"For the Murder of His Mother" [Broadside]. [Execution]. [Ward, John (d.1849)]. An Account of the Life, Trial, Condemnation, Confession, and Execution of John Ward, Aged 26, Who was Executed on the New Drop, at Lincoln, on the 27th of July, 1849, For the Murder of his Mother, at Thorpe, near Wainfleet. Lincoln, England: R.E. Leary, Printer, 19 Strait, . 18" x 14-1/4" broadside on thin paper, text in three columns below headline, each column features a woodcut: a silhouette of Ward, a man hanging from a gallows, Ward in shackles, foot of third column has eight stanzas of verse in two columns. Light browning and soiling, moderate edgewear, vertical and horizontal fold lines, a few spots and small holes (with no loss to legibility). $2,500. * Ward was attracted to a family servant. He killed his mother when she expressed her disapproval. (Unusual for the time, the murder weapon was a rifle.) Realizing the gravity of his act, he tried to commit suicide by cutting his throat, but was prevented by his brother-in-law, who apprehended him and brought him to justice. When he was sentenced, the judge thanked God for preventing his death in order to give Ward a period of time for repentance. The broadside notes that Ward was hanged by a "celebrity": "Calcraft, the London Executioner." Calcraft [1800-1879], one of the most prolific British executioners, was responsible for near 450 hangings. The official Executioner of London and Middlesex, his services were requested throughout England. He was popular and notorious for his use of the "short-drop" method, which tended to slowly strangle the condemned. In part to entertain spectators, he would pull legs or climb on shoulders to snap necks. This appears to be an unrecorded imprint. No copies located on OCLC or Library Hub.
Book number 71979