British Executions

Arthur Spencer


Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 28 Jul 1891

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Lincoln

Method: unknown

Executioner: unknown


Spencer was a native of Retford, Nottinghamshire, who came to Lincoln to apprentice as a pork butcher. He fell in love with thirty two year old Mary Ann Gardner, a widow to whom he proposed marriage. For some reason she refused and when he threatened to shoot her if she didn't change her mind, she just laughed. On 31st March, he called at her house and after she told him she hadn't changed her mind and still had no intention of marrying him, he shot her twice in the chest. He then turned the gun on himself and fired two shots. The first, at his chest. caused nothing more harmful than a flesh wound so he put the gun into his mouth and fired again. Amazingly, the bullet passed straight through his head. exiting at the back of his neck without causing any serious damage! He pleaded guilty at Lincoln Assizes before Mr Justice Vaughan Williams, and while in the condemned cell, he put on over two stones in 'grief fat'. He was hanged by James Berry on the 28th July 1891 in Lincoln at the age of twenty two.