HomePrince Edward IslandThe Woman No One Would Hang

The Woman No One Would Hang

Anna Derks

At one time in the history of PEI hanging was a punishment set out for a wide variety of crimes.  In some cases hanging was used to alleviate the costs of incarceration.

For example, in 1815, two men were publicly hanged for stealing a loaf of bread from a woman’s house.

SCALES.GIF (1768 bytes)One bizarre situation arose when in 1778 a woman (name unknown) was sentenced to die on the gallows for thievery.  However, no one wanted the job of being the hangman.

The local Sheriff of the time was a gentleman by the name of Captain Thomas Marshall (why do peoples names so often match their jobs?).  Marshall placed advertisements in local papers offering the hangman’s job – no applications were received.

Since the hanging was originally scheduled for late in the year, Marshall then decided to delay the event until the spring when “people from the continent” (Europeans) would arrive.   Surely one of them needed a job!  No takers.

In frustration Marshall resigned his post and eventually the woman was set free – neck intact.

Written by

Author of Mysteries of Canada

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