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Manchester Tragedy - Part 4

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    ...continued... Irish Catholic Chronicle And People s News of the Week Dublin, Ireland Saturday, 30 November 1867 THE EXECUTION As the moment drew nigh there
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2005
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      ...continued...

      Irish Catholic Chronicle And People's News of the Week
      Dublin, Ireland
      Saturday, 30 November 1867



      THE EXECUTION
      As the moment drew nigh there was a stillness in the crowd that might be
      felt. The jail clock rang out eight in sharp cold tones, and the units were
      repeated by the anxious multitude. At the moment the cap of the officer
      commanding the Third highlanders inside the jail appeared above the wall,
      and soon the gleaming guns moved briskly towards the scaffold. At two
      minutes past the hour the door was opened and Allen appeared. By those who
      looked up and saw that young but distorted face, it will never be forgotten.
      he stepped firmly on the drop, his wan and convulsed countenance raised to
      the sky; in his pinioned hands he clasped the cross, and in agonizing tones
      fervently cried, "Jesus, have mercy on us; Jesus, have mercy on us."
      Calcraft was by his side instantly, quickly drew the close-fitting white cap
      over his head, and threw the noose round his neck. Allen continued to pay
      loud and fast. The executioner just touched his hand and turned to receive
      Gould who boldly stepped on, raised his bound hand, and laid it on Allen's;
      he then kissed him on the cheek, and immediately joined in prayer. At this
      moment Larkin stepped on and looked collected, but almost immediately
      reeled, staggered, and fell with bent knee and helpless body slightly
      against Gould and fainted in the arms of a warder. Gould turned and looked
      on Larkin, who was held up while Calcraft with rapid hand adjusted the cap
      and noose. A dull crash was heard, and the three ropes sprung to their
      utmost length. Allen's was perfectly still, Gould's quivered for a moment,
      Larkin's had a rotary motion, and then all was still. The clergymen
      continued to repeat the prayers for the dead, standing uncovered over the
      suspended corpses. For three quarters of an hour the prayers were repeated,
      and then all retired. At seven minutes past nine the door was re-opened and
      Calcraft appeared to remove the bodies. He looked a comely old man, with a
      large, flowing white beard. He wore a velvet travelling cap and stood right
      firmly on the scaffold. With one hand he held the single portion of the
      rope, while, with the other, he undid the knot which ran round the beam. he
      then held in his two hands the rope from which was suspended the body; and
      so on to the end of his foul work. He was assisted by a young man who is
      practicing this vile trade in Chester ,and who is styled in a Manchester
      paper, " a manly fellow."
      At half-past nine the huge crowd began to melt - the deed was done -
      the law was revenged - the sight was over. And every man went into his
      place.

      AFTER THE EXECUTION
      The Times says - "When at nine o'clock the bodies were cut down, hardly
      any persons but those on duty round the spot were present. The remains of
      the culprits were at once carried down the ladders leading from the
      scaffold, and taken across the prison yard into a little soil, where they
      were laid on benches. The straps which had bound them were then removed. and
      the surgeon came and certified formally as to their deaths. Singularly
      enough, as far as the expression of their features might be judged, Allen
      seemed to have suffered most, through he died earliest and apparently
      without a struggle. The features of Larkin, who jerked the scaffold itself
      in his convulsive struggle, were as placid as though he had merely fallen
      asleep. The remains of Gould, too, showed equal signs of tranquility in
      death as those of Larkin. The hands were opened wide; those of Larkin were
      merely folded together; but with Allen, who had apparently never moved, the
      finger nails seemed almost dug into the flesh. About the middle of the day
      the bodies were buried, without form or ceremony, in the jail passage where
      Burrows the murderer is laid, the only murderer - indeed, the only other
      criminal- that has ever suffered death in Salford jail.


      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
      http://www.IrelandOldNews.com/
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