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Author Topic: Maidstone Prison & House of Correction  (Read 19152 times)

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Offline kyn

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Maidstone Prison & House of Correction
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2008, 10:31:55 »
The youngest person to be executed at Maidstone was 14 year old John Any Bird Bell who was hanged on the 1st of August 1831 by William Calcraft in front of the prison, for the murder of 13 year old Richard Taylor in a wood in the parish of Chatham.

John Bell and his 11 year old brother James, killed Richard Taylor for the sum of 9 shillings (45p) which he was collecting from the Parish on behalf of his disabled father.

Bell was tried on Friday, the 29th, of July, his brother James being the principal witness for the prosecution. The jury did not even need to retire to find a guilty verdict, although they requested mercy for him in view of his age and lack of education.

At this time, the law required that murderers be hanged two days after sentence unless this would mean that the execution would take place on a Sunday, which in this case it would have. So the tearful boy was led out to be hanged just after 11.00 a.m. on the Monday morning, using the "New Drop" scaffold erected for the first time outside the main gate of the prison. His execution was witnessed by some 5,000 people. His body was given to surgeons at Rochester for dissection.

 

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