For decades the high walls of Manchester's Strangeways Prison have contained some of England's most infamous criminals.
Until hanging was abolished in the 1960s it was also the main centre of execution for convicted murderers from all parts of the north west.
The history of execution at Manchester began with the hanging of a young Salford man, convicted of murdering a barman on Boxing Day 1868: he was the first of 100 murderers to pay the ultimate penalty here.
Over the next ninety-five years many infamous criminals took the short walk to the gallows.
They included Dr Buck Ruxton, who butchered his wife and maid; John Jackson, who escaped from Strangeways after murdering a prison warder; Walter Rowland, hanged for the murder of a prostitute and the only man to occupy the condemned cell at Strangeways twice; Chung Yi Miao, who strangled his wife on their honeymoon; and Oldham teenager Ernie Kelly, whose execution almost caused a riot outside the prison.
Also included are the stories behind scores of lesser-known criminals: poisoners, spurned lovers, cut-throat killers, and many more.
Steve Fielding has fully researched all these cases, and they are collected together here in one volume for the first time.
Infamous executioners also played their part in the gaol's history: Calcraft, Marwood, Binns and Berry all officiated here, as did many local men: Bolton hangman James Billington and his sons, Rochdale barber John Ellis, and Manchester publicans Albert Pierrepoint and Harry Allen.
Fully illustrated with rare photographs, documents and news-cuttings, Hanged at Manchester is bound to appeal to anyone interested in the darker side of the north west of England's history.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 128 pages
- Publisher: The History Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/10/2008
- Category: True crime
- ISBN: 9780750950527