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Town Moor Exceution

Photograph taken from Diary Of A Doctor (Edited Alastair Johnson).

Hanging On The Town Moor

Residents of Jesmond and Gosforth are probably aware of the executions by hanging that were carried out on the Town Moor. The last female to be hung on the Town Moor was Jane Jameson. On March 5, 1829, Jane was sentenced to death for the murder of her mother, Margaret Jameson. Margaet Jameson was an inmate of the Keelmen’s Hospital where the attack occurred, she died from her injury a few days later. The following Saturday her daughter Jane Jameson was executed for her murder on the Town Moor. After the execution, Jane’s body was taken to the surgeons’ hall.  It was exhibited to the public until 6 pm that evening. The following Monday the body was dissected in the first of a series of anatomical lectures that lasted several days. A full account of the execution was published in the local newspaper.

Town Moor Execution newspaper exerpt

Jane Jameson

Jane Jameson was found guilty of murdering her mother by stabbing her in the heart with a red hot poker. Evidence given at the trial stated that she had also “destroyed ” her two illegitimate children. It was also reported that in a drunken fit, she had attempted to cut her father’s throat. The following description of her appeared in Sykes remarkable Events.

“She hawked fish and other commodities and was a most disgusting and abandoned female, of most masculine appearance, generally in a state of half nudity.  She perhaps never was so decently dressed as when upon her trial, having on at that time a black gown, black hat and green shawl.”


Jane Jameson was the first woman to hang in Newcastle for 71 years. Newspaper reports state that crowds of 20,000 spectators lined the streets to watch the morbid procession that accompanied the prisoner to the gallows on the Town Moor. Jane had to sit on top of her coffin in a cart. At 9 am the procession moved off from Newcastle Borough Gaol in Carliol Square with the cart travelling behind the town sergeants who were on horseback, and the town marshall. The cart was guarded on each side by 8 “free porters” with javelins and 10 constables with staves. The mourning coach came behind with the Rev R Green, the prison chaplain, and Mr Scott, who was the clerk at St Andrews Church. Jane was executed at precisely 10 am and cut down at 10:55.

Twon Moor Execution newspaper exerpt

Murder Act of 1751

A quick look at The Murder Act of 1751, it might help us to understand the series of seemingly macabre events that followed the execution of Jane Jameson. The Act stipulated that to prevent the crime of murder “some further terror and peculiar mark of infamy be added to the punishment.” Also, “in no case whatsoever shall the body of any murderer be suffered to be buried”, and that the guilty party should be executed two days after sentencing.

Town Moor Execution newspaper exerpt

Surgeons Hall

Thomas Giordani Wright was a doctor who lived and practised in Newcastle at the time of the Jameson execution. Thomas kept a diary which has been published as a book, Diary Of A Doctor. Thomas was in Newcastle on the day of the execution, and the procession passed right by his window, he made the following comment.

“The procession passed along this street and within sight of my window but I had not the curiosity to join the assembled thousands who crowded to the scene of her existence. The body will I suppose be exposed to public gaze for a few days when she will be anatomised by Mr Fife.”

Thomas attended the lecture by Mr Fife, which was timetabled on Monday noon at the Surgeons Hall. The lecture was free to those in the medical profession. However, there was a charge made for non professionals. Tickets were available at 10s 6d for the whole course or 2s 6d for a single lecture. A donation to the Eye Infirmary was made from these funds. In his diary Thomas estimated that the audience was “about 50 of whom one third were non professionals.”

People who were convicted at the County Assizes were executed at Westgate in Newcastle. Those who were convicted at the City Assizes were executed on the Town Moor and at Fair Moor, Morpeth.

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Further Reading

This story has been well documented. Naomi Clifford has written a wonderfully detailed post on her website entitled The Cost Of Executing Jane Jameson.

The Diary of Thomas G wright was discovered in 1985. It was donated to the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne by the Nanaimo Historical Society. The manuscript of the Thomas Giordani Wright Diary is held by the Tyne and Wear Archives. The book Diary Of A Doctor was published in 1998 by City of Newcastle Education and Libraries Directorate with transcript and commentary by Alistair Johnson.

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Militant Attack On The Globe Cinema Gosforth

The Globe Cinema Gosforth

Many of you will remember with fondness the Royalty Cinema on Gosforth High Street. However, this was not the first cinema in Gosforth. The first cinema was The Globe, sometimes known at The Globe Electric Theatre – a building that still stands on Salters Road and is now occupied by the Gosforth Palace Chinese restaurant.

Plans submitted to GUDC for The Globe Cinnema Gosforth
Plans submitted April 1910

The Globe Cinema Fined For Overcrowding

The Globe Electric Theatre opened in 1910 having been built for Joseph Collins, the proprietor of the King’s Cinema in Marlborough Crescent, Newcastle and designed by J.J. Hill, architect. The cinema appears to have been designed in an opulent style with seating for over 800 patrons, and several private boxes. A billiard room was planned for the basement, but this did not feature in the final version of the plans. Cinema going in the early years was very popular, so much so that in 1912 and 1913 the manager of The Globe was fined for overcrowding. The cinema appears to have had a close association with The Sanderson Hospital – there are several newspaper reports of children from the hospital attending a ‘Children’s Treat’ at the cinema in the early years after opening.

Outrage At Theatre Plate Glass Window Smashed

Newspaper cutting showing the headline about a Suffragist attack on the Globe Theatre Gosforth

On 22 February 1913, a dramatic incident took place at The Globe. The building has been hired out as a venue for a meeting of The Gosforth and Coxlodge Liberal Association attended by Alexander Ure, M.P., Lord Advocate for Scotland. On the morning of the meeting, a hammerhead was thrown through a window in the entrance hall to the building with a label attached. The message on the label read “Let fresh air into politics by votes for women”. Residents of Salters Road reported hearing a car in the vicinity of the theatre between one and two o’clock in the morning. The perpetrator of the attack was not discovered but was believed to be a militant suffragist.

Newspaper Report On Gosforth Globe Attack

The damn’ , was d.serwered when the theatre was catered tIL , c .•r.iing. and it was then ascertained that a Ha:e-glass window in the entrance-hal of theatre. which was guarded by an h had been smashed. A hammer-head’s .4 been thrown through it. and the iound irside the deersay. The we’gned one pound. Tr the liammerhead was arached a lalwl which bon , the words: ” Let fresh air into politics by votes for women.

It would appear that the attack was carried out in the raw; hours of the morning. Residents in Salter’s Road say that between one and two o’clock they heard a motor-car in the vicinity of the theatre. Tb-e circumstance was unusual enough to ‘mike thin comment on it. A woman. rir:nit near to the theatre, stated that about 1.30..-::e heard a crash. as of broken plass, and got out of bed and looked out of the window, but there was no one to he area, The police were communicated with this morning. and they have taken possession of the missile with which the damage was done. 

The First Talkie

By 1915 the cinema had a new proprietor, Sidney Bamford who ran it for most of the period of silent films. The first ‘talkie – “Sunny Side Up” was shown on 28 April 1930.

The Oldest Surviving Cinema Building In Newcastle

In 1928 the Globe was taken over by the large national company General Theatres Corporation which in turn was shortly after taken over by Gaumont British. In 1935 the cinema was sold to E.J. Hinge, the owner of The Royalty cinema. For a time, both cinemas were able to continue operating by offering different programmes. The Globe finally closed as a cinema in November 1961 re-opening as a bingo hall which in turn closed in 1990. The building is the oldest surviving cinema building in Newcastle.

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Is There A House Historian In Newcastle?

House Histories House to illustrate house hisorians in Newcastle

Is there a House Historian in Newcastle? Hello, we are Discovering Heritage, and we have house historians in Newcastle upon Tyne!

House Historians

We are a team of heritage researchers who offer many services across the heritage sector. We have conducted house history research for Higham Hall Educational Trust, Newcastle University and the Ring Net Heritage Trust. Although the latter was a boat history! Newcastle has a vibrant local history which we are exploring and sharing on our blog. Our house histories help to bring this to life by adding social texture and connections to the past by focusing on the lives of local people.

Is there a house historian in Newcastle? Yes this is a photo of a house historian at work in Newcastle library

Is there a House Historian in Newcastle?

Rows of book house historians use for research

What Is A House Historian

A House Historian is a person who researches the history of houses. Any house large or small is attractive to a house historian. Our house historians will research your house using not only the internet but also primary sources that we have access to. There are over 14  miles of records held in local archives, so knowing just where and how to look can save a lot of time!

What Will My House History Uncover?

Every house history is different, so we never know what we are going to discover. Research blocks are available at an hourly rate of £20. Our minimum block is five hours. Our house historians will trace the history of your house and the residents who lived in it.  We share this information in a specially designed residents table which forms part of our house history pack. We also like to include a house chronology, which may give a little more detail and comment on the social history of the time. We offer the facility to purchase extra research hours if you would like to add to the research, for example, if we find a person or situation of particular interest.

Graphic showing contents of a house history pack

Who Buys House History Packs?

If you are looking for an unusual or extra special gift a Discovering Heritage House History pack could be the answer. Our packs have been compiled for birthday and Christmas presents. People have also expressed an interest in giving them as a wedding or new home gifts. Of course, if you are interested in researching the history of your own house, our packs can be used as a starting point for your personal research. So, our house history packs appeal to lots of people!

House Histories for Hospitality

If you have a country house, hotel or bed and breakfast, our house history packs make an ideal complimentary gift or point of interest for the guest room or reception.

Old postcard of West Avenue in Gosforth

Is there a House Historian in Newcastle? Why Newcastle?

We began by concentrating in Newcastle simply because that is where we live and work. After careers spent working and living in the area, our team have come to know and love it very well. Our researchers have expert knowledge of the city, as well as Northumberland. We do however take on commissions outside the county and would ask you to contact us if you have any enquiry.

Find out more about our House Histories behind this photo!

Front door with a Discovering Heritage House History pack
Heaton House Histories