Sunday, 24 January 2021

Lichfield Gallows

June 1st 1810 and on the western side of London Road at its junction with Shortbutts Lane, gallows were used for the last time to hang three forgers.

John Neve, William Wightman and James Jackson were found guilty of having uttered forged bank notes, these they attempted to pass to Mr Marshall, a Lichfield draper. Led by the Sheriff of Lichfield, the cavalcade departed the Guildhall, with the three men in an open cart. Along Boar Street and St John’s Street they came to the aptly named Gallows Wharf by the canal bridge on London Road. Each was permitted to say his last piece before being ‘despatched to eternity’. Emphasising the morbid fascination surrounding executions at this time, these speeches from the condemned men were quickly committed to print and published in a broadsheet from the printing works at the corner of Bird Street and Market Street, the property of a Mr Lomax – who charged one penny for each copy.

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