The Halifax Gibbet

An extract from

Illustrated Rambles


Hipperholme to Tong

James Parker


The Gibbet Law forms a curious and interesting chapter in the History of Halifax. For the purpose of protecting the Cloth Industry, and to prevent people stealing by night from the Tenters on which the cloth was stretched for drying purposes, a law was enacted, that for stealing a piece of the value of  13 ½d., the culprit was beheaded on Gibbet Hill. This spot was discovered in 1840, under a mound of earth, and was enclosed by the trustees of the town, the fence being erected at the cost of Samuel Waterhouse, Mayor, A.D. 1852.

 The Halifax Gibbet

Any of our readers may see the spot in Gibbet Lane, at the corner of New Brunswick Street, still the property of the Corporation. They will find an inscription which states that no less than 53 persons were beheaded on this spot between the years 1541 and 1650 ; the first being Richard Bentley, of Sowerby, and the last two, John Wilkinson and Anthony Mitchell, both of that Township.

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