Newgate Calendar - WILLIAM FARMERY


Executed for the Murder of his Mother, 5th August, 1775

            We have reluctantly shown, in more instances than one, the unnatural brutality of men murdering their fathers; but, while we sketch the more shocking crime of this monster, we have some consolation in observing that, in our long researches into the wickedness of mankind, he is the first we have met with who, with long lurking malice, shed the blood of his mother. A subject so strangely horrid and unnatural we shall dismiss by a bare recital of the shocking circumstance. It appears that, among other undutiful acts, he had one morning given offence to his parent, for which he was justly reproached, on which he went out of her house, took his knife from his pocket, and deliberately whetted it till quite sharp. Then returning with the murderous instrument in his hand, he found his unfortunate mother in the act of making his own bed. Without uttering a word, he threw her down, and, as a butcher kills a sheep, he stuck her in the throat, and there left her weltering in her blood, of which wound she died.

            On his examination he confessed the fact, and said that he had determined upon his mother's death three years ago; for that he had treasured up malice against her since she had corrected him for some trifling fault when a little boy. In the prison of Lincoln, called the Round-house, he declared that, when asleep there, he felt something move within him (the tyrant Conscience), and that when he awoke he saw his mother's ghost upbraiding him for his foul deed. He suffered at Lincoln, August the 5th, 1775, amidst the execrations of a multitude of indignant spectators.


'Even you yourself to your own breast shall tell
Your crimes, and your own conscience be your hell.'


Previous   Next