Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

The Old Cinema,
Chatsworth Street,
Castlecomer,
Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,
Ireland.

PSRA Registration No: 001687

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Lot 1272/0217

Estimate: €700-900

Pierrepoint (Thomas) ALS written and signed by the veteran executioner Thomas Pierrepoint to his nephew Albert. The letter is dated 7th June 1937 and was written from Tom’s home address at Lidget Green, Bradford.
The letter is worded as follows, ‘2. Turner Avenue, Lidget Green, Bradford, Yorks 7th June, 1937, Dear Nephew, Just a few lines hoping to find you all well as it leaves us all well at present I have another job for Dublin, for Thursday the 17th so we shall have to go on the Tuesday night the 15th instant, So please let me know if you will be able to go without fail, With best love and good wishes to you all From you Uncle & Aunt, T.W. & E. Pierrepoint,’ It is written on lined note paper in slightly faded blue ink. This is truly a piece of execution history from the Pierrepoint dynasty of executioners.
Thomas William Pierrepoint (1870-1954) had followed his younger brother Henry (Albert’s father) into the calling of executioner in 1906. In 1923 Pierrepoint had taken over from John Ellis as hangman for the Irish Free State. By 1937 Thomas had chalked up over 30 years as an executioner and for over 25 of these had been the chief executioner. His nephew Albert (1905-1992) had applied to join the list of approved executioners in 1931, first assisting his uncle in Dublin at the end of 1932, then in Birmingham in February 1933.
Thomas was allowed to choose his own assistant for executions in Ireland and he thus often selected his nephew Albert. So Albert was learning the ‘trade’ from his experienced uncle but would not conduct an execution as ‘number one’ until October 1941. The execution referred to in this letter is that of John Hornick, aged 42 years, which was carried out by Thomas and Albert at Dublin. Hornick had murdered one James Redmond in County Wexford in January 1937, the motive being theft of cash, as a manuscript, w.a.f.
A clear example of the Pierrepoint Family tradition. (1)

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