23 December 1890 – Mary Eleanor Wheeler Pearcey
A known depressive and a drinker, Pearcey was tried and convicted of fracturing Phoebe Hogg’s skull and near decapitating her, as well as smothering her child.
Pearcey, who’d taken her surname for an ex-lover, John Charles Pearcey, was hanged in 1890, aged 24.
But she proved to be her father’s daughter by following in his footsteps. He’d been hanged in St Albans for murdering a farmer 10 years previously.
On her last night she instructed her solicitor to run a personal ad in a Madrid newspaper ‘mecp last wish of mew, have not betrayed mew’. Pearcey took the meaning of that message to her grave.