Documents relating to Ernest Hutchinson

The following documents mention Ernest Hutchinson

The Sheffield Independent [Monday 28th December 1908] reported

Halifax Murder,

On Saturday, a young butcher named Ernest Hutchinson who cohabited with a married woman Hannah Marie Whiteley, better known as West, appeared at the kitchen window of 20 Great Albion Street, Halifax, with his throat cut. Mrs Whiteley's five year old girl, who was crying, was simultaneously seen looking out of the bedroom window. A neighbour Thomas Greevey gained entry to the kitchen and found the lifeless body of Mrs Hannah Marie Whiteley on the floor. Hutchinson was sitting in a chair in a bent attitude pointing towards the body and exclaimed

Marie is dead

Greevey and a young man named Eastwood lifted the little girl into the street and into the care of neighbours. The police found that Mrs Whiteley had been dead for some hours. A butcher's knife was found and Mrs Whiteley had been stabbed.

Although Hutchinson was bleeding profusely from injuries to his throat, the main arteries had not been severed and his condition was not critical. There were also signs that he had been inhaling gas. He was taken to the infirmary in an ambulance carriage.

Mrs Whiteley had both hands clenched and she held money and a few coins were on the floor. The theory was that Hutchinson had returned home on Christmas eve and made a demand for money, which was refused.

During these terrible events the child was sleeping soundly upstairs and was found standing in the room in a bewildered condition. The inquiry was adjourned until 11th January 1909.

Mrs Whiteley was buried on Tuesday 29th December 1908. The funeral was arranged for the morning but was actually conducted in the afternoon, possibly due to the atrocious weather conditions. Thousands of people lined the route as the cortège went along Commercial Street into Horton Street, then into New Road, along South Parade and down Water Lane to Stoney Royd cemetery.

The inscription read

Hannah Marie Whiteley.
Died Dec 25th.
Aged 29 years

It was reported that a petition to obtain a reprieve for Hutchinson was signed by 9,000 people but was unsuccessful


The Todmorden Advertiser & Hebden Bridge Newsletter [Friday 19th February 1909] reported

Christmas Carols and Beer.

Mr Justice Coleridge said he wished to mention a matter in connection with a trial.

Shortly before the committal of the murder the prisoner with others was turned out of the Black Horse public house, Woolshops, Halifax, at the closing hour. They repaired to the back of the public house.

The landlord thereupon sent out a gallon of beer which they consumed while they sang Christmas Carols. These carols which partook, presumably, of a religious character they sang to the stimulus of beer. He wished to draw the attention of the authorities to this evidence, but beyond that made no comment.

The trial to which his Lordship alluded was that in which a butcher Ernest Hutchinson was indicted for the murder of Hannah Marie Whiteley. The prisoner was sentenced to death and the jury recommended mercy


Hutchinson was found guilty at the Leeds Assizes on 12th February 1909, and hanged at Wakefield prison on 2nd March 1909

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 10:40 / 28th March 2024 / 5667

Page Ref: X480

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