British Executions

Benjamin Purcell


Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 9 Dec 1889

Crime Location:

Execution Place:

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


Fifty year old Benjamin Purcell and his wife Emily who was forty four lived unhappily together at Bradford-upon- Avon, and as a result would quarrel over the slightest matter. On 9 November she returned home from shopping and they had an argument over a floral petticoat she had just purchased. In a rage, he picked up an axe and split her head open, then beat her about the head and body with the blunt end. When he was satisfied that she was dead, he walked to the nearest police station and confessed. He was sentenced to death at Wiltshire Assizes by Baron Pollock and hanged by James Berry on the 9 December 1889 at Devizes..