British Executions

Thomas George Tattersall

Age: 50

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 15 Aug 1905

Crime Location: 2 Waterworks Yard, Northgate, Wakefield

Execution Place: Wakefield

Method: hanging

Executioner: John Billington


Thomas George Tattersall was convicted of the murder of his wife Rebecca Tattersall 29.

He attacker her with a hatchet and cut her throat at their home in Waterworks Yard, Northgate in Wakefield on 3 July 1905.

He was arrested two days later on 3 July 1905 at Kirkgate Station as he got off of the 9.16pm train.

Rebecca Tattersall was found dead in bed with her throat cut.

They had been married for eleven or twelve years and quarrelled frequently.

Rebecca Tattersall's brother said that he had had to go to their house often to protect his sister and had often heard Thomas Tattersall say he would 'Do the job for her'.

On the Saturday night, 1 July 1905, Rebecca Tattersall went to see her brother and asked him to come home with her as Thomas Tattersall had been threatening her.

Their neighbour said that she often heard then quarrelling at their home and on 3 July 1905, just before 7am, she said she heard their 10-year-old daughter screaming in the yard and that when she went out and asked her what was the matter she replied 'Daddy has cut mammy's throat'.

The daughter herself later said that on the Monday morning she had heard a nasty noise and then saw her father pass her bed. She said that he noticed that she was awake and that he said to her 'If you scream I'll murder you'. She said that Thomas Tattersall then went down stairs and that she went into her mother's room where she saw a lot of blood on the bed. She said that she then took the baby who was also in the bed and went downstairs and told a man who was cleaning some windows. She also later said that her father was often unkind to her mother and that she had seen him strike her on many occasions.

The window cleaner said that when the girl told him what had happened he went to the house and saw Rebecca Tattersall on the bed with her throat cut, covered in blood and said that she was still alive. He said that she was still breathing and that he tied a sheet around her throat but that she died soon afterwards.

When the police arrived they found a hatchet that had some hair on it on the bed and a blood stained razor was found on the toilet stand.

The doctor said that Rebecca Tattersall's throat had a wound four and a half inches long which was very deep and that the windpipe was completely severed. He said that there were also two wounds on her head that might have been caused by the hatchet.

Thomas Tattersall had been a plasterer.

He was executed at Leeds on the morning of Tuesday 15 August 1905.

He was said to have passed a sleepless night and to have eaten a scanty breakfast before his execution and to have walked firmly to the scaffold singing a hymn in low tones. As the lever was being pulled, he quietly said to the governor, 'Goodnight'.

Jack Billington and Warbrock were the executioners and his death was instantaneous.

see National Archives - ASSI 52/2

see Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Wednesday 05 July 1905

see Wakefield and West Riding Herald - Saturday 08 July 1905

see Belfast News-Letter - Wednesday 16 August 1905