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Derek Yarwood

Cheshire's Execution Files

Cheshire's Execution Files

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From Norman times to the late 19th century, Cheshire had its own unique way of disposing of the criminals condemned at its assizes. For more than 500 years, due to an obscure mediaeval tradition, the city fathers were duty bound to execute them.

Ever since the Emporer Vespasian's second legion encamped beside the River Dee, Chester has always been a magnet for visitors. Its once thriving port and in more recent years its importance as a tourist centre have maintained its attraction.

Up until 1866 however, there was a less savoury - though it would seem, equally compelling - reason why people flocked to Chester. They came to gawp at the public hangings.

In this new true crime anthology, former journalist Derek Yarwood tells the story of Cheshire's unique place in the history of capital punishment through a fascinating collection of 18th and 19th century cases.

Authenticated by original court documents wherever possible, the crimes, trials and executions detailed here, while all sensational events in their own right, also bear witness to the public's enthusiasm for watching a hanging.

About the Author

Derek Yarwood is a career journalist with almost years' experience, having worked on a number of newspapers in his home county of Cheshire. From 1987-1990 he was deputy editor of Cheshire Life magazine.

For much of the past three decades he has been researching and writing about the darker side of the county's history. His two previous books, Cheshire's Execution Files and A Vintage Casebook Of Cheshire Crime, both generated enthusiastic reviews.

He lives in the village of Barnton near Northwich with his wife Christine. The couple have two grown-up sons, three grandsons and four step-grandchildren.

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