British Executions

John Edward Tarkenter

Age: 41

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 12 Dec 1911

Crime Location: 2 Hilton Street, Royston, Oldham

Execution Place: Manchester

Method: hanging

Executioner: John Ellis


John Edward Tarkenter was convicted of the murder of his wife Rosetta Tarkenter 43 and sentenced to death.

He cut her throat at 2 Hilton Street, Royston in Oldham on 18 July 1911.

She was lying in bed at the time after they had had a row. After killing her he went to a pub where he had a last drink with his brother before he was arrested.

They married in 1889 but John Tarkenter left after 18-months and was away for 9-years. He was said to have served in the Army for 7-years and to have been in the South African War.

He returned to Rosetta Tarkenter in 1900 or 1901.

Their relationship was not a happy one owing to John Tarkenter's drunken habits and jealousy and he sometimes ill-treated her and would leave her from time to time.

At the time of the murder he had been living with her and their son.

At about 5am, on 18 July 1911 John Tarkenter called their son to go to work. The son said that when he left he heard John Tarkenter and Rosetta Tarkenter talking in a friendly manner in their room.

Later, at about 6am their neighbour heard three screams.

Then, at about 8am, John Tarkenter called for his neighbour who had heard the screams and they went out drinking together. John Tarkenter pawned two shawls for the money. He told his neighbour that Rosetta Tarkenter was ill and when they returned hom he told the neighbour that Rosetta Tarkenter was a little better.

A police constable came by a little later after suspicions were aroused and John Tarkenter told him that Rosetta Tarkenter was away washing.

Later, at 6pm, John Tarkenter, who was by that time drunk, told his brother that he had cut Rosetta Tarkenter's throat and gave him the razor that he had done it with.

In the meantime, their son returned home and found Rosetta Tarkenter lying dead on the bed with a gash in her throat 7-inches long which had severed all the structures in the front and right side.

There was also a small superficial cut on her throat and a cut on her forearm.

Rosetta Tarkenter was dressed only in her chemise.

There were no signs of a struggle except splashes of blood on the wall about two yards from the bed.

John Tarkenter's only defence was that Rosetta Tarkenter had provoked him by saying that she could always get money when he was away and said that she would not live with a man who forced his mother and had killed his sister and went with little children. He also said that prior to the accusations, Rosetta Tarkenter had also got him to fetch his razor to cut her corns.

He also said that after he had cut her throat Rosetta Tarkenter told him that her informant was their neighbour, who the police report noted John Tarkenter had then gone on to spend the day drinking with.

He was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death with no recommendation to mercy.

see Dundee Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 22 November 1911

see National Archives - ASSI 52/181, HO 144/1177/216682