William Dumbleton

AKA
DOB
Occupation
Kill Total1
Kill PlaceLudgershall
Kill Date3 February 1880
M.O.
VictimJohn Edmunds
They called John Edmunds Gentleman Johnny. He had given up being a  farm labouring to make his own way as a clock and watch repairer, walking round the local village near his home in Buckinghamshire. He made a good living at it, enough to be considered wealthy.

3rtd February 1880, 10am he was lying dead in a ditch at the roadside, with his head almost cut from his body.
The man who discovered the body at Piddington was a travelling salesman from Berkhamsted named Thomas Plenderleith. He went to get help.

The police found that the locals were full of information. Johnny was at the Seven Stars at Ludgershall all that evening. They remembered him showing the other customers a couple of watches he’ had recently bought, one of them worth more than 20 times the price he’ had probably paid for it. The landlord gave the police inspector the names of four labourers who were drinking at the bar with Gentleman Johnny.

Inspector Webb called on the first, William Dumbleton, who shared a bedroom in a two-room cottage with his brother, two sisters and their mother. He began to lie quite badly and obviously when questioned, and when police searched his home they found Gentleman Johnny’s expensive watch hidden in the thatched roof of an outhouse. 

Dumbleton said he was with another man he named as James Sharpe. “"He borrowed my knife. I stayed behind a hedge while he knocked Johnny down, and then I went up to them. When I got there he’'d cut Johnny’s throat. After we had given him enough, we chucked him in the ditch and left him. I was very drunk that night".” 
Later, in another statement, he said he cut the victim’s throat himself.

20th April 1880, Dumbleton was brought to trial at Northamptonshire Assizes, and was found guilty of murder. He was sentence to death by Mr. Justice Lindley, despite the jury recommending mercy on acount of Dumbleton's difficult childhod.

Monday, May 10th, 1880, Dumbleton went quietly to his death on the gallows, in what was the last execution at Aylesbury Prison, the execution carried out by  William Marwood.

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