Elizabeth Osborne – 1813
On the 28th May 1813, Elizabeth Osborne went out at night to exact revenge on her former employer, John Lobb. She had been discharged from his employ three years earlier, and on this night, she decided to set fire to his mow of corn. She then told several people what she had done, showing no remorse whatsoever.
Elizabeth was remanded at Bodmin Jail to await the trial for arson. Arson was a capital felony at that time, as a serious fire would lead to major consequences for the owner of the property. She was tried before the Grand Jury on August 16th with Judge Sir Robert Graham, one of the Barons of the Court of the Exchequer, presiding. There were many witnesses, and she readily confessed to her crime. The jury found her guilty and she was sentenced to death.
Her cause was certainly not helped with US grain imports halted at this time owing to the War of 1812-15.
On the 6th September 1813, Elizabeth Osborne paid the ultimate penalty of the law for her crime when she was hanged in public before a large crowd of people.
Lightfoot Brothers – 1840
23-year old James and 36-year old William Lightfoot were two brothers hanged side by side on the 13 April 1840 for the murder of Mr Nevell Norway, a local merchant.
The Clerk of the Arraigns read the indictment:
‘James Lightfoot, and William Lightfoot: you are indicted for feloniously murdering Nevell Norway, of the parish of Egloshayle, on the 8th February, by striking and beating him on the head with a pistol, and a stick, giving him several mortal wounds of which he died. In another count, you James Lightfoot are indicted for murdering the said Nevell Norway, and you William Lightfoot for aiding and abetting in the murder. In another count, you, William Lightfoot, are indicted for murdering, and you, James Lightfoot for aiding and abetting.’
The execution, carried out by Mr George Mitchell from Ilchester, attracted a large crowd exceeding 25,000 including 1,100 occupants of train carriages that had stopped on the railway line running alongside the jail.