My 2x great grandfather is the apparent illegitimate son of Jane Bradford from Newton Regis. He was born in 1832 and two year later Jane marries a William Haywood from Appleby, he was an agricultural labourer and they had one further child Elizabeth born 1838 and then Jane died a few months later. Williams father was Samuel Haywood who seems to be an interesting character as I believe he was the local hangman.
Does anyone have any knowledge on Samuels macabre career or are you descended from this family?
The Haywoods seem to be a long time Appleby family with Register entries going back to the 1600's.
It seems that Samuel Haywood was quite the local celebrity. A Google search throws up quite a few hits, this write up on English Hangmen is one of the better ones that I have seen.
Samuel Haywood from Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, was an agricultural labourer and also a poacher. He was arrested in March 1817 and charged with being equipped for poaching and having snares and other instruments for the destruction of game, according to The Leicester Chronicle of 19th April 1817. He was tried on Friday the 18th of April 1817 and sentenced to two years in Leicester’s Bridewell (House of Correction). Whilst imprisoned he volunteered to flog another prisoner. The governor offered Haywood the vacant position of hangman for Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. His earliest recorded execution was that of Thomas Wilcox at Nottingham on the 24th of March 1820. He carried out a triple hanging at Nottingham in 1822 and a double at Lancaster in 1832. He hanged Sarah Smith at Leicester on the 26th of March 1832, for the murder of Elizabeth Wood. A few days later he was in action at Warwick for the execution of John Danks on the 9th of April and by 1835 was working as far afield as Gloucester. He was also hired at Liverpool’s Kirkdale Goal where he carried out two executions in 1835/6, including his second female one, that of Elizabeth Rowland on the 9th of April 1836, for the murder of her husband. On the 5th of April 1838 he hanged Ann Wycherly at Stafford for child murder. He carried out a triple hanging in Derby on the 31st of March 1843. His final execution was that of John Platts at Derby on the 1st of April 1847. Haywood died of influenza on the 11th of March 1848 at the age of 70 having executed at least 44 people, including three women. It is possible that he carried out a further fourteen hangings but this cannot be confirmed.
From Richard Dunmore's analysis of the 1841 census it would seem that he lived at 16 Botts Lane.
The death date of 11th March 1848 aged 70 is a little curious, the St Michael parish registers record a Samuel Haywood being buried on January 21st 1848 aged 69. Unlikely to be 2 different people, unless a great coincidence.