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Crime & punishment

Last moments of John A Simpson

(17) Last moments of John A Simpson

                THE LAST MOMENTS

                                  OF

                  JOHN A. SIMPSON,

FOR MURDERING HIS SWEETHEART.

[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]

At eight o'clock, this
Monday) morning, the
youth John Aspinall
Simpson, was executed
at Strangeways prison.
Manchester, for murder-
ing his sweetheart Ann
Ratcliffe, at Preston, on
the 3rd of Agust last.

The final interview
with his heart-broken
relatives was of a most
painful description, and
one that will not soon
be forgotten by those
that witnessed it.

Marwood the execu-
tioner, arrived at the
gaol on Saturday after-
noon, and after inspect-
ing the scaffold, and
testing the working of
the drop, he look up his
quarters convenient to
ho gaol.

A large crowd of per
sons assembled near the
gaol this morning,tand
sympathy was manifest-
ed for the unfortunate
youth, At five minutes
past eight the black flag
was hoisted, and the
crowd then gradually
dispersed. There has
not been so much inter-
est taken in an execu-
tion at Manchester for
some time.

By order of the High
She ff, no reporters
were permitted to wit
ness the execution.

By John Aspinall Simpson's sad terrible death,
Young man take a most solemn warning,
On the gallows at Strangeways he yielded his
breath,
On a moat drear November morning ;
For murder he died, and he never denied,
The justice of his awful sentenoc.          [crave
Ere he went to the grave he forgiveness did
And wept in the deepest repentance.

He murdered his sweetheart a girl good and true
Who always had loved and adored him.
He had blighted her life, and to make her his wife
And to save her from shame she implored him.
But for murder we find he had made up his mind
Or the razor he ne'er would have carried,
And like a base man he murdered poor Ann.
On the morn that she thought to be married.

His repentance wo hear for his crime was sincere
He prayed night and day to be forgiven,
His sentence from the first he acknowledged to
be just,
He hoped to be pardoned in heavon.
His unmanly ways brought an end to his days,
No one in his trouble to befriend him,
In his miserable state he was left to his fate,
When the law to the gallows did send him.

When they told him the time he must suffer for
his crime,
'Twas no more than he hourly expected,
Each fast fleeting day the time he pass'd away,
Miserable, forlorn, and dejected.
To pass from the world, to eternity hurled,
To his comrades to be a solemu warning.
To hang till he was dead, and no bitter tears be
shed,
Except by his relatives that morning.

At the tolling of the boll, he left the dismal cell,
The dark seaffold stood there before him.
With the hangman by is side, Lord have mercy
on me he cri l.
'Twas a sight that was almost deploring
Neath the fatal beam of wood on the platform
he stood.
The obaplain the b rial service reading.
The bolt it was drawn, and poor Simpson was
gone,
His soul to its makor was speading.

[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]

At the late Manchester Assizes,
John Aspinall Simpson, was found
guilty of murderiug his sweetheart at
Preston, and when asked if he had
anything to say why sentence of death
should not be passed upon him, he
remarked that he was perfectly satis-
fied with the verdict of the jury.

After entering the condemned cell,
the wretched convict was never left
alone, being guarded night and day
by two warders, He was supplied
with writing materials and everything
was done to promote his comfort in
body and mind. A photograph of the
deceased girl occupied a prominent
position on the tablle in hs cell, and it
was his dying request that the portrait
should he buried with him, and when-
ever any conversation turned upon
his vietim, he never spoke of her except
in terms of the greatest affection. It
was inferre I from this behaviour, and
the disjointed observations that he
occasionally let fall on the subject,
that his motive for the crime was not
je dousy, as has been reported, nor
its commission the impulse of a
moment, but a premediated act the
result of a morbid feeling that he
would be releasing his victim from a
life of almost certain misery if the
marriage had been consumated,

There is every reason to believe
that he intended to commit suicide,
and it is stated that at one time he
cont mplated drowning himself.

John White, Printer, Rose Place,
    Scotland Road, Liverpool.

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