British Executions

Charles Robert Earl

Age: 56

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 29 Apr 1902

Crime Location: 75 Second Avenue, Mortlake

Execution Place: Wandsworth

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Billington


Charles Earl shot Margaret Pamphilon at Mortlake on Thursday 6 March 1902.

He shot her at her door after a period of harassing her husband.

Margaret Pamphilon lived with her husband on the ground floor of 75 Second Avenue in Mortlake. They were French. The husband was a salesman employed at Clarke's Nursery on Priory Lane in Putney. They had been married for 7 years and came to live in Mortlake about 2 years earlier on 31 March 1900. About a month after moving in they became acquainted with Charles Earl who lived at 83 Second Avenue in Mortlake and would invite him round to play cards with them 2 or 3 times a week.

Charles Earl was a retired baker.

At the time Margaret Pamphilon was not yet in business. Then on 19 October 1900 she went into business at Messrs Butt & Son at High Street, Kensington where she managed the floral department. She was to receive 16/ a week and board and was employed from 8.30am until 8pm and would get home at 9pm.

Her husband was earning 30/ a week.

After Margaret Pamphilon went into business they could not entertain Charles Earl so frequently but kept on friendly terms until March 1901 entertaining him about once a week.

In March 1901 Charles Earl met the husband outside Palmer's Stores at Bridge Road in Hammersmith where he had been in. When the husband came out he found Charles Earl leaning against his van and they shook hands in a friendly way and then Charles Earl started saying, 'You don't keep your wife' and called him a thief and a liar and a drunkard and rattled out all sorts of abuse. The husband said that it took his breath away. The husband said 'What's the meaning of it? If we hadn't been on such friendly terms I should lock you up'. Charles Earl replied 'That's what I should like you to do. Hammersmith Police Station is just here. Take me round there and I'll expose you'. The husband asked him what he had to expose him but Charles Earl only answered was 'Take me to the Police Station and you'll see'. The husband said to Charles Earl 'You must have suddenly gone mad, I shan't stop and quarrel with you' and he then got into his van and started to drive away but Charles Earl caught hold of the van and ran along with it until the husband called a policeman and asked him to take Charles Earl off which he did.

The husband said that up until that time there had not been to his knowledge any cause of a quarrel between them.

He said that Charles Earl didn't visit his house after that. However, he said that Charles Earl would threaten to expose him in the street outside his window at 75 Second Avenue and that he had made a mark of him and would call him all sort of filthy names. Charles Earl told the husband that he would try to ruin him saying that his life had been a failure and he would make his life a failure too. However, he did not use threats of violence. The husband said that the annoyances took place several times a week.

The husband said that Charles Earl said that he wanted to be friends again in April 1901 but the husband said that he wasn't having any of it and then Charles Earl started to make threats to shoot him, making many threats through until July. On 29 July 1901 the husband lodged a complaint at Barnes Police Station against Charles Earl and the annoyance stopped for about a week and became less frequent up until August 1901 but Charles Earl would still call him 'You dirty dog'. On 24 August 1901 Charles Earl went to the back of 75 Second Avenue at about 11pm and started shouting abusive language in his wife's presence saying 'You dirty Frenchman take your whore to bed and fuck her cunt'. The husband then went out and Charles Earl rushed at him and the husband knocked him down about three times and then he went away. The husband said that Charles Earl was not drunk. However, Charles Earl returned almost immediately and threw some stones from the window at 75 Second Avenue breaking five panes and damaging the window blinds and then went away again.

The following Monday, 6 August 1901 the husband took out two summonses against Charles Earl, one for abusive language and the other for wilful damage although Charles Earl had himself taken out a summons against the husband for assaulting him. The summonses were heard at Court on 8 August with the summons against the husband being dismissed and Charles Earl being fined 10/ with 7/6 cost for abusive language and ordered to pay £1.1.0 for the damage to the window.

After the hearing the next day Charles Earl met the husband at the bottom of Priory Lane and shouted from the other side of the road 'Are you happy now', but the husband took no notice. The husband didn't see Charles Earl again until after the murder on 6 March 1902.

After that the husband and Margaret Pamphilon took care of their businesses.

On 23 February 1902 the husband dislocated his ankle skating and in consequence was unable to use his leg. During that period Margaret Pamphilon conducted her business in the normal manner.

On 6 March Margaret Pamphilon got home from work at 6.30pm. Her husband was at home and later two friends came round and they all sat in the front room.  No one else called until 9pm when there was an ordinary knock at the door. Margaret Pamphilon left the parlour and went into the passage although there was no light in the hall and there was a dense fog outside. The husband heard his wife open the door and then heard Charles Earl asking for the husband. The husband said that he heard no reply and then heard three pistol shots.

The husband who was sitting in a chair with his foot on a pile of cushions said that he heard his wife fall and he jumped out of the chair forgetting about his ankle and fell down. He then crawled along the floor to the window and his friend went through the window. The husband then broke the glass and called for help. He then hopped back to the passage and saw his wife lying dead on the floor.

see National Archives - CRIM 1/73/1, HO 144/579/A63338

see Weekly Dispatch (London) - Sunday 13 April 1902