George Caddell

Perpetrator : George Caddell

Crime: Murder

The Victim: Elizabeth Price

Weapon of Choice: Knife

Motive : To avoid marrying a woman he got pregnant

Date : July, 1701

Punishment : Execution

Location: Stafford

The Story 

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 Miss Price.

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.