1889

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Maidstone

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


January 2nd: William GOWER (18)
Charles DOBELL (17)
On the night of 20 July, Bensley Cyrus Lawrence, an engine driver and time keeper at a Tunbridge Wells sawmill, was called from his home with a message that someone wanted to see him. Minutes later a shot was heard and soon afterwards, his body was discovered. A witness had seen Lawrence talking to two young men just before the shot was heard but despite an intensive investigation. the police had no clues as to the identity of the assailants. It was almost six months later before the police had the suspects in custody, after one of them confessed to a friend. The Whitechapel murders of Jack the Ripper were filling the headlines. Discussing the atrocities with friends, Dobell confessed that he had killed the man at Tunbridge Wells. Word got back to detectives. and soon both Dobell and Gower were in custody, where they made a full confession. Police blamed the crime on the influence of 'penny-dreadfuls' comic books, which had fired their imaginations. Hanged by Berry.

Confessed to murder of BENSLEY C.LAWRENCE, Timekeeper at saw-mills at Tunbridge Wells; Maidstone