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