Three extremely interesting antique aquatints, in original colours, of the Radlett murderers, also known as the Elstree murderers, John Thurtell, Joseph Hunt and William Probert. Published by W Aldous, London circa 1825.
The victim, William Weare, a solicitor and gambler, and Thurtell was convinced that Weare had cheated him out of £300 (£25,000 now) at the gambling table, and decided that rather than pay the debt, he would kill Weare. Thurtell invited Weare to join him and his friends – Joseph Hunt, a tavern landlord, and William Probert, a former convict and alcohol merchant – for a weekend of gambling at Probert's cottage at the site of Oaks Close, off Gills Hill Lane (subsequently popularly known as Murder Lane), Radlett. On 24 October 1823 they journeyed from London in Thurtell's horse-drawn gig, and Weare was killed in a dark lane just short of their destination.
He was shot in the face by Thurtell, but this didn't kill him and Weare escaped from the carriage. Thurtell caught up with him and slit his throat, and then bashed his brains out with the butt of his pistol. They dumped his body in a pond. Unfortunately Thurtell left his gun in the hedge, which was found the next day by some road workers, and as it was one of a pair, the murderers were quickly identified and arrested. Thurtell was found guilty and was hanged. Hunt was transported to Australia, where he rehabilitated and became a police constable, and Probert was never punished for Weare's murder, but eventually was hanged in 1825 for stealing a horse.
Mounted. Unframed. Priced for the three prints.
Print sizes: 16cm x 14cm
Mount sizes: 24cm x 28cm