British Executions

George Frank Harvey

Age: 37

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 13 Mar 1935

Crime Location: Westminster Poor Law Institution,Fulham Road, Chelsea, London

Execution Place: Pentonville

Method: hanging

Executioner: Robert Baxter


George Frank Harvey murdered George Hamblin by battering him to death at the Westminster Poor Law Institution, Fulham Road, Chelsea, London on 26 October 1934.

He was also known as Charles Malcolm Lake.

They were both inmates at the Westminster Poor Law Institution and George Hamblin carried on a bookmaking business in the workhouse. George Harvey acted as a valet in the workhouse and was given a key to the storeroom which he sometimes allowed to be used by George Hamblin for gambling.

At 4.30pm on 25 October 1934 George Hamblin was seen in the storeroom and was found there dead the next morning. A hammer was found next to him that was probably used to kill him.

George Harvey had been seen to leave the workhouse in a hurry that day and was later seen to give a woman in Hyde Park a number of six pences which were sid to have come from George Hamblin's gambling session. He stayed with the woman for a couple of days and had told her 'I am the man they want for the workhouse murder'. The woman said that she fainted and then asked if he did it and he said 'No', and then added that if she told the cops he would do her in and himself afterwards.

Later George Harvey went to the police and said 'I understand you are broadcasting for me'.

The woman that George Harvey had been with said that on the night of 25 October George Harvey gave her 10s in six pences and changed 3/- worth of coppers into silver at the pub. The courrt heard that George Hamblin was the only man running bets and everyone knew they would get a bet with him. Although it was against the rules of the institution there was no inspection on how much money the men had and it was all done very quietly. Most of the bets were two penny bets and he usually paid out on the same night.

George Harvey said that the money was his own money that he had made from selling tea to men in the Institution.

George Harvey had later gone to a cinema on Edgware Road where two ready reckoners and and tobacco pouch belonging to George Hamblin were found. In then were found a few 10 shilling notes which had been earlier seen by another inmate when the ready reckoner was in the possession of George Hamblin before he was killed. George Harvey said that someone had planted the evidence there to incriminate him but the prosecution said that that was not possible as no one knew he would be there. George Harvey said that it was not only possible but it had occurred. They also found a blue striped shirt at the cinema in the cloakroom that was an institution shirt. An inmate at the instutuion who was assisting in giving out clothing said that at 5pm on 25 October George Harvey had come in looking very excited as though he had been running and had only stayed a minute and when his clothing was check it was found his shirt was missing.

see National Archives PCOM 8/430