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30 December 1873 Hanging of Elizabeth Woolcock

30 December 1873     Hanging of Elizabeth Woolcock

Elizabeth Woolcock, born in Burra in 1847, the first and only woman to be hanged in South Australia was executed in the Adelaide Gaol on 30 December. She had been found guilty of murdering her husband, Thomas, by poisoning. In her testimony she stated that he had ill-treated her and that she was ‘tempted by Satan to carry out the act’. The newspaper report said that she was repentant of her crime and went to her death calmly. It had been eleven years since the last execution in Adelaide Gaol when Malachi Martin was hanged in 1862. In 1861 four Aborigines had been hanged for the murder of Mary Ann Reinberd.

 Register, 30 December 1873.

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