Elizabeth Martha Brown

Kill Total1
Kill PlaceDorset
Kill Date
VictimJohn Brown
6th July 1856, After a marital row Martha beat husband John Brown to death, after he had allegedly beaten her with a whip.

She then went to a neighbours house, saying her husband was injured after being kicked by his horse.

When Martha returned with help, John was found dead, having suffered multiple head wounds. After a very  hasty investigation by police, Martha was charged and convicted of the murder of her husband. She continued to maintain her innocence.

9th August 1856, Brown was the last woman to be publicly hanged in Dorset. She was executed outside Dorchester prison in front of a crowd of 3,000, one of whom was the author Thomas Hardy, who many years later went on to write about her in the classic novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, a tale in which Tess is executed for the murder of her husband.

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