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Three newspaper reports regarding the execution of Bradshaw - clearly stating the crime to be burglary, and not murder The third, and more detailed report, makes a somehow fascinating read Worcester Journal - Thursday 26 April 1821 Execution. —On Wednesday last, Edward Bradshaw, convicted of burglary at the late Coventry Assizes, was executed on Whitley Common, about mile from that city. He attributed his untimely end to neglect of the Sabbath, and since his condemnation he wrote to several his old companions, entreating them to desist from their present line of life, and take warning by his unhappy situation. It is worthy of remark how few criminals are executed who not confess that they began their career of crime with Sabbath-breaking. Birmingham Chronicle - Thursday 26 April 1821 Yesterday se’nnight, Edward Bradshaw aged 18, was executed on Whitley Common, near Coventry, pursuant to his sentence at the late Assizes, for burglary, committed in the house of Mr. Bobbett, the Punch Bowl, in Spon End, Coventry. The unfortunate young man was a native that city. Upwards of 15,000 persons were supposed to be present at his execution. Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 28 April 1821 EXECUTION AT COVENTRY. On Wednesday se’nnight, Edward Bradshaw, who was condemned, at the last Assizes for Coventry, to suffer death for the crime of burglary, was executed on Whitley Common, about a mile from that City. Considerable interest was excited, as no similar event had taken place in the City or its neighbourhood for the last 21 years. During his confinement after condemnation, the unhappy man was visited by a number of Ministers and pious persons. He sometimes discovered a penitent spirit, and seemed humbled on account of his transgressions; but these impressions were but occasional and of short duration. Early on the morning of his execution, he was visited by several Ministers. When the summons came for him to repair to the fatal spot, he discovered no kind of hesitation or reluctance. He walked from the prison-yard into the County Hall, where, having been pinioned, he was conducted from thence in a coach to the place of execution, where he arrived about a quarter past eleven o’clock. As he passed through the crowd to the place of execution, his attention appeared to be more interested in the number of the persons assembled together, and in recognizing some of his old companions, than in his own unhappy condition; and it was with difficulty that the Ministers who were with him could fix his attention on a bible which he held in his hand. He ascended the scaffold with a firm step. He was there attended by the Rev. Messrs. Hughes, Thomson, Franklin, and Sibree. After a Psalm had been sung and a prayer offered, Bradshaw requested that he might address the spectators. He confessed himself guilty the of the crime for which he suffered, and acknowledged the justice of his sentence, and several times earnestly entreated those who saw him, and particularly his old companions, many of whom he said were there, to take warning by his unhappy fate; not to violate the Sabbath, nor associate with evil company, which two things, he said, had brought him to his untimely end. The Rev. Mr. Hughes then, at the request of Bradshaw, delivered a most appropriate and impressive address to the multitude; after which, Bradshaw knelt down on the scaffold and prayed in a very audible voice and impressive manner. Having concluded his prayer, he took leave of those who surrounded him, and a few minutes before 12 o’clock was launched into eternity.— The awful ceremony was conducted in the most orderly way, though the crowd assembled was estimated not less than 15,000 persons.— Bradshaw was a native of Coventry, and but eighteen years age.
|Edward 'Duckfat' Bradshaw|