Thomas William Pierrepoint

Thomas William Pierrepoint

British executioner
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of Thomas William Pierrepoint
  2. Early Life
  3. Career as an Executioner
  4. Later Life

Biography of Thomas William Pierrepoint

Thomas William Pierrepoint was a British executioner who held his position from 1906 to 1946. He was the brother of Henry Pierrepoint and the uncle of Albert Pierrepoint, both of whom also served as executioners.

Early Life

Thomas was born in Sutton Bonington, Nottinghamshire to parents Thomas and Mary Pierrepoint. He was the second child and eldest son in the family.

Career as an Executioner

During his 39-year career as an executioner, Thomas oversaw 294 hangings. However, the exact number is difficult to determine as he also spent some time working in Ireland. Among those executed by Thomas were notorious criminals such as Frederick Seddon, who was hanged in 1912 for poisoning.

During World War II, Pierrepoint worked for the American Army. He was stationed at Shepton Mallet prison in Somerset, where 16 American servicemen were executed for murder and/or rape. Thomas personally carried out 13 of these executions, with the assistance of his nephew Albert. Albert Pierrepoint also supervised three other executions involving American servicemen who had brought disgrace upon themselves.

Later Life

In 1940, prison medical staff noted that Thomas's health was deteriorating. He was reportedly experiencing mental health issues and worsening eyesight. The prison conducted its own investigation and discovered that Thomas had come to work intoxicated on at least two occasions. However, these concerns did not affect his professional abilities, and no disciplinary action was taken against him. He continued to work as an executioner for another six years.

It is worth noting that Thomas repeatedly insisted that his nephew only come to work sober and his colleagues in Ireland never witnessed him drunk.

Thomas did not officially retire but eventually stopped receiving assignments. His name was removed from the list of official state executioners. He moved to his daughter's home in Bradford, where he passed away on February 11, 1954, at the age of 84.