British Executions

Walter Marsh

Age: 39

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 27 Dec 1906

Crime Location: 6 Goytside Terace, Brampton

Execution Place: Derby

Method: hanging

Executioner: Henry Pierrepoint and John Ellis


Walter Marsh was convicted of the murder of his wife Eliza Marsh 22 and sentenced to death.

He cut her throat with a razor on 9 July 1906. He claimed great provocation saying that she was idle and intemperate.

He had fought in South Africa as a colour-sergeant in the North Staffordshire regiment.

They had married in November 1901 when Walter Marsh was in the army. He left in August 1903 and they went to Sheffield where they kept a public house for a while. In 1904 they went to live in Brampton at Goytside Terrace. Whilst there Eliza Marsh's father lived with them for about a year before moving out.

The father said that while he was living there he had often seen Walter Marsh ill-use Eliza Marsh and had seen her with a black eye. He said that he had also been called to the house on five or six occasions by the neighbours after complaints that Walter Marsh had been ill-treating his daughter. He said that on those occasions he had never gone inside but had stood on the doorstep and told Walter Marsh to stop it.

On 7 June 1906 Eliza Marsh proceeded against Walter Marsh for a separation order on the grounds of persistent cruelty but the case was dismissed, after which she lived at her father's house for a week. However, she then went back to live with him although she didn't complain of any ill treatment after that point.

When questioned the father said that he had heard Walter Marsh threaten Eliza Marsh saying that Walter Marsh had said he 'would do Silk on her', but said that he had only heard that the once.

Eliza Marsh's sister, who had also lived with Eliza Marsh and her husband for a time prior to Christmas said that she had seen Walter Marsh strike Eliza Marsh. She said that Walter Marsh had accused Eliza Marsh of being up the Wheat Sheaf with another man and she had said that it was not true. She said that the next morning before she got up she heard a sound from their room as though Walter Marsh was thrashing Eliza Marsh. She said that she went to their room and called out 'Oh Walter, whatever are you doing?' and said that Walter Marsh had replied 'Who the ---- is that?'. She said that the door was locked and she couldn't get in. She said that when her sister got up she was crying and made a complaint to her. She said that then when Eliza Marsh was stood at the sink stone Walter Marsh then went up to her and smacked her face and said he would 'do John Silk on her'.

A woman said that on the Monday, the day of the murder, she had seen Walter Marsh in the yard at 3pm and said that he seemed in a good temper. She said that Eliza Marsh was there nursing a baby and that Walter Marsh told her to go and have a lie down and that he would sleep on the couch and that he was going to go to work in the morning. The woman said that Eliza Marsh was sitting in a chair in the yard and Walter Marsh took out some money and then Eliza Marsh said 'You daren't give me one', to which Walter Marsh replied 'Daren't I? Hold your hand out'. Eliza Marsh held her hand out and Walter Marsh dropped a coin into it. Eliza Marsh said that it was a half-sovereign and the woman said 'Oh, he is good'. She said that Walter Marsh then said 'I will give her anything if she will keep away from the neighbours. I don’t mind you having one good one, but when we have a quarrel you go telling them all and they get on to me'. She said that Eliza Marsh then said 'Well, Walter, you bring in other folk's names. You shouldn't accuse me of such things when they aren't true'.

The woman said that she then went into her home and then later at 5pm she saw Walter Marsh stood at his door speaking to himself. She said he said 'She's too ---- idle to wash the dinner pots up'. she said that she then saw him walk off towards Factory Street but that at 5.20pm he called at her house and said 'Fetch a bobby will you. She said she asked why and said that Walter Marsh said 'I've done it'. She asked what he had done and Walter Marsh said 'I have finished her'. The woman said she remarked 'Get out', and that Walter Marsh said 'I have, come and see'. She said that he had a razor in his hand and that there was blood on his fingers and wrist. The woman said that she went with him to the back door and saw more blood on the door and also on the bottom of the stairs and became frightened and so ran off to get Eliza Marsh's father.

When the father was called he said that he went into the house and found Eliza Marsh lying on the floor of the back bedroom.

Eliza Marsh's brother also went to the house and saw Walter Marsh running off down the street. He chased him and caught him and hit him. He said that Walter Marsh then said 'Don't strike, I've done it. If you strike me you are not a man'. Walter Marsh then got up and ran off but was caught again by another man and taken to the police station.

see Grantham Journal - Saturday 29 December 1906

see Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Thursday 06 December 1906

see Sheffield Independent - Saturday 21 July 1906

see National Archives - ASSI 13/36, HO 144/842/147005