Barber’s apprentice was executed for murder

Bishop's Waltham.

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Jack Stacey was a 21-year-old barber’s apprentice employed at Thomas Weeks’s shop in Warblington Road, Portsmouth. He visited customers in their homes to shave or cut their hair.

One of his customers was 75-year-old retired bricklayer and plasterer Samuel Langtry, who lived with his housekeeper Charity Jolliffe in a small house in Prospect Row, near the Blue Bell Tavern in what is now Old Portsmouth.

On this day in 1829 Stacey killed them both with a plasterer’s hammer, cut their throats from ear to ear and rifled through Langtry’s bedroom, pocketing £600 of his savings.

Handbills offering a reward for the discovery of the killer were circulated around the town.

The governor of Portsmouth jail, Edward Hunt, suspected Stacey because of his access to the house and some scratches on his hands he had noticed while being shaved by him.

When Stacey was found to have gone to Portchester flush with money and two prostitutes, the game was up.

He was sentenced to death and executed at Winchester on August 3, 1829 – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.