Historic Shipping - facts, pictures, presentations on ships from yesteryear; Robert Wigram, Family and Associates - Shipbuilders and Ship Owners Money Wigram & Company - Shipbuilders and Ship Owners The Plymouth Emigration Depot Plymouth Hulks - the forgotten ships around Plymouth Sound, The General Screw Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. The African Steam Ship Company


From ‘The Western Daily Mercury’- 14th July 1885

Henry Alt, 31 years of age, a German, was executed at eight o’clock yesterday morning at Newgate, for the murder of a man named Charles Howard, in Whitechapel. The prisoner and the murdered man had both been courting a woman named Russell, a policeman’s widow. The parties were out drinking on the night of the murder, and the woman Russell told the prisoner that she did not desire to have anything further to do with him, as she intended to marry Howard. This appeared to have aggravated the prisoner, who drew a dagger he was in the habit of carrying, and inflicted several wounds, from which deceased expired almost immediately. The prisoner at the same time wounded the woman Russell very severely, and for a considerable time her life was despaired of. She, however, ultimately recovered, and was the principal witness against him at his trial. The jury strongly recommended the prisoner to mercy, on the ground that he committed the acts of violence while under excitement from jealousy. The prisoner, after his conviction, repeatedly expressed his sorrow for what he had done, and declared that he had no recollection of anything that occurred on the night when the murder was committed. The German Ambassador had been in communication with the Home Secretary with a view to procure a remission of the capital sentence, but the offence was considered to be of such a character as to preclude the authorities interfering with the action of the law, and a communication to that affect was received from the Secretary of State last Friday. When the prisoner was informed on Saturday that there was no chance of a respite he appeared quite resigned, and said that he was prepared. The Rev. Mr. Duffield was with him nearly the whole of Sunday. The unhappy man slept soundly for three or four hours on Sunday night, and at six o’clock yesterday morning he was again visited by Mr. Duffield, who remained with him till the last. Mr. Sheriff Phillips and Mr. Under-Sheriff Metcalfe came to the prison shortly before eight o’clock, and at once proceeded to the prisoner’s cell, where the ceremony of pinioning was performed by Berry, the executioner. The prisoner was asked if he wished to say anything, and replied, “Nothing.” A procession was then formed, and the prisoner, who appeared quite calm and composed, walked firmly to the scaffold. When the rope was placed round his neck he exclaimed “This is all through that wicked, deceitful woman.” The drop fell and he appeared to die instantaneously. A gentleman connected with the German Embassy was present at the execution by special request.

Back to Home page | Back to Strange Old Stories Index
Copyright © Historic Shipping 2011.