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THESE are extracts
At about two
o'clock on Saturday morning, a messenger from one of the telegraph
companies arrived near the prison with a message. The crowd on hearing
of it at once most assiduously set to work to circulate that it was a
respite. The messenger, after some trouble, arrived at the gaol with the
message, which turned out to be instructions from
THE TROOPS AND SPECIAL CONSTABLES
About 110 men
of the 57th Regiment were stationed on the railway bridges at
the back of the New Bailey Prison, and about the same number of the 72nd
were stationed within the walls. At the Albert-street Station 110 men of
the 72nd were kept as a guard, to be called out if necessary.
The men were quartered in the large room, where a quantity of
straw had been thrown down, upon which many of the men lay down to
sleep; while others played at cards with a number of police officers who
were off duty. The scene was an exceedingly striking one, and gave a
more than ordinarily accurate idea of the soldier's life under active
service. Upon the railway bridges a number of watch fires
were kept up during the night, around which the soldiers assembled, and
a good view of the whole of the prison was obtained from these points.
The special constables were a body of men who certainly were neither a
credit, as far as their personal appearance was concerned, to
About 1,700 special constables were sworn in, and divided into 20 companies, under the command of Captains Dashwood, Mercier, Waterhouse and Cameron; Lieutenants Hives and Darwell; Messrs Henry, Sylvester, Worsley, Keeting, Aspden, Flintcroft, Brown, Hannon, Hunter, Swallow, E. Cheetham, Baker, Lye, Johnston and Butterworth.
Dashwood, Lieutenants Hives and Darwell, all of the 92nd
Highlanders, who were in Salford on leave, kindly waited upon the chief
The whole force, consisting in all of 2,400 men, were under the command of Captain Sylvester, chief constable of the borough, who was very ably assisted by Colonel Barrett, Major Wilkinson, and Captain Arundel, as field officers of the special constables. The special constables were marched in order to the Town-hall, and provide with supper, after which they returned to the places to which they were appointed as reserves. A like course was adopted with reference to breakfast. Mr. Jennison the purveyor, and everything was provided with his usual care and attention. The long corridor of the Town-hall had been furnished with tables, where about 2,400 men took supplies, consisting of tea and coffee and substantial pies. The drill-hall above the police-office was turned into a kind of "free and easy", where the police off duty whiled away the time with singing, whist-playing, smoking, &c.
The special constables showed a commendable desire to perform their duty and to obey orders, and altogether acted in a most praiseworthy manner, and there is no doubt that had their services been required to repress disturbances in the streets they would have rendered effective assistance.
The Mayor, the Town clerk, and the Clerk to the Magistrates remained at the Town-hall all night and directed the whole of the arrangements. The Mayor of Manchester with magistrates and other authorities, were similarly in session at the Manchester Town-hall during the night.
The following firms in Salford furnished a large number of volunteers from their works who were sworn in as special constables: - Messrs Farmer and Broughton, Higgins and Sons, Hulse and Co., Jackson and Co., Robinson and Co., Smith and Coventry, Broughton Copper Works, Fletcher and Sons, Hodgson and Stead, Langworthy Brothers and Co., Leeming and Co., A. Knowles and Sons, Robert Heywood and Co., William Harvey and Sons, Mather and Platt, Richmond and Chandler, Hamilton, Woods and Co,. Collier and Co,. and J and J. M. Worrall.
The 56th Lancashire Ride Volunteers, under the command of Captains Makin and Dahle-Harksley, Bateman, H. Makin, Page, and Ommanney, volunteered their services as special constables, and rendered valuable assistance. Had it been required, 2000 or 3000 special constables could have been obtained without difficulty and in fact hundreds of volunteers had to be refused.
The officers and servants of the Corporation at the Town-hall, the gasworks, and the various district offices remained on duty all night.
On the outskirts of the borough a number of mounted policemen were appointed to patrol and report anything which they might consider it desirable to mention for the information of the magistrates.
The Broughton Volunteer Fire Brigade remained at the Broughton Town-hall on duty all night.
The Corporation of Manchester placed at the disposal of the Corporation of Salford 150 members of their police force.
of the county and the local authorities of Blackburn, Leeds, and Oldham,
also placed at the disposal of the corporation of
The military were under the command of Colonel Warre, C. B. and were stationed as mentioned above.
The following magistrates undertook to attend the military, and remain with them all night, viz:-
At the New Bailey Prison, J. W. Maguire Esq.; at the Salford Railway Station, Oliver Heywood Esq.; at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Goods Depot, Murray Gladstone Esq.; at the Infantry Barracks, J. D. C[rew]dson.
See the Manchester Collection at Find My Past
o'clock an Irishman was seen seated on a barricade by a watch-fire in
A few minutes after 8 o'clock the men were brought upon the scaffold. Allen was first put upon the drop. After the rope had been put round his neck and the cap over his eyes, Larkin stepped up to him and shook him by the hand. Gould was next brought forward and on being brought under the beam he stepped up to Allen, shook hands with him, and then kissed him. Calcraft then put a cap over Gould's eyes and the rope around his neck. Larkin was then brought forward, trembling very much and looking very pale. The cap and the noose having been put over his head, the trembling increased. The Catholic chaplains and the gaolers then moved away from the drop, when Larkin fainted away and fell against Gould. One of the gaolers quickly lifted him upon his feet, the bolt was removed and the unfortunate men were launched into eternity.
The scaffolding was so erected that after the fall of the drop no portion of the bodies could be seen from the outside of the gaol. For several seconds however, the ropes on which Gould and Larkin's bodies were attached swayed backwards and forwards, betokening the fact that both men struggled somewhat violently. Allen apparently died very easily. The three men previous to the fall of the drop repeated the prayers aloud which were spoken to them by Fathers Gadd and Quick, and after the chaplains had left the scaffold, Gould was heard saying firmly, "Jesus have mercy on us." The three prisoners seemed to have brought themselves to a very becoming frame of mind.
The crowd around the gaol was very great, but the utmost quietness was maintained throughout, which in some respects may be accounted for through the fact that so small a number of persons would be able to witness the appearance of the men on the scaffold.
The arrangements made by the police were of a very satisfying character, and happily, no hitch occurred in the carrying out of these proceedings.
Immediately after the execution vast numbers of the crowd dispersed, and up to the present time not the slightest attempt at violence has been heard of.
IN FRONT OF THE SCAFFOLD
daybreak a thick fog set in, which continued to hang around the prison
until after the execution. From the hour of seven o'clock in the morning
until eight the crowd kept fast increasing, but at no time was it so
large as at the previous execution at the New Bailey, nor was the
excitement so great. The absence of the crowd might be accounted for in
many ways. It is more than possible that the great number of those
persons who visited the immediate neighbourhood of the scaffold on
Friday night would not be present at the execution, as it was palpable
from the first that but a small number of persons would be able to
obtain a view of the execution itself. Another reason for the absence of
the usual crowd of persons in a case of such notoriety we heard
expressed by a special constable, "You see the Fenians are afraid to
come, for fear that they get thrashed; and other folks keep away afraid
that there will be a row." It is certainly worth passing a remark that
none of the men who were tried at the special commission and discharged
have shown the least inclination to take part in any attempts that have
been made to get the sentence of the men commuted from that of capital
punishment to penal servitude. Neither have any of the suspected Fenians
been seen anywhere near the place where the unfortunate men were
imprisoned, and from enquiries we have made there is every authority for
saying that not one of suspected men present either before or after the
execution. As an illustration to show how unanimous was the feeling of
the crowd against any violence being used to the police officers or
special constables, we may here state the facts of a little episode
which occurred during the night. A man in the crowd was observed to have
something suspicious concealed under his coat, upon which the fact was
communicated to a number of other bystanders on the
FINAL PREPARATIONS AND PROCESSION TO THE GALLOWS
As we have already stated, the parting interview between Allen and Larkin his (sic) friends took place on Friday morning, after which the condemned men gave themselves entirely to to the consolations of their spiritual advisers who have been most unceasing in their attention the unhappy men. They were visited by the Rev. Mr. Keating, from Ramsbottom, who had been requested to visit them by Allen's mother. The three prisoners were locked up in their cells for the last time at half-past six o'clock. They retired to rest at half-past eleven o'clock, and were awakened at a quarter to five on Saturday morning by Mr. Holt. They were shortly afterwards visited by the Rev. Ca[non] Cantwell, and the Rev. Fathers Quick and Gadd, and went to m[ass] at a quarter passed five o'clock. The condemned men were most attentive to the service, and showed great fortitude. They breakfasted at seven o'clock, and at a quarter to eight Calcraft and his assistant were brought into the cell, and they were then pinioned by them. During this operation the ministers attended to the unfortunate men, exhorting them to be firm and, [to] rely for salvation on their Saviour. Each of the prisoners had expressed a desire to address the crowd, but by the great urgent advice of their spiritual advisers happily they agreed not to do so.
Shortly before the men were brought from their cells, a company of the 72nd Highlanders, who were stationed in the inside of the New Bailey, were marched to the foot of the temporary platform which was erected at the back of the gaol walls. At a few minutes past eight the prisoners were brought from their cells. Allen headed the procession, the Rev. Canon Cantwell, dressed in full canonicals, walking by his side. Allen was deadly pale, but he walked with a firm step, and repeatedly uttered the response, "Lord Jesus, have mercy upon us," looking towards the wh(???) with an imploring gaze. He ascended the staircase leading to the scaffold; but not so Larkin, who followed, and was attended by Fr. Quick. Larkin had to be assisted up the steps by two warders. He had a most haggard careworn look, and as he went along he faintly joined in the response. With him, both mental and physical powers seemed to have been prostrated, so that he was on the point of fainting away, especially when he caught the first glimpses of the black beams of the gallows. Gould, who was the last of the culprits, was attended by Fr. Gadd. Gould was by far the most self-possessed man of the three. His whole bearing was that of a man who did not fear his fate. He repeated in a firm voice, as he went along, the same responses as the other two men, and mounted the steps without the least sign of trepidation.
THE CONVICTION THE GALLOWS (sic)
At a few minutes to eight o'clock the excitement of the crowd became greater, and when the prison clock struck the hour of eight a dead stillness came over the crowd, who seemed to anticipate that the tolling of the bell would be heard. To the crowd, however, the sounds of the bell never came, as in probability; it was never rung, in order to deprive the crowd who were not in view of the scaffold of the knowledge of the exact time when the men were to be brought out. At few minutes past eight the door behind the scaffold opened, and a warder came forward, closely followed by Allen and Canon Cantwell. The condemned man was exceedingly pale, and looked around on the crowd with a quick anxious gaze. His hands were convulsively clutched together, holding a small wooden crucifix, his breathing came quick and compressed, and in a tremulous voice, he repeated the words of Canon Cantwell, "Jesus, have mercy on us." Calcraft followed through the door and took hold of Allen's arm, leading him under the beam towards the noose, which was fixed at the Salford side of the scaffold. The executioner then received a cap from his assistant, which he placed over Allen's head, the prisoner in the meantime being attended by Canon Cantwell, who exhorted him with prayers to place his salvation in the hands of his Saviour. Calcraft then put the noose around the unfortunate man's neck, and having adjusted it, Allen was left in the charge of one of the warders. In a broken voice he continually repeated the words, "Lord Jesus, have mercy on us," and "Jesus, receive my soul." The cap, which was of very thin material, soon became damp in front of the prisoner's mouth, and was drawn closely around his face, showing its outline. Allen turned his head repeatedly from the crowd towards the back of the scaffold as if to see what was there being enacted. Larkin was the next man who appeared on the scaffold, and on seeing Allen ready to be launched into eternity, he stepped up to him, whispered something in his ear which was inaudible to those around, and shook him by the hand. Larkin at this time was looking very pale and tremulous, Calcraft then brought Gould forward, and Larkin stepped back under the door. The prisoner Gould, with that characteristic coolness which he had shown throughout the whole of the trials, stepped upon the scaffold lightly and calmly. On being put under the middle of the beam, he turned round towards Allen, shook him by the hands, and kissed the cap on the unfortunate man's forehead. The leave-taking was most ghastly one could possibly conceive; but in an hour such like this leave-taking might serve to give better consolation than others of a less ghastly character. After his leave-taking Gould quietly returned towards Calcraft and submitted to the same trying ordeal as Allen. The cap having been put over his head and the noose adjusted as he was left in charge of a warder. Father Gadd, the priest who had attended, with an earnestness and devotion which is deserving of the highest praise, on the unfortunate prisoners, kept repeating portions of the "Litany of Jesus" to Gould, who firmly responded, and his voice was heard far beyond the other men, repeating, with an earnestness which showed that he was completely aware of the dreadful position in which he stood, "Lord Jesus, receive my soul." Larkin was the last man to be taken under the drop, and though probably the weakest man, his nerves were the most tried, as he had to witness the ghastly operations which Allen and Gould went through under the hands of Calcraft. On Larkin being brought upon the drop he trembled very much, was very pale and gave a quick searching look around the crowd. He then submitted himself to the hands of the executioner, smiling a somewhat ghastly smile as he looked towards Gould, whose face was turned towards him in an imploring manner. While Larkin was in Calcraft's hands, and the noose was being put over his head, his trembling increased, and he had to be supported by a warder, who was stationed at the side of the drop. The three men then stood facing the crowd, with their hands convulsively clasped. Gould still firmly kept repeating the "Litany of Jesus," and Allen in a tremulous voice gasped out "Lord Jesus, receive me!" The preparations having been completed, Calcraft, who did not pinion the legs of the men as he usually does, gave a quick searching glance around, doubtless to see if all was ready, and then stepped down and disappeared from the view of the crowd, who, in solemn silence, only broken by the murmurs of those unable to see at some distance away, looked upon the scaffold without stirring. Calcraft's disappearance from the drop was a signal to the priests to follow him, and repeating aloud the prayers set apart for this occasion so that the condemned men should hear them, they crouched down and almost crawled between the men and passed through the door. Larkin at this moment fainted completely away, and fell in a dead swoon against Gould with the rope tightened around his neck. The warder who was standing at his side, and whose presence of mind undoubtedly served to prevent a scene, instantly caught hold of him and lifted him upon his feet. Larkin, still apparently unconscious, fell forward, and partly supported by the gaoler, and, as it seemed, leaning on the front screen of the scaffold, he remained in that position, while the other prisoners stood firm, still repeating the words "Lord Jesus, receive us." Then the bolt was withdrawn, and -
Even the stern stood chill'd with awe.
Dark was the crime and just was the law.
Yet all shuddered as they saw.
the ropes tighten[ed] when the men disappeared from view, behind the black screen of the scaffold, in their death struggle.
The scaffold was erected so that after the fall of the drop no portion of the bodies of the men could be seen from the outside of the gaol. For several seconds, however, the ropes on which Gould and Larkin's bodies were attached swayed backwards and forwards betokening both men had struggled somewhat violently. Allen apparently died very easily.
DISPERSION OF THE CROWD
After the disappearance of the bodies of the men, a large number of the crowd instantly dispersed, and quarter of an hour after the drop fell only about half of the persons who were present at the execution remained in the streets On the Manchester side of the river, a temporary alarm was caused through part of the crowd crushing forward towards the scaffold, while those in front were trying to leave; but the exertions of the police quieted the alarm, and the crowd contrived to leave the streets without anything serious taking place. A large portion of the outer crowd was composed of working men, who immediately upon the bolt being withdrawn made of to their work.
The bodies of the men were cut down at nine o'clock. There was no demonstration made by those persons who still remained near the scaffold. Immediately afterwards a body of labourers in the employ of the corporation were set to work to remove the barriers, and by half-past ten o'clock the "boarding" at the end of Stanley-street and the barriers in New Bailey-street had been taken down and carted away. Immediately after the bodies were cut down, they were carried into the precincts of the prison and buried there. A number of workmen were shortly afterwards seen on the scaffold, and they at once proceeded to remove the hideous machine. The black cloth was first taken down, and before the men had been at work above a few minutes, a number of bricklayers commenced to build up the breach which had been made in the wall. The whole arrangements were carried out in the most complete manner, and to Captain Mitchell, Captain Palin, Captain Sylvester, and the officers in charge the greatest credit is [due] for the clear foresight which was displayed in attending to the interests of Manchester and Salford.
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Last update: 15th February 2017