14 January 1787 – Execution Dock
On this day in 1787, five sea-faring criminals were executed in a job lot at London’s Execution Dock.
Henry Parsons and George Steward were hanged in Wapping – the heart of London’s docklands – for mutiny on HMS Ranger.
Alongside the duo, three pirates – Thomas Johnson, John Ross and John Thompson – were also done for robbing French frigate ‘La Pourvoyeuse’.
High but not dry
The High Court of Admiralty was solely responsible for sea-faring crimes and sentenced the men to be hanged in chains. This meant that once they’d been hanged the five men were then cut down and, at low tide, they were chained to a stake and left for the time it took three high tides to come and go.