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Five Norwich Lives - One in Particular

Our last presentation was about the intertwined the lives of five people from Norwich. One of those has just been highlighted in an article in a national newspaper.


Mug Shots...souvenir from a hanging sells for £7,500

The public execution of a mayor’s son for murder 200 years ago drew so much attention that the hanging was attended by a crowd of 15,000 – and a commemorative mug was produced.

Interest in the case continues to fascinate collectors so much that the souvenir fetched £7,500 at auction from an initial estimate of just £500.

John Thurtell 29, was sent to gallows at Hertford prison in 1823 for the shooting of a London solicitor over a gambling debt. William Deare was owed £300 (about £25,999 today) by Thurtell, who shot him at point-blank range. Accomplices William Probert and Josh Hunt, also feature on the mug, helped throw the body into a pond.

Thurtell, the mayor if Norwich’s son, was traced after leaving his pistol at the scene near Radlett, Herts. Auctioneer Liz Chilcott in Honiton, Devon said: ‘It was quite an extraordinary sale. This mug is a bit grisly as it commemorates a cold-blooded murder.’

Published in the Daily Mail, Thursday 15 February 2024.


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