William Davidson was a Co Conspiritor in a plan to blow up Parliament.
William Davidson was born in Kingston Jamaica in 1786 and he traveled to Britain at the age of 14. He married an English Woman who had four sons and they set up home in Maryleborne. Davidson was appalled by the Peterloo Massacre in which 11 unarmed demonstrators had been killed and over 500 injured.
In response to this he joined the Maryleborne reading society to better educate himself. He held meetings at his house where radicals who opposed the government would gather, talk tactics and practise military drills.
Reports held today by the public records office show that the group was infiltrated by police informants who kept track on the meetings and records of the group. An Agent Provocateur – George Edwards persuaded the group, which was being led by a man named Arthur Thistlewood, to try to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The group fell into the governments trap and were arrested before they embarked.
On May the 1st 1820 the largest ever crowd assembled for an execution. The crowd was split into 2 groups by ranks of Lifeguard, Blackfriars Bridge was guarded by 100 men, Artillery men and six guns. The men were hanged and beheaded outside the debtors door of Newgate Jail. The crowd reportedly were wild with fury and chants of Murder rung out!
This was the last Public decapitation in England!