If you have or Findmypast

Started by: whacker (974)

I wonder if you would be kind enough to help me. I am looking for information on Henry Farrington of Liverpool area who was hanged on 13 August 1867 at Walton Prison for the murder of his wife. Any information would be helpful, but I am particularly interested in knowing his profession. He is, I am sorry to say, a relative...but only by marriage!

Thank you in advance.


Started: 20th Sep 2020 at 16:39

Posted by: mrs m (264)

whacker, I googled and found an article in Public Opinion (that can be found on Google books) dated June 8, 1867, which stated he was a collier. Another article I read stated he had a problem with alcohol and was not in the least bit regretful that he had killed his wife.

He was actually hanged 9/14/1867 according to execution records.

Replied: 20th Sep 2020 at 22:01
Last edited by mrs m: 20th Sep 2020 at 22:02:53

Posted by: dave© (3507)

About half way down.....

Henry FARRINGTON, 25 for the murder of his wife Mary at Leigh, after 18 months marriage, she left him taking her new born child to live with her uncle. FARRINGTON bought pistol, went to the house, grabbed the child and shot Mary dead, hanged Sept 14th 1867, executioner CALCRAFT.

Replied: 21st Sep 2020 at 00:02

Posted by: mrs m (264)

Maybe you have already seen this on Wigan Genealogy, but perhaps there is a connection.

Amanda's (last name Fairclough) post says:
I have been researching the Farrington's from Wigan and would like to share with anyone who may have a link to the same family. The Farrington's where Cloggers in Wigan and my records start at 1806 and finish present day. Please email if you think your tree could link. Amanda. :-)

Replied: 21st Sep 2020 at 00:12
Last edited by mrs m: 21st Sep 2020 at 00:14:10

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

The baby was Jane Ann Farrington
BIRTH 1866 • Leigh, Lancashire
DEATH Unknown

Replied: 22nd Sep 2020 at 10:41

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

FARRINGTON Jane Ann RIDYARD 1866 Culcheth Wigan & Leigh

Replied: 22nd Sep 2020 at 10:46

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

FARRINGTON Henry RIDYARD Mary 1865 Leigh Register Office or Registrar Attended Wigan & Leigh

Replied: 22nd Sep 2020 at 10:47

Posted by: mygriffiths (1203)

Find my past has an article from Heywood Advertiser. 8 June 1867.
He was a collier in the employ of Messrs,John Fletcher and others Volunteer Pit Atherton and living near Bedford Railway station.
On Thursday he took the clock out of his house and gave it and 3s. to a watchmaker named Cheetham in Leigh in exchange for a pistol and manufactured the leaden slug himself.Some years earlier he had quarreled with the deceased in Manchester and enlisted.Then got his mother to buy him out.

They had been separated several times .This time on the Monday she had gone to her uncle Peers Stirrup putting her youngest child out to nurse.He collected the child whilst his wife was at work.She went to get the child but did not succeed.On Saturday he went to the house of the Riley's and sent Mrs.Riley for his wife and told her to return home.She refused and wanted to take the child.He said he would' swing for it first'.
He followed her to the door and shot her in the head whilst holding the child then ran off down High street towards the brook.
He dropped the pistol and a by-stander Paul Stones picked up the pistol,followed Farrington, apprehended him and took him to the police station.
He did not regret the act he had perpetrated. He rarely gave his wife any money for household purposes and last pay day he drew £3 all of which he spent on drink.
Hope this helps .

Replied: 22nd Sep 2020 at 20:49

Posted by: whacker (974)

Whoa. Thank you all. Mrs. M., Dave., Winnie and MyGriffiths, thank you.

Just put out of interest. My Uncle by marriage, Jack Owen, told me and the rest of our family that his great uncle was a butcher by trade and was the last man publicly hanged at Walton Prison. The wonderful information you have provided seems to disprove that.

On the plus side, the LMPH (last man publicly hanged) was indeed a man, and he murdered his wife.

On the other hand, neither he nor his wife had the last names of Owen. And he is listed as a collier, not a butcher.

Jack was not given to flights of fancy, but some of his facts may have been wrong. Perhaps his relative was the next-to-last. Maybe, somehow, Farrington was related to us but by some convoluted strand. Maybe – and this seems far-fetched, he was a butcher on the side. Maybe the venue is wrong, and the relative was hanged at another jail.

They mystery gnaws at me, and I shall continue to pursue it. The game is afoot, Watson.

Again, thank you all for your help. It was more than I could have hoped for.

A side note: I should add that my wife was a foster child in Bournemouth when I met her. She had no idea who her mother was, save that her name appeared on a birth certificate, and no name at all for her father. Through the kindly help of MyGriffith and EP1960, we found my wife’s family, their history, and even, amazingly, the name of the father – provided by a 90 year old woman who at the age of 12 was present at my wife’s birth. She befriended my wife’s mother, who was 16 at the time, and from her learned who the father was. Amazing. I wrote a book about it/ My thanks again, MyGriffith, and a heartfelt thanks to my late and dear friend LEP1960.

Best wishes to you all.


Replied: 23rd Sep 2020 at 02:34

Posted by: mygriffiths (1203)

Henry Farrington
Fed up with her husband?s continual drunken violence towards her, Mary Farrington, 26, left him after 18 months of marriage and went to live with her uncle in Leigh, Manchester, taking their newborn baby with her.

That was too much for Henry Farrington, 25. He part-exchanged a clock for a pistol, went to the house where Mary was staying, grabbed the child and shot his wife dead.

He was hanged outside Kirkdale Prison on Saturday, September 14th, 1867, in the last public execution in the city.

This was from Tue crime library.There seems some discrepancy as to which house the murder happened?

Replied: 23rd Sep 2020 at 10:45
Last edited by mygriffiths: 23rd Sep 2020 at 11:03:58

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

the only Rileys i can find living in westeigh at about the time of the murder is a family that are living at looks like warburton hill in 1861 and westwell row (london Road ) next door to the Red lion inn

Replied: 23rd Sep 2020 at 19:38

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

and peers Stirup lived at 6 Duckenfield street

Replied: 23rd Sep 2020 at 20:04

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

Also Mary had another child RIDYARD Thomas RIDYARD 1862 Culcheth Wigan & Leigh both children lived with her parent after Marys death

Replied: 23rd Sep 2020 at 20:17

Posted by: mygriffiths (1203)

There was also a Riley family living in Dukinfield Street at the time in the Bedford Area of Leigh and High Street is the next street (parallel) away from Leigh town centre

Replied: 23rd Sep 2020 at 20:36

Posted by: JAMB (69)

Whacker perhaps if you give some info on your uncles Jack Owens) background someone maybe able to help more?.
The child Jane Ann married Joseph Hayes about 1886 and died 1900 having had 5 children. and I believe the son Thomas Ridyard married Mary Guest 1885

Replied: 26th Sep 2020 at 08:03

Posted by: whacker (974)

Unfortunately I have no more information on my Uncle Jack Owen. He died years ago. No other family member has any information, either.

I found complete lists of all those hanged in the UK from the 1600s until abolition, and I also found the maiden name of their murdered spouses. Not a single Owen among them. Jack said the last man hanged at Walton Prison was related to him, but without seeing Henry Farrington's family tree, or that of his wife, I don't know how I can ferret out an Owen.

So thank you all. You have been more than generous with your time. Unless something unexpected turns up, I guess we can say that Jack's history, in the words of M. M. and My Family, is unsafe.

Replied: 27th Sep 2020 at 22:38

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

when did jack die / how old / and were did he live i will look into it for you see if i can find a connection

Replied: 28th Sep 2020 at 16:32

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

if i have my info correct Jacks mother was a Farrington and lived in Ince i am trying still to make a connection

Replied: 28th Sep 2020 at 20:11
Last edited by winnie: 28th Sep 2020 at 20:48:14

Posted by: whacker (974)

Wow, Winnie, that is phenomenal news.

I know Jack died in Aylesbury in, I think it was, the second half of the 80s and he would have been about 80 years old at the time. I know he died of cancer. I know that he was a Chindit and fought in then Burma during the war. I also remember he was employed as a progress chaser at a factory before he died.

Thank you again for your work and interest.


Replied: 29th Sep 2020 at 22:28
Last edited by whacker: 29th Sep 2020 at 22:34:36

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

I think I have the wrong info then as this John/ Jack was from ince and buried in ince cemetery

Replied: 30th Sep 2020 at 00:00

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

I think I have the wrong info then as this John/ Jack was from ince and buried in ince cemetery

Replied: 30th Sep 2020 at 00:00

Posted by: JAMB (69)

The only John Owen showing up in Aylesbury deaths is John Alfred Price Owen born 1913 died 1986 age 73. He was in the RAF.
It would maybe better if you can say how he is related to you is it your fathers side or your mothers??

Replied: 30th Sep 2020 at 14:30

Posted by: whacker (974)

Jamb, thank you, but that John Owen ain't mine. He was definitely in the army. My mother's side. He married Peggy Davies around about 1946 in Chester. It was a church wedding, probably Handbridge Church.

Thank you for your help. I am very appreciative.

Winnie, never mind. I am pleased that you made such an effort. Thank you.

Replied: 1st Oct 2020 at 02:46

Posted by: geraldine long (104)

Dates a bit Out but could this be him
John Robert Owen Born 19/8/1924 Liverpool Baptised 31/8/1924
Father John Owen Mother Margaret Ann Owen
Married Peggy Davies !950 Chester.
John Roberts Owen DOB19/8/1924 Died Age 80 years November 2004 Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire

Replied: 1st Oct 2020 at 10:36
Last edited by geraldine long: 2nd Oct 2020 at 16:13:05

Posted by: winnie (1395) 

This is a long shot !!! but been looking at censers after Henry and Marys death. In1871 and the 2 children Jane Ann(Born 1866) and Thomas (Born 1862)are living with Marys parents ,but in 1871 there is a child Elizabeth Ellen born in 1867 living with Henrys Mother and sister ,Elizabeth Ellens birth says the maiden name of mother is Farrington but if this child was new born it may not of been registered in Marys name ,and Henrys sister Ann registered the baby as her own in 1867 ,or the baby could be Anns

Replied: 1st Oct 2020 at 12:56

Posted by: JAMB (69)

The marriage in Chester was between John Robert Owen & Peggy Joyce Davies, it was at St. Marys Church on the 19 Aug 1950 which I understand to be the parish church of Handbridge, the parents of Peggy were Bertram William Davies & Amy Pricilla Davies (formerly Westmore). Peggy was born 1922 in Wandsworth
If Jack was around 80 when he died and he died in the mid 1980s that would mean he would have been approaching 40 when the war broke out and I would have thought he would be a bit old to be fighting in Burma ??.
to find out his age and fathers name for sure you would need to get his marriage cert. assuming the above marriage is correct. (GRO Office, Cost £11)
did Jack actually name Henry Farrington or have you assumed that because he was the last public hanging in Liverpool?

Replied: 1st Oct 2020 at 14:51

Posted by: whacker (974)

Geraldine Long. Thank you, nice work. That is my Uncle Jack and I love the information. Thank you. It will round out an essay in the book I am writing if I am ever able to connect Jack to Mary. Or Henry.

Winnie: That is great info and I am grateful. As noted, If I can now establish a link between Jack and someone who expired at Walton Jail that will fill a tremendous hole in my knowledge. Good work. Thank you.

JAMB. Soooo interesting. That Jack was 80 when he died was a wild guess, so I am happy to see that Geraldine was able to confirm it from official records. If Jack was born in 1924, and Geraldine's record shows he was, then he would have been 15 in 1939 when war broke out, so he could well have fought in Burma when he was 18 or 19 and he would, indeed have been 80 when he died in 2004. It all fits! Thank you. Brilliant.

Did I mention that Jack told me the hanged relative was a butcher by trade?

I shall order a copy of the marriage certificate, although, now that I have this information, I don't think it will tell me anything new. To answer your question, no Jack never did give me the name of the man who was hanged. I am not sure at all what the relationship was.

Jack was a Chindit and my admirations for the Chindits is unbounded. Years ago I bought a stone statue of a Chindit, only 15 inches high, to stand on my doorstep.

Thank you for the wonderful post.

And my thanks to everyone for all the help. I am in your debt, my good friends.

If I can ever establish a connection between Jack and a murderer I shall include afull account in the book I am writing, and I promise I shall send each of you a copy.

Replied: 1st Oct 2020 at 22:56
Last edited by whacker: 2nd Oct 2020 at 03:15:31

Posted by: JAMB (69)

The certificate should confirm his age and who his father was and his fathers trade , and the witnesses who may be related from that you maybe able to trace his fathers family, His Mothers name was Margaret Ann Roberts and his parents marriage was 1921 at St. James the Less Liverpool John and Peggy were living at 15 Lawrence Walk Newport Pagnell MK16 8RF up to his death in 2004 and Peggy was still listed there up to 2009 Good luck . his grandfathers names were John Owen And John Roberts. according to a tree on ancestry they had a son and Peggy died in 2009

Replied: 2nd Oct 2020 at 07:35
Last edited by JAMB: 2nd Oct 2020 at 22:51:27

Posted by: whacker (974)

Thank you, Jamb - that is all interesting and valuable information. Many thanks.

Replied: 3rd Oct 2020 at 23:55


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