News Con­demned man begged his wife’s for­give­ness in heart­felt let­ter

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

A CON­DEMNED man set to hang for pass­ing forged notes to the Bank of Eng­land wrote to his wife ask­ing for for­give­ness just days be­fore he was ex­e­cuted.

Joseph Har­rold faced the gal­lows in Au­gust 1801 af­ter be­ing con­victed of “ut­ter­ing forged bank notes” and penned the let­ter to his sweet­heart as he awaited his fate at War­wick Gaol.

In the let­ter to his wife, found in his cell a day or two be­fore his ex­e­cu­tion, Har­rold had writ­ten: “There is noth­ing, my dear, upon this earth, that trou­bles my mind but you, to think how happy and com­fort­able we might have lived, had I taken your good ad­vice.

“I must con­fess I never should have come to this un­timely end, had I been ruled by you, my good and lov­ing wife; but alas!

“I have seen my folly now it is too late, but I hope, my dear, you will for­give all my past con­duct for it had been very bad, and I hope and trust the Lord will par­don my of­fences, and take us to glory where we shall ever be free from sin and sor­row, and where God will wipe away all tears from our eyes.

“My prayers are, day and night, that the Lord will have mercy upon me and for­give all my sins.”

A re­port on the ex­e­cu­tion of Har­rold also stated that “he has for many years been in the habits of buy­ing and sell­ing horses at fairs and, ac­cord­ing to his own con­fes­sion, has been a no­to­ri­ous horse stealer”.

He was hanged on Au­gust 21, 1801,

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