Frances Kidder

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Frances Kidder (c. 1843 – 2 April 1868) was the last woman to be publicly hanged in Britain.[1]


Twenty-five-year-old Kidder was executed in front of Maidstone Gaol at 12 noon on 2 April 1868, following her conviction on 12 March for murder. It was alleged that she had drowned her 11-year-old stepdaughter, Louisa Kidder-Staples, in a ditch. The jury, directed by Mr Justice Byles, returned their verdict in only 12 minutes.

Around 2,000 people, including Kidder's husband, are reported to have witnessed the execution[1] performed by hangman William Calcraft.[2]


  1. ^ a b Beadle & Harrison 2007, p. 74
  2. ^ Patrick Wilson (1971). Murderess: a study of the women executed in Britain since 1843. Joseph. pp. 151–154. 
  • Beadle, Jeremy; Harrison, Ian (2007), Firsts, Lasts & Onlys: Crime, Robson Books, ISBN 978-1-905798-04-9