William Marwood, Horncastle, Lincolnshire

William Marwood, Horncastle, Lincolnshire

William Marwood was born in Horncastle, 1818, and was a hangman for the British government. He developed the technique of hanging known as the "long drop".

The "long drop" technique ensured that the prisoners' neck was broken instantly at the end of the drop, resulting in the prisoner dying of asphyxia while unconscious.

This was considered somewhat more kind than the slow death by strangulation caused by the "short drop" method, particularly distressing to prison governors and staff who were required to witness executions at close quarters after 1868.

Originally a cobbler, of Church Lane, he died in 1883 and his remains are buried at St Mary's Church.

Address St Mary's Church
Church Lane
Telephone -
Area More information on Horncastle