Ex-Classics Home Page

The Newgate Calendar - JOHN COLLINS


Executed for murdering Jane Upcot, and exposing her head on a spike, 1737

THIS man of blood lived in a village called Harledown, near Exeter, and was by trade a thatcher. He had kept company with a young woman named Jane Upcot, and who received his addresses, which appeared to be honourably offered. The account of the circumstances which led to the shocking catastrophe we have to relate does not disclose the motive for which the devil worked him up to put to death the object of his love. It was proved that on the 16th of May, 1737, the villain murdered this Jane Upcot. He afterwards, not glutted with shedding her blood, actually cut off the head from the body, tore out the heart, and stuck them on a spar-hook, with which he had killed her; and then, fixing the instrument near the decollated body, left the horrid spectacle to the view of the passing traveller!!!

Nature sickens at the recital -- let us therefore pass to some less inhuman malefactor: this man deserved a severer death than the gallows.

He was executed at Exeter, in the year 1737.

Previous Next

Back to Introduction