23 November 1867 – The Manchester Martyrs
Manchester Martyrs, William Allen (pictured left), Michael Larkin (pictured centre) and Gould (aka O’Brien, pictured right) were hanged in Salford for the murder of a policeman.
The fatality happened when a set of Irish Fenian supporters ambushed a prison van in a bid to free two of their colleagues who’d been imprisoned following their failed Fenian Rising.
This was at a time when Irish Nationalists were aiming to break away from British rule. And so they’d come to free their friends and they were apparently shooting a lock to free Colonel Thomas J. Kelly and Captain Timothy Deasy just as their guard, Police Sergeant Brett was peering out through the keyhole of the locked van.
The policeman copped a bullet in his brain and the ambushers were captured and found guilty of murder. The trio were executed in front of 12,000 spectators who’d gathered either in sympathy for the Fenian cause or who were anti-capital punishment.