British Executions

Patrick McKenna

Age: 53

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 3 Dec 1901

Crime Location: Bolton, Lancashire

Execution Place: Manchester

Method: hanging

Executioner: James Billington


Patrick McKenna was convicted of the murder of his wife Anne McKenna.

He cut her throat on 30 September 1901 whilst drunk.

They had been married for a while but after Patrick McKenna lost his job as a joiner he began to drink.

On 30 September 1901 Anne McKenna had been to the pawnbrokers to pawn some goods and get some money. When she returned Patrick McKenna demanded 2p but Anne McKenna refused to give it to him and they had a violent row and Anne McKenna ran off and went to her daughter-in-laws house.

Patrick McKenna went to the house but was told that Anne McKenna was not there and he went away. However, he later came back and saw Anne McKenna through the kitchen window and he forced his way in.

They had a violent row during which Patrick McKenna picked up a knife that had been used to chop up some meat and threatened to cut her throat. However, she stood her ground and dared him to stab her and so he stabbed her in the throat and then ran off back home where he was found hiding beneath the stairs.

The case is also notable for the friendship between Patrick McKenna and James Billington, an executioner who later executed Patrick McKenna. James Billington was the landlord of the Derby Hotel where Patrick McKenna often drank. James Billington's son had been called to the aid of Anne McKenna and had held her as she died.

At his execution James Billington was Patrick McKenna's executioner and 10 later James Billington died.

see National Archives - ASSI 52/58

see Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 03 December 1901

note - picture is general postcard from era.