Sentenced to Death for robbing a Poor Woman. She struggled violently with the Executioner on the Scaffold, 4th Of May, 1763
Hannah Dagoe resisting execution
WE have adduced many instances of the hardness of heart, and contempt of the commandments of God, in men who have undergone the last sentence of the law; but we are of opinion that in this female will be found a more relentless heart, in her last moments, than any criminal whom we have yet recorded.
Hannah Dagoe was born in Ireland, and was of that numerous class of women who ply at Covent Garden Market as basket-women, to the excusion of poor Englishwomen. In the pursuit of her vocation she became acquainted with a poor and industrious woman of the name of Eleanor Hussey, who lived by herself in a small apartment, in which was some creditable household furniture, the remains of the worldly goods of her deceased husband. Seizing an opportunity, when the owner was from home, this daring woman broke into Hussey's room and stripped it of every article which it contained.
For this burglary and robbery she was brought to trial at the Old Bailey, found guilty, and sentenced to death.
She was a strong, masculine woman, the terror of her fellow-prisoners, and actually stabbed one of the men who had given evidence against her; but the wound happened not to prove dangerous.
On the road to Tyburn she showed little concern at her miserable state, and paid no attention to the exhortations of the Romish priest who attended her. When the cart, in which she was bound, was drawn under the gallows, she got her hands and arms loose, seized the executioner, struggled with him, and gave him so violent a blow on the breast that she nearly knocked him down. She dared him to hang her; and in order to revenge herself upon him, and cheat him of his dues, she took off her hat, cloak and other parts of her dress, and disposed of them among the crowd. After much resistance he got the rope about her neck, which she had no sooner found accomplished than, pulling out a hand kerchief, she bound it round her head and over her face, and threw herself out of the cart, before the signal was given, with such violence that she broke her neck and died instantly.
This extraordinary and unprecedented scene occurred on the 4th of May, 1763.