Saturday, April 1, 2023

The Last – Last Drop!


Birmingham’s Last Public Hanging
Near this site, at what was then the junction of Great Charles Street, Snow Hill and Bath Street, Philip Matsell, aged 30 was hanged at 1:25pm on Friday 22nd August 1806 in front of a crowd estimatd at 40,000. He had been convicted of the murder of Robert Twyford, a “peace officer” ( a parish constable or watchman – the percursor of the later Police Officer) on that very spot and was burried in St Phillip’s Churchyard. It was over 60 years later, in May 1868, that the last public execution in Britain took place near Ludgate Hill in London
Birmingham Civic Society – Local History Plate no 2

The real place where the last public hanging took place has now been commemorated by the Birmingham Civic Society with an appropriate brass plaque at the junction of Great Charles Street, Snow Hill and Bath Street.

Until now there has been a brass plaque outside the pub in Ludgate Hill now known as The Actress & Bishop claiming this distinction, but when the pub was being opened up some years ago it was really just a publicity ‘gimmick’ and the pub was originally named as the ‘The Last Drop’!

Nevertheless, it was a nicer setting for the brass plaque than where it is now – don’t you agree? Incidentally, it is now believed that the person hanged before an audience of 40,000 was innocent of the crime he paid for with his life.

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