The Execution of John Crome in Norfolk

This is an extract taken from a Newspaper of 1787.

On Saturday 27th September 1787 John Crome aged 40 years was executed on the Castle Hill for a highway robbery pursuant to his sentence at the last Assizes. 

About nine o’clock as the Sheriffs and chaplains attended at the Chapel when all the prisoners of every description were called in an excellent sermon suitable to the event was preached by the Rev. Mr. Adkin.  Blagbourn and Gardiner, two criminals condemned at the last Assizes, but pardoned by the Judge before he left the city were placed on either side of Crome, who appeared greatly distressed in mind during the service. 

About eleven o’clock the fetters of Crome were knocked off; he was then conducted back to the room where the prisoners are usually kept, and after the executioner had pinioned him, the felons were again called in the yard, and a solemn procession was made round it. 

The coffin was carried by four men and followed by Crome attended by Blagbourne and Gardiner at the door of the prison he addressed his fellow prisoners beseeching them to pay a proper regard to the duties of the Sabbath and avoid the pernicious and fatal conduct of smuggling fatal to him as being the chief cause of his untimely end.  The following procession then commenced: Under Sheriff on horseback, four Sheriff’s officers, the Sheriffs in a chariot, twelve constables, four sheriffs’ officers, the cart covered with black baize in which was the malefactor in black with a hat-band and the executioner dressed in a black jacket and long trousers with a flowing cape; the turnkey on horseback with a black wand; mourning coach with the chaplain; a hearse with the coffin.  

Having reached the place of execution on the Castle Ditches.  Crome again addressed the spectators and after nearly half an hour in prayer, he was launched into Eternity.  We scarce remember a greater number of people attending on such an occasion, though the rain was very heavy both during the time and for several hours before the execution.  The body, after being suspended for an hour, was cut down and conveyed by his friends to the hearse and the next day was decently in-terred in the churchyard of St. Helen’s in this city.  St. Peters great bell was tolled very slowly for two hours.