Perpetrator : George Caddell
The Victim: Elizabeth Price
Weapon of Choice: Knife
Motive : To avoid marrying a woman he got
Date : July, 1701
Punishment : Execution
This delinquent was a native of Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, where he was articled to an
apothecary. Having served, his time, he proceeded to London to complete his studies in surgery, and he then entered
the service of Mr. Randall, a surgeon at Worcester, as an assistant. He was here admired for his extremely amiable
character, as well as for the abilities which he possessed ; and he married the daughter of his employer, who,
however, died in giving birth to her first child. He subsequently resided with Mr. Dean, a surgeon at Lichfield ;
and during his employment by that gentleman he became enamoured of his daughter, and would have been married to
her, but for the commission of the crime which cost him his life.
It would appear that he had become acquainted with a young woman named Elizabeth Price, who had
been seduced by an officer in the army, and who supported herself by her skill in needle-work, residing near Mr.
Caddell's abode. An intimacy subsisted between them, the result of which was the pregnancy of Miss Price ; and she
repeatedly urged her paramour to marry her. Mr. Caddell resisted her importunities for a considerable time, until
at last Miss Price, hearing of his paying his addresses to Miss Dean, became more importunate than ever, and
threatened, in case of his non-compliance with her wishes, to put an end to all his prospects with that young lady,
by discovering everything that had passed between them. Hereupon Caddell formed the horrid resolution of murdering
He accordingly called on her on a Saturday evening, and requested that she would walk in the fields
with him on the afternoon of the following day, in order to adjust the plan of their intended marriage. Thus
deluded, she met him at the time appointed, on the road leading towards Burtonupon-Trent, at the Nag's Head
public-house, and accompanied her supposed lover into the fields. They walked about till towards evening, when they
sat down under the hedge, and after a little conversation, Caddell suddenly pulled out a knife, cut the wretched
woman's throat, and made his escape.
In the distraction of his mind, he left behind him the knife with which he had perpetrated the
deed, together with his case of instruments. On his returning home it was observed that he appeared exceedingly
confused, though the reason of the perturbation of his mind. could not be guessed at ; but, on the following
morning, Miss Price being found murdered in the field, great numbers of people went to see the body. Among them was
the woman of the house where she lodged, who recollected that she had said she was going to walk with Mr. Caddell;
and then the instruments were examined, and were known to have belonged to him.
He was in consequence taken into custody, and committed to the gaol of Stafford; and, being soon
afterwards tried, was found guilty, condemned, and executed at Stafford on the 21st of July, 1701.