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his gaoler, uncovered and apparently unconcerned, waiting for
us. The grey light of the chill November morning gave the
pair a weird look as they stood on the other side of an open
doorway, for it was impossible to divest the scene of the know-
ledge of what was about to happen. As we approached, the
gaoler led the way with Muller through other courts, and then
through a corridor with black stone walls on each side, stone
pavement underfoot, and an iron grating overhead, between us
and the sky. I have often wondered since whether Muller knew
that this corridor was the burial place of those who were hanged,
and the place where he would be buried a few hours afterwards,
buried in quicklime under those heavy paving stones, with no
record but his initials rudely carved on the stone wall, and that
only because he was a more than ordinarily famous murderer.
From this grim sepulchre we passed to the Press room, a small
chamber, low in the ceiling, and very much like a kitchen, with
a deal table and some wooden chairs in it. Here we met Cal-
craft, and the duties of the gaoler were at an end. I had never
seen Calcraft before, and I was very much struck with his
benevolent and even amiable appearance. His snowy- white
hair and beard, and his quiet, self-possessed manner, was in
ridiculous contrast to everything in the nature of violence, and
I could hardly conceive it possible that one of us dozen people
in that little room was going to be hanged in five minutes.
Calcraft, however, was as quick in his movements as he was
noiseless. Scarcely had Muller been placed with his back to
Calcraft, and we who had followed him arranged ourselves in
a half circle in front of him, than Calcraft had buckled a broad
leather belt round Miiller's waist. Two small straps, fixed
to this belt in the middle of the back, were as rapidly passed
round the man's arms, and in a trice his elbows were fixed
fast to his sides. Muller clasped his hands in the most natural
manner, and in this position they were strapped together by a
pair of leather handcuffs. The man was pinioned past re-
demption ; and then began a scene that gave a thorough wrench
to my nerves. Calcraft, still noiseless and unimpassioned,
was moving around his victim with ominous precision. The
belt was tight, the arms were fixed, the hands clasped, and

Appendix IV.

the whole frame at his mercy. He then removed the necktie,
and after that the collar. With gruesome delicacy he tucked
both within the waistcoat, and Miiller was prepared. " You
may sit down," said Caloraft quietly, but Miiller declined.
Cool beyond any one in the room, unless Calcraft excelled
him, he stood with his short round neck fully exposed, and
well placed on a pair of broad shoulders and a firm, round
chest. There was not much need to argue the question
as to whether Miiller could or could not handle poor old Mr.
Briggs. Muller was a small man, but he was the personifica-
tion of strength, and with a jaw that meant dogged, resistless
obstinacy of purpose. He did not appear to pay much heed
to Dr. Cappel, the minister, who spoke to him in the intervals
of the pinioning, and he listened, apparently without concern,
as the Lutheran became more earnest in his invocation after
the preparations were complete. Calcraft left the room, and
we all guessed where he had gone to. It was at that time I
felt as if a little more callousness would have served me well.
To be a passive spectator at such a scene is not a sedative.
The imagination will not leave the bare neck and the pinioned
arms. One thinks of the hangman examining his rope and
the hinges and bolts, and one feels a terribly eerie feeling
creeping over one. I had to take myself seriously in hand,
and I had resource to an odd expedient. I ate a piece of
biscuit, and the distraction carried me over the horrid interval,
which was made all the more impressive by the constant tolling
of the bell of St. Sepulchre's Church. Presently, to my great
relief, Calcraft reappeared, and the action was renewed. Dr.
Cappel stood aside, and the chaplain of the gaol, Mr. Davis,
led the way to the scaffold, reading the burial service. The
journey was short, and those who remember the old hanging
days know that the scaffold was erected outside the gaol in the
Old Bailey. It was through the doorway, known as the
debtor's entrance, that it was approached from the prison, and
it was up a flight of about ten steps that Calcraft led Miiller.
Mr. Davis remained below, his duty ended there; but Dr.
Cappel followed the hangman and his victim, and I followed
Dr. Cappel. No one else went up, and it occurred to me that
perhaps Mr. Jonas, the governor of the gaol, to say nothing of
the Sheriffs, regarded my presence on the scaffold as an in-
trusion; but nothing seemed to me more proper, and I was
well repaid for my temerity. I saw the people. Far as the
eye could reach, to Ludgate Hill on the one hand and right
away to Holborn on the other, the entire space, broad and
distant as it was, presented an unbroken mass of human faces
types of every unholy passion that humanity is capable of
a seething sea of hideous brutality, that had been surging over
the space the live long night, and was now almost still with


Franz Muller.

expectation. The mouths of the myriad of grimy, yellow
faces were open, and all the thousands of eyes were upturned
upon the spot where I stood with an intentness that was more
appalling to me than the methodical movements of Calcraft
and the unimpassioned attitude of Muller. The contrast was
marvellous. The hangman was curiously busy. He passed
a strap round Muller 's legs' and buckled it; he put the rope
round Miiller's neck, and tightened the slip knot just under
his right ear; he slipped a noose at the other end of the rope
over an iron hook depending from the crossbeam of the scaffold,
and last of all he pulled a dirty yellow bag over the man's head
to his chin. He then stood aside, and the conversation about
which all the dispute has arisen commenced between Dr. Cappel
and Muller. The minister stood close to Muller, with his feet
on the very edge of the drop; I stood just behind him, but
nearer the outside of the scaffold. The conversation was
hurried. On Dr. Cappel's part it was earnest and excited,
but Muller preserved the same stolid, unimpassioned manner
that had characterised his attitude throughout. Calcraft, I
noticed, disappeared as soon as they began to speak, and I
can see Dr. Cappel now leaning forward, with both hands
extended, as if to draw Miiller's words to him as the drop fell
and Muller disappeared. Calcraft had done his work well.
One strong convulsion and all was over. But Dr. Cappel didn't
stay to see this. As soon as he recovered from the surprise
and alarm caused by the unexpected fall of the drop he dashed
down the stairs with his hands aloft, and shouting as he ran,
"Confessed, confessed, thank God!" After one more look
at the crowd, now a roaring tumult swaying to and fro, I
followed close at his heels, and the whole company pressed
round him in the chaplain's room, where he told the story of
Miiller's last words. Three times he repeated the story within
ten minutes of the scene on the scaffold, and each time he told
it I took down his words, not partly, but wholly and com-
pletely, and the story did not vary. I take it that no evidence
can be clearer of what Muller said than what was thrice
repeated, by the only man who heard him, immediately after
he did hear him. And what Dr. Cappel said was this

" When he was standing on the drop, and all was ready, I
said, ' In a few moments you will stand before God. I ask
you again, and for the last time, are you innocent of this
crime? '

" He said, ' I am innocent.'

" I said, ' You are innocent? '

" And he said, ' Yes, I am innocent; God knows what I have

" I said this ' God knows what you have done, but knows
He that you have done this particular deed? '
1 86

Appendix IV.

" And then, instead of answering me ' No,' he said, ' Ich
habe es gethan ' (' I have done it ').

" He had confessed, and I spoke to him ' Christ have
mercy upon your soul ' ; and I believe his very last words were
as he fell, ' My God, I feel sure of it.' '

After each recital of this story, Dr. Cappel made running
comments on Muller 's demeanour and previous conversations he
had with him. These I also took down, and the tenour of
them was that Mtiller had never denied unequivocally that he
had attacked Mr. Briggs ; he always fenced the question, and
Dr. Cappel's theory was that Mliller declined to admit himself
guilty of murder because he had not premeditated it.

Dr. Cappel evidently afterwards desired to make the con-
fession a little more definite than his first record justified; and
in his subsequent accounts of what occurred he inserted the
word " Ja," or " Yes," before the " I have done it," making
out that Muller answered " Yes " to his question whether God
knew that he had done this particular deed. In his original
account he says, " Instead of answering ' No,' he said, ' I have
done it.' ' In his subsequent accounts he seems to have
assumed that Muller said " Yes " because he did not say " No."
In this Dr. Cappel was> wrong.

The curious will find in the record of the execution in the
Times second edition a true version of the story. In the next
day's Times the "Yes " was inserted, so that it is probable
Dr. Cappel may have thought of the " Yes " before nightfall.
I am certain the " Yes " was added, because it happened that
Mr. Sarlsby did not take down Dr. Cappel's account of the
matter. I read my notes to him before leaving the prison,
and, as we were doing so, Dr. Cappel came up, and not only
approved their accuracy but actually wrote the important sen-
tence, " Ich habe es gethan," in Mr. Sarlsby's notebook. He
did not write " Ja " before it. Still, it may be taken that
Muller confessed to the fact, but declined to admit that he had
committed murder. Dr. Cappel's words were as I have set
them down, and every one can construe them for himself.


(To the Editor of the Sporting Times.)

Sir, I have read with much interest the letter of my old
friend, Mr. Frederick Wicks, on this subject, and from the
accounts which my late father (whose name you misprint


Franz Muller.

Sarlsby) used to give of the incidents of the execution, I can
entirely corroborate all that Mr. Wicks so ably narrates. As
he states, the Rev. Dr. Cappel wrote in my father's notebook
the exact words in German which had fallen from Muller
immediately before the drop fell viz., " Ich babe es gethan."
There can be no doubt that in Dr. Cappel's mind this amounted
to a confession by Muller of his guilt of Mr. Briggs's murder
a confession which he had purposely delayed until the failure
of every effort for a reprieve had brought him to the very
brink of eternity. This was my father's fixed impression on
the matter, and perhaps no one had a better opportunity of
forming a judgment upon it. Yours truly,

75 Victoria Street, S.W.




SIR JONATHAN FREDERICK POLLOCK (1783-1870) was the son
of David Pollock, saddler, of Charing Cross, and brother
of Sir David Pollock, Chief Justice of Bombay, and Field
Marshal Sir George Pollock, the hero of the Afghan war, in
1842. Frederick Pollock was born in London on the 23rd
of September, 1783, and educated at St. Paul's and Trinity
College, Cambridge. He was Senior Wrangler in 1806, and
in the following year was elected Fellow of his college. He
was called to the bar in 1807, at the Middle Temple, and
joined the Northern Circuit. By his industry, ability, and
wide legal knowledge he soon acquired a very large practice
both in London and on circuit. After twenty years of
ever-increasing success he took silk in 1827, and in 1831 was
elected as Tory member for Huntingdon, which town he repre-
sented continuously until his elevation to the bench. Sir
Robert Peel made him Attorney-General in 1834, and again,
when he resumed office in 1841. Sir Frederick Pollock held
this office till 1844, when he was appointed Lord Chief Baron
of the Exchequer, in succession to Lord Abinger, and sworn
of the Privy Council. He presided over the Court of Ex-
chequer for twenty -two years, retiring on a pension in 1866,
when he accepted a baronetcy. His judicial career was
1 88

Appendix V.

honourable and distinguished. In spite of his deep legal
learning, " his leaning was ever to the side of substantial
justice rather than to mere technical accuracy. Kind, gentle,
and courteous, he made an admirable President of his Court,
and there was no judge more fitted to conduct great criminal
trials with dignity and distinction." It fell to his lot to preside
over four famous trials for murder : those of the Mannings
for the murder of O'Connor, in 1849; of Mullins, for the
murder of Mrs. Elmsley, at Stepney, in 1860 ; of Muller ; and
of Kohl, for the Plaistow Marshes murder, in 1865. In the
obituary notice of the judge in the Times, the writer de-
scribes how at Muller 's trial " his emphatic eloquence moved
the deepest feelings of the audience, among whom every sound
was hushed, and every nerve painfully strained, as the full
force of some apparently trivial point of evidence was pointed
out, and its bearing explained to the jury." Pollock survived
his retirement for four years, dying of old age on the 23rd
of August, 1870. He was then eighty-seven. Married
twice, the Chief Baron had eighteen children, distinguished
among them being Sir William Frederick Pollock, Queen's
Remembrancer, scholar, and man of letters, and Sir Charles
Edward Pollock, Baron of the Exchequer (1873-1897), the last
survivor of these now extinct dignitaries. Among the
living grandsons of the Chief Baron who have achieved dis-
tinction in various walks of life may be reckoned Sir Frederick
Pollock, Corpus Professor of Jurisprudence, Oxford, 1883-1903,
and a well-known writer on legal subjects; Walter Herries
Pollock, critic and man of letters; Ernest Pollock, K.C.,
member for Warwick in the present Parliament; and Dr.
Bertram Pollock, ex -headmaster of Wellington, now Bishop of

SIR SAMUEL MAKTIN (1801-1883) was the son of Samuel
Martin of Culmore, Co. Londonderry; he was born in 1801.
On leaving Trinity College, Dublin, he entered Gray's Inn in
1821 ; he was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1830,
after practising two years as a special pleader. He was
" devil " to Sir Frederick Pollock, his friend, and later, in
1838, became his son-in-law. He joined the Northern Circuit.
A good commercial lawyer, he won his first great success as an
advocate in 1839, in the " Bloomsbury " case, in which he
recovered for the plaintiff, Mr. Ridsdale, the Ascot Derby stakes
that had been won by his colt, " Bloomsbury," but had
been refused to him on the ground of a misdescription of the
horse. Mr. Martin took silk in 1843, and entered Parliament
as the Liberal member for Pontefract, 1847. Three years later
he was appointed a Baron of the Exchequer. He sat as a


judge for twenty-four years, revered for his practical knowledge,
good sense, and pleasant humour. Severe in his punishment
of crime, his severity was always tempered by a natural kind-
ness of heart. Increasing deafness alone compelled him to
retire from the bench in 1874, when he was sworn of the Privy
Council. He survived his retirement eleven years, dying on
the 26th of January, 1883, at the age of eighty-two. His
only child, a daughter, married Mr. Macnaghten, who in 1888
was created a Lord of Appeal, and still, at the age of eighty-
one, continues to be one of the shining lights in that august

SIB ROBERT PORRETT COLLIER, first Lord Monkswell (1817-
1886), was the elder son of Mr. John Collier, merchant, of
Plymouth. After being educated partly at Plymouth and
partly under private tuition, he went to Trinity College, Cam-
bridge. Ill-health obliged him to give up a University career.
He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1843,
joined the Western Circuit, and first won success by his defence
of the Brazilian pirates, at Exeter, in 1845. He was appointed
Recorder of Penzance, and entered Parliament as Liberal
member for Plymouth, in 1852. He was appointed somewhat
unexpectedly Solicitor-General in 1863. When the Liberal
Government returned to office in 1868 he became Attorney -
General. His appointment as a member of the Judicial Com-
mittee of the Privy Council, in 1871, excited some scandal, not
j on account of any want of merit on his part, but on account of
the circumstances under which it was made. By the Privy
Council Act it had been stipulated that two of the members of
the Judicial Committee should be chosen from among the judges
of the superior Courts' at Westminster. In order to technically
fulfil this qualification, Collier was appointed to a puisne judge-

Iship in the Court of Common Pleas ; he held this office for only
a few days, sitting in the ill-fitting robes of his predecessor;
he was then promoted to the Privy Council. The two Chief
Justices, Cockbura and Bovill, protested strongly against such
a violation of the dignity of the judicial bench, and the matter
was taken up warmly in Parliament by Lord Westbury and
Lord Cairns. At the same time no question was ever raised
as to the fitness of Collier to hold the position. He sat on the
Judicial Committee until his death, which occurred at Grasee
on the 27th of October, 1886. In 1885 he had been
created a peer, taking the title of Lord Monkswell. In addition
to his high legal reputation, Lord Monkswell was an accom-
plished scholar, a writer of verse, and a painter. His son, the
second Lord Monkswell, who died in 1909, was Chairman of
the London County Council in 1903, and another son, the Hon.
John Collier, is the well-known artist.

Appendix V.

WILLIAM BALLANTINB (1812-1887) was the eldest son of
William Ballantine, police magistrate; he was educated at St.
Paul's and Ashburnham House, Blackheath, and called to
the bar at the Inner Temple, 1834. He joined the Home
Circuit and the Central Criminal Court. One of his first suc-
cesses was his cross-examination, in a suit in the House of
Lords, to annul the marriage of an heiress, Esther Field, on
the ground of coercion and fraud, in the year 1848, when he
was opposed alone to Sir Fitzroy Kelly and a number of dis-
tinguished counsel. From that moment his professional pro-
gress was steady, and he soon acquired a reputation as one
of the most successful advocates of his day. In 1856 he was
made Serjeant at Law, but it was not till 1863 that he obtained
from Lord Westbury his patent of precedence. His name is
connected with almost all the causes celebres of this period. He
was counsel for the Tichborne claimant in the original action
for ejectment, after which he was wise enough to withdraw
from the case. In 1875 he went to India at a fee of 10,000 to
defend the Gaekwar of Baroda, who was* accused of attempting
to poison the British Resident. He succeeded in procuring the
acquittal of his client. This case was the last of his great
successes. Not long after he retired from active work at
the bar, and died in comparative poverty. In 1882 he pub-
lished his " Experiences of a Barrister's Life," a careless and
disappointing work. Ballantine's gifts, particularly as a
cross-examiner, were remarkable, his knowledge of human nature
astute. Had he possessed greater stability of character, there
can be no doubt that he would have risen to a place of far
higher dignity in his profession. Montagu Williams, who
knew him well, thus describes him " The Serjeant was a
very extraordinary man. He was the best cross-examiner of
his kind that I have ever heard, and the quickest at solving
facts. It was not necessary for him to read his brief; he
had a marvellous faculty for picking up a case as it went
along or learning all the essentials in a hurried colloquy with his
junior. There is no point that the Serjeant might not have
attained in his profession had he only possessed more ballast.
He was, however, utterly reckless, generous to a fault, and
heedless of the future. His opinion of men could never be
relied upon, for he praised or blamed them from day to day,
just as they happened to please or annoy him. He often said
bitter things, but never, I think, ill-naturedly. His fault was
probably that he did not give himself time to think before he
spoke." Montagu Williams adds that Ballantine had great
charm of manner, was never afraid of a " dead " case, and
" was always cheery and bright."

JAMBS HANNBN (1821-1894) was the son of James Hannen,
wine merchant. He was educated at St. Paul's and Heidel-



Franz Muller.

berg University, was called to the bar in 1848, and joined
the Home Circuit. After a successful career as a junior, he was
appointed Attorney-General's " devil," in 1863, and in 1865
stood unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Liberal candidate. He
was appointed a puisne judge of the Court of Queen's Bench,
and knighted in the year 1868. In 1872 he was transferred as
judge to the Court of Probate and Divorce, and in 1875 became
President of the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division of
the High Court of Justice. It was while President of the
Divorce Court that he was placed at the head of the Parnell
Commission, with Sir John Day and Sir A. L. Smith. He ful-
filled the difficult duties of that place with tact, dignity, and
discretion. In 1891 he was made a Lord of Appeal, and held
that office until his death, in 1894. It is not too much to say
that no judge has left behind him a higher reputation for fair-
ness, dignity, and learning.

SIB HARDINGB GIFFABD, first Earl of Halsbury, the third son
of Stanley Lees Giffard, editor of the Standard newspaper,
was born on the 3rd of September, 1823. He was educated
privately and at Merton College, Oxford, whence he graduated
B.A. in 1845. Entering at the Inner Temple in 1846, he
was called to the bar, 25th January, 1850. Attaching himself
to the South Wales Circuit, and attending regularly at the
Central Criminal Court and Middlesex Sessions, he from the
first showed great capacity asi an advocate, and in 1861 he
became one of the standing counsel for the Treasury, a post
which he vacated on taking silk in 1865. He figures largely
in the most important prosecutions of the day, including the
trial of the Fenians for the Clerkenwell explosion of December,
1867. He appeared for Governor Eyre at the Market Drayton
Sessions in the same year, and for some of the defendants in
the Overend and Gurney case ; in the ejectment action of Tick-
borne v. Lushington he was led by Serjeant Ballantine for the
claimant. He unsuccessfully contested Cardiff in the Con-
servative interest in 1868 and in 1874, and he was returned
to Parliament for the first time as member for Launceston in
March, 1877, having been appointed Solicitor-General, though
without a seat in the House of Commons, in November, 1875,
when he received the honour of knighthood. As law officer
he appeared, together with Sir John Holker, in a series of
sensational trials, to which reference has already been made.
In the 1880 Parliament he played a prominent part, being
especially conspicuous in the opposition to Mr. Bradlaugh, and
he enjoyed a large practice at nisi prius. His most famous
verdict was that of 5000 for the plaintiff in Belt v.
Lawcs. He became Lord Chancellor under the title of Baron

Appendix V.

Halsbury, in June, 1885, and, following the fortunes of his
party, he received the seals again in July, 1886, and June,
1895. In 1898 the dignity of an earldom was conferred upon
him, and his son bears the courtesy title of Lord Tiverton.
Whether on the woolsack, in the Privy Council, or in the Court
of Appeal, he has shown himself a judge of the highest rank.
A good authority has> declared that he is in the widest sense
the greatest master of the common law since Lord Mansfield.

" He quitted the bar in the heyday of his fame. The dis-
appearance of Holker had left him perhaps the most successful
advocate of his day in that class of case where the appeal is
to the sentiment, the emotions, or the prejudices of the jury.
An admirable speaker and a fine cross-examiner, his pugnacious
and combative spirit was kept in strict subordination to the
needs of the hour, while it used to be said of him that he was
the only man at the bar who would stand up to Charles Russell

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