British Executions

Thomas Marsland

Age: 21

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 20 May 1902

Crime Location: 1 Horsedge Fold, Oldham, Lancashire

Execution Place: Liverpool

Method: hanging

Executioner: William Billington


Thomas Marsland was convicted of the murder of Elizabeth Marsland 23 and sentenced to death.

He beat her with a rolling pin and then cut her throat at 1 Horsedge Fold, Oldham on Friday 4 April 1902.  The evidence showed that Elizabeth Marsland's windpipe and gullet had been cut.

Thomas Marsland was a cotton operative. They had been married the previous year at a registry office but had frequently quarrelled.

Before they moved to 1 Horsedge Fold their landlady had given them notice to leave on account of their quarrelling.

Thomas Marsland had bought the razor that he had cut Elizabeth Marsland's throat with earlier in the day.

A struggle was heard from their room sometime in the day and Thomas Marsland was later seen locking the door to his house at about 8pm and to be smoking shortly after which he went up to a police constable in the street and said, 'I have come to give myself up for murdering my wife tonight. I will give you the key and you will find the woman at the Horsedge Fold. She has been away from me for a week and I gave up my work last night, and had waited all day for her to come home. We had a quarrel tonight and I struck her a blow and knocked her down and then cut her throat with a razor'.

When the police went to their home they found a rolling-pin and a razor both covered with blood.

At his trial, which took place at the Liverpool Assizes on Friday 2 May 1902 his defence claimed that Thomas Marsland was not responsible at the time he committed the deed.

It was said that after his sentence that Thomas Marsland had assumed an air of indifference, however, it was said that his final interview with his parents on the day before his execution altered his attitude.

Thomas Marsland was hanged at Liverpool on Tuesday 20 May 1902 and was said to have died instantly. The execution was carried out by young Billington. Thomas Marsland was said to have passed a good night in his cell and was aroused early by the entrance of the chaplain who performed the usual ministrations. It was reported that Thomas Marsland partook of a light breakfast with evident relish and submitted readily to the attentions of Billington, the hangman.

Thomas Marsland was said to have walked firmly to the scaffold.

see National Archives - ASSI 52/68, HO 144/579/A63368

see Morpeth Herald - Saturday 12 April 1902

see Northern times and weekly journal for Sutherland and the North - Thursday 17 April 1902

see The Halesworth Times and East Suffolk Advertiser. - Tuesday 15 April 1902

see Morpeth Herald - Saturday 12 April 1902

see Waterford Standard - Wednesday 21 May 1902

see Sheffield Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 20 May 1902

see Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Saturday 03 May 1902