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Crime & punishment

Sorrowful copy of verses on the awful death and last moments of Jame Connor

       A Sorrowful Copy of verses on the

               THE AWFUL DEATH


                     JAME CONNOR

Who was twice Hanged at Kirkdale Goal for

                  the Mill Street Murer.

It will be remembered that at the late
assizes, James Connor was sentenced to
death for the murder of James gaffney in
Mill Street on the 11th of August.

The convict who on his trial betrayed
little concern, was brought to a sence of
his awful position by the daily visits of
the Rev. Father Bonte, the zealous Roman
Catholic chaplain of the goal.

Shortly before eight o'clock, the Sheriff, as is custo-
mary, demanded the body of the prisoner, who was ac-
cordingly handed over to the executioner to be pinion-
ed. This operation was performed with the utmost
expodition the culprit seeming to aflord every assist-
ance in his power. As the clock struck eight, the
melancholy procession began to move slowly towards
the scaffold. On it goes—the unfortunate man tread-
ing with firmness the road over which ho will be borne
hence, a lifeless corpse.

On arriving at the scaffold, the hangman took out
the white cap, put it over the held of the criminal
he then fastened the rope round his neck, and linked
the other end to the chain above in a moment after
the bolt was drawn, but instead of the man being
launched into eternity, to the horror of the spectators,
the rope broke and a cry of agony was heard. Connor
was immediately observed to have fallen against the
side of the scaffold with his feet on the flooring in a
partially erect position. He was moaning, and crying
"oh' oh !" In a momemt all was consternation a-
mongst the officials and Calcraft appeared greatly dis-
tressed at the accident. The warders instantly run to
the wretched man's assistance, lifted him gently from
the hold of the scaffold, and supported him untill a
chair was brought. After utterring a few deep groans
he muttered to Warder Bradley, "What do you
this ; do you call this murder?" The chaplain recom-
menced his ministrotions, and entreated him in tremu-
lous voice to keep up. At this point Connor, although
soffering terrible physical pain, was heard to exclaim
in a feeble voice, "After this you should let me off; sure-
ly this is enough. I stood it like a brick the first time.'
A rope having been supplied by Captain Gibbs, the
prisoner was placed by Calcraft a second time beneath
the fatal beam. and at two minutes after eight o'clock
the bolt was drawn again. and after a few convulsions
of the body, death ensued.

All you that are christians of every degree.
I pray give attention and listen to me ;
The Mill Street murderer has come to his end,
A sad scene of horror his death did attend ;
In the prime of his life, a strong hearty man,
For the use of the knife on the drop he did stand,
Altho' the sad deed we deeply deplore,                 
We all must forgive him for now he's no more.

Think of James Connor and his miserable end,
What sad scenes of horror his death did attend ;
His heart-broken mother' with feelings undone,
Is praying to God for the soul of her son,

A wild wicked life James Connor had led,             
He'd rather be drinking than working for bread,
He was a good tradesman and might have done well,
But his youth was neglected his history does tell,
To lead a rough life so wicked we say
All chance of true hapiness, he threw away;
In riotous living his time quickly past,

On Monday the 8th of September we know
As he walk'd to the gallows great courage did show,
As he stood on the scaffold he moved not a limb,
The horrors of death had no terror for him ;
From under the drop the bolt quickly flew,
When a heart-rending sight met the officers' view,
The rope it had broken and then with a bound,
The half strangled convict had fell to the ground.

Poor Connor was raised and then he did say
"Don't you call this murder, so serve me this way ?
I stood like a man with unquailing nerve,
And to have my life spared now I surely deserve."
But the officers knew that the sentence had said
That he must be hanged by the neck till he's dead,
With courage undaunted he stood up once more,
And in a few seconds the sad scene was o'er.

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

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