THE EXECUTION OF JAMES BLOOMFIELD RUSH

AT NORWICH CASTLE, APRIL 23rd., 1849,

For the murder of Isaac Jermy, Esq., the Recorder of Norwich, and his son I. Jermy Jermy, Esq.,

AT STANFIELD HALL


Between 11 and 12 o'clock the bell of St Peter's Mancroft, tolled the death knell of the criminal. When conducted to the turnkey's room to be pinioned he met Calcraft, whereupon he said to Mr Pinson "Is this the man who is to do the business?" The reply was "Yes." When he was pinioned he shrugged up his shoulders, saying "This don't go easy; it's too tight."

Within two or three minutes after 12 o'clock the mournful cavalcade proceeded from the interior of the Castle to the spot on which the gibbet was erected. The chaplain, who headed the procession, read, as he passed along, part of the burial service.

When the procession left the Castle gate to proceed to the gibbet, Rush presented a most melancholy and dejected appearance. He was dressed in a plain suit of black, wearing no neck-handkerchief. His shirt collar was turned down. For about twenty yards he walked with a firm unwavering step, but in a moment afterwards he raised his pinioned hands to his face and trembled violently. He then removed his hands from his face, and turning up his eyes to heaven, assumed the attitude of penitence and prayer. On reaching the gallows the rev. chaplain offered up a prayer. While this prayer was being read the condemned convict seemed to be deeply impressed with the awful character of his situation. Immediately on the close of the prayer he beckoned to Mr Pinson, the governor of the Castle, when the following conversation ensued:

Rush: Mr Pinson, I have a last request to make to you. It is that the bolt may be withdrawn while the chaplain is reading the benediction - "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us, evermore."

Mr Pinson: I will communicate your wish to the chaplain, and I have no doubt it will be attended to.

The hangman then placed the unhappy convict under the beam on which he was to hang, and affixed the fatal rope around his neck. Rush said, "For God's sake give me rope enough. Don't be in a hurry; take your time." Then moving his head about, he said "Put the knot a little higher up, don't hurry." The rev. chaplain proceeded with the prayers, and on arriving at the words "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ," &c., Calcraft withdrew the bolt, the platform went down, and all was over. His death was greeted with loud applause by an immense crowd who had assembled to witness the execution.

Good people listen unto my song,
And girls to whom honest hearts belong,
Pay great attention to what I say,
And by the wicked be not led astray.

Poor Emily Sandford was learned well,
Yet mark what to her fatal lot befell,
The serpent's tongue caused the tears to gush,
For she was betrayed by James Bloomfield Rush.

She begged most pleadingly to be his wife,
And lived with him a most unhappy life,
And though the hot tears down her cheeks did flow
The monster heeded not Miss Sandford's woe.

But seeing that she now was ruined quite,
She stood upon her feet in a female might,
And with her pale hand stretched towards his face
Said, "God will curse thee for my deep disgrace."

Foreboding were the words Miss Sandford said,
For murderous thoughts were in the wretch's head.
He set to work, and speedily did plan,
The death of servants, husband, wife and son.

A five barrelled pistol he soon did buy,
And then a mask upon his face did try,
Put on his hat and cloak and pistols drew,
Within its fold a bloody deal to do.

For Stanfield Hall he quick did start,
And old squire Jermy he shot through the heart!
And while the grey-hair'd man lay bleeding there,
He shot his son and lovely wife so fair.

Eliza Chestney to her mistress ran,
Saying, "dearest mistress, who is this man?"
And, while she pressed her mistress to her heart,
A bullet pierced in a dangerous part.

James Bloomfield Rush was then to prison sent,
Miss Sandford against him a witness went,
She was well avenged - for on the gallows high,
The base seducer was condemned to die!

The Judge scon told him that his race was run, –
That he must die for murderous deeds he'd done.
To use the time that yet on earth was given,
In making peace with his God in heaven.

O had you witness'd the parting hour,
Of this wretched man and his nine children dear,
Your hearts would break to think that they might see,
Their father hung upon a gallows tree.


J. Harkness, Printer. Preston.

From: Hindley, Charles. 1871. Curiosities of Street Literature. Reeves and Turner, London.