The Lamb Collection - Crime and Punishment  in the 19th century. Click here to return to Crime main page

Letter from the Executioner - William Marwood
April 22, 1873

Addressed to the Governor of the Dundee County Prison, this letter from renowned English-born executioner William Marwood asks that the governor consider using his services for an upcoming execution in Dundee.

Marwood, by trade a cobbler, designed the scaffold drop platform whereby death was instantaneous for the hanged person, rather than the slow choking process which had been commonly used before. His belief that for humane reasons, criminals should not be choked to death, turned his attention to developing different methods.