Place   

Execution Dock

Categories: Law, Tragedy

Execution dock is where, Frog blog says: "those condemned by the High Court of Admiralty were hung. It is not true they were all pirates, most were murderers or thieves." Its precise location is not known for certain. Competing sites are: the Prospect of Whitby (convenient for attracting customers to the pub?), King Henry's Stairs, or (less precisely) between Wapping Old Stairs (off Wapping High Street) and Wapping Dock Stairs.

Capital Punishment has an excellent page on Execution Dock, explaining the law and giving details such as "The gallows was erected on the foreshore at low tide and executions were timed to fit in with low tide." It points out that Execution Dock was the nautical equivalent of Tyburn Tree right down to the condemned man being paraded through the streets to his site of execution and being given his last drink on the way, for these watery miscreants this was at the Turk's Head. It also provides a list of the 78 men executed here from 1735 - 1830.

More information at BBC Autos. This explains that Execution Dock "... was the place of execution for those anyone {sic} had been sentenced to death by the High Court of Admiralty – which meant those who had committed a crime on the high seas, usually mutiny, murder… or piracy."

A London Inheritance has a great post about King Henry’s Stairs and Execution Dock.They dived deep into the maps and explain that what is now known as King Henry’s Stairs was previously known as Execution Dock Stairs, from at least 1682. The name change began in about 1823. The executions on the foreshore declined in number with the last in 1830. We think the area needed what we now call rebranding.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Execution Dock

Commemorated ati

Other Subjects

Sir Samuel Romilly

Sir Samuel Romilly

Law reformer. Born in Frith Street. Solicitor-General 1806. Caroline's Miscellany has done the research on his campaign to reduce the number of crimes with a mandatory death penalty.  Kept 2 pet le...

Person, Law

2 memorials
S. Lewis

S. Lewis

A commissioner of Limehouse Library and JP in 1900.

Person, Law, Politics & Administration

1 memorial
transportation to Australia

transportation to Australia

One of the (many) supposed origins of the word 'pom' for an Englishman, is that convicts were branded with the initials of 'Prisoner of Millbank'.

Event, Law, Transport, Australia

5 memorials
Sir Edwin Chadwick

Sir Edwin Chadwick

Born Lancashire but brought up in London. A friend of Jeremy Bentham, Bentham dying in his arms. Chadwick's major achievement was the 1842 publication of the Poor Law Commissioners' "Report on the ...

Person, Law, Politics & Administration, Social Welfare

1 memorial
Watch House in Hampstead

Watch House in Hampstead

A watch house was an early form of local police station. Soon after the formation of the Hampstead police force in 1829, prisoners were kept in the Watch House at the top of Holly Walk.

Building, Law

1 memorial