British Executions

Ada Chard-Williams

Age: 24

Sex: female

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 6 Mar 1900

Crime Location: Grove Road, Barnes, London

Execution Place: Newgate

Method: hanging

Executioner: James Billington


Ada Williams murdered Selina Ellen aged 21 months who she battered and strangled at Grove Road, Barnes, London and then threw into the River Thames around 23 September, 1899.

A woman had read an advert in a paper offering homes for unwanted children. She took her 21 month old daughter Selina Ellen to the home where she paid £3, the full cost being £5. When she went back later with the remaining £2 she found that neither Ada Williams nor Selina Ellen were there. The woman went to the police but they could not do anything because there was no body.

However, later, the body of Selina Ellen was washed up on the banks of the River Thames at Battersea and Ada Williams was arrested.

It was considered that Ada Williams had murdered many other children. The court heard that she would tie up the bundles containing the dead babies using a specific knot, the Fisherman's knot.

see Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.0, 22 February 2014), February 1900, trial of WILLIAM CHARD WILLIAMS(47) ADA CHARD WILLIAMS(24) (t19000212-185).

see Wikipedia

see Execution Of The Day

see Western Times - Tuesday 20 February 1900

see National Archives - CRIM 1/59/4, HO 144/280/A61654