Figure depicting the murder of Thomas Smith by William Collier
- Object Number: 1971.P.6
- Simple Name: figure
- Full Name: figure group
- Production Place: Longton
- Production Place: Staffordshire
- Production Place: England
- Production Period:
- Production Organisation: Sampson Smith (factory)
- Summary: Figure depicting the murder of Thomas Smith by William Collier. Earthenware with overglaze painted and gilded decoration. Each man has a hand raised to the other's neck. Two dead game birds at their feet and a dog jumping up. The scene take place underneath an arch of trees and floral decoration.
- Terms:heroes & villains
- Terms:18th & 19th Century Staffordshire
- Additional Notes: William Collier was found guilty in 1866 of the murder of Thomas Smith, after the gamekeeper caught him poaching on land at Whiston Eaves, Staffordshire. Collier was sentenced to death by hanging on the 7th August 1866. Each hanging usually used a new rope, to ensure it was not frayed, stretched or weakened. In Collier's case, the hangman decided to use an old rope for reasons unknown. As the lever was pulled the rope slipped off the gallows, leaving Collier dazed but conscious. A new rope was fetched and the terrible sequence repeated, this time hanging Collier successfully. It was the last public execution at Stafford Gaol.
- Contact: Potteries Museum and Art Gallery