1862-1868: The last public execution at Vernon Gate prison

The last public execution was of Richard Thorley on the 11th April 1862 just before noon. He was hanged outside the gaol by William Calcraft. Two months earlier he had murdered Eliza Morrow, his girlfriend who he had seen flirting with a soldier.

He was a very possessive man and would get jealous when she was seen with other men. Richard in a drunken rage had attacked Eliza in Agard Street, Derby and slit her throat with a razor. Up to 20,000 went to watch and see Richard hanged for her murder. Richard was buried within the prison walls.

In 1868 public execution were abolished and Richard Thorley remained the last man to be the last public execution.