LOOKING BACK AT CRIMES FROM THE PAST
The Coventry Telegraph is looking back over some of the region’s most famous and gruesome crimes from our bloody past.
Among them are murders and poisonings, along with their resulting executions, with some dating back more than 200 years.
Crime reporter BEN ECCLESTON investigates.
A 19-YEAR-OLD woman was sentenced to death for the murder of her own mother who had refused her permission to marry.
Mary Jones was so incensed at her mother’s decision that she took a knife and nearly decapitated her while she slept.
In her attempts to get away with her horrific crime, Jones then laid the false trial of the robbers breaking in to the family home and carrying out the deed.
The exact year of the murder is unknown, but is likely to have been in the late 1700s or early 1800s.
This is how the crime was reported back then: “Jones kept company with a young man by trade a glover - they were fond of each other. The day was appointed for marriage and the wedding ring bought.”
Mary Jones asked her mother for permission but “instead of finding her agreeable she was quite the reverse and declared if she did marry him she shouldn’t have a share of her money”.
The report continues: “This so distressed her in mind that she determined the destruction of her mother which she effected in the following manner; the mother being accustomed to take a glass of rum and water to bed, on the night of the horrid deed she took care to mix her liquor stronger than usual to make her sleep sounder and when she had retired to bed and sleepy, she entered the room and with a sharp knife nearly separated her head from her body. She then went to her own bed and left the home door open. The next morning she alarmed the neighbours saying the house was robbed and her mother murdered.”
Immediate searches for the killer was made and “the following day this unnatural daughter was found to vary in her accounts about her mother going to bed, and one of the neighbours having to go in to the daughter’s bedroom found a handkerchief very blood. This with her varying accounts caused a suspicion, and she being taken into custody, she confessed the above facts.”
Jones was hanged and, following her execution, a letter was found in her cell to her never-to-be husband, named William.
It read: “The sad hour is at hand when I must suffer for a crime which I committed in loveing (sic) you. I hope God will forgive me. Had my mother give her consent to our union we should have been happy - by her refusal she met her death at my hands and brought me to an untimely end. God bless you and make you happy. Your dying and affectionate lover.”