MARY ANN COTTON. 1832-1873.
                Mary Ann Cotton.. The Evidence.. Execution.. Hartlepool History Team.. Illustrations. Newspaper & Public Comments.. Mary Ann Cotton.. The Evidence.. Execution.. Hartlepool History Team.. Illustrations. Newspaper & Public Comments..

Leading the procession were Mary Ann Cotton flanked by Warders Appleton & Dodds with Rev Bennet along side.
Behind: Executioner William Calcraft &  Assistant Robert Evans
Deputy Governor. James Young.
Wesleyan Priests: Rev. J. M. Mountford. Rev. W. Stevinson. Prison Chaplain Rev. J.C. Lowe (dressed in a black-death smock).
Under Sheriff Mr. Richard Bowser.
Deputy Under Sheriff Mr. E.G. Marshall.
County Bailiff Mr. Pyle.
Six male prison warders.
Female warders Miss. Robinson & Miss. Nellis.
The Head Warder Thompson Smith had by this time arranged the pressmen into an order of four deep, close to the gateway which led from the women’s side of the prison to the Southern-quadrangle. Mary Ann was now just minutes away from her death. Outside of the prison hundred’s of spectators had gathered, all in a macabre frantic attitude of finding out what had happened and as to how did the wretched woman die? Some people took to the surrounding high ground, which offered an overlooking view of the prison, many were disappointed to discover that the supposed superior view was blinded by the excessively high walls of the prison. Others thought that they would be able to hear the “drop” as it fell releasing Mary Ann into eternity. Many thought that they did and told anyone that would listen “that it was so.” What was certain however is this following account: The near approach of the melancholy cortege as it neared the gate was made known by Mary Ann Cotton’s half subdued tones of prayers. Other prayers were being said by the attending religious men who accompanied her, her sobs and choking tears audibly heard over the encroaching procession of death. As she prayed her body was subjected to agonising spasms and shivering's which are all too familiar with such state executions. A more dreadful creature than Mary Ann Cotton has seldom been seen as she made her way to the place of her execution. Her eyes turned up to heaven, her brave efforts to conquer her most terrible ordeal yet to come, her body in nervous tremors which by this stage shook her body from top to toe. It was evident for all to see that she dragged her unwilling body and limbs by sheer strength of will, and once or twice it looked as though she would completely break down, but that event did not occur as the poor wretch struggled to maintain her uneasy rendezvous with her doom.
Execution Page 3