|This is my contribution to Round Eleven of ABC Wednesday and again I am focusing on people, some famous, some infamous and some half-forgotten.|
It was a miserable death – to be hung by the neck until dead and then to have your body left to swing in the breeze in a metal cage as a warning to others. And Jobling had not even been the chief culprit of the crime he was convicted for.
He was involved in the local miners’ strike and had been drinking with another man, Ralph Armstrong. Both were much the worse for drink and their pockets were empty of coin.
Jobling saw the local magistrate, Nicholas Fairles, riding by and approached him, asking for money which he refused to give. This angered Armstrong who attacked Fairles with a stick, knocking the 71 year old from his horse.
Fairles was seriously injured and Armstrong and Jobling fled the scene only for the latter to be arrested two hours later when he was found still drunk and wandering on the beach.
He was brought before Fairles who identified him as one of his attackers, although not the one who had struck him, and Jobling was taken to Durham prison. He was charged with murder when Fairles died ten days later.
Armstrong had escaped, never to be seen again, and Jobling was left to face the music alone. It took the jury just 15 minutes to find him guilty of murder and he was sentenced to death and his body hung from a gibbet erected in Jarrow Slake, near the scene of the attack.
The judge said: ‘I trust that the sight of that will have some effect upon those, who are to a certain extent, your companions in guilt and your companions in these illegal proceedings which have disgraced the county. May they take warning by your fate.’
On 21st August 1832 Jobling was publicly executed by hanging, then his body was eviscerated and soaked in tar. It was placed in a metal cage, paraded through the streets, and then hung on a wooden post, just a few hundred feet from his home.
There it stayed for three weeks in full view of his wife and family until it was taken down by friends at night and secretly buried.
The gibbet was outlawed in the UK in 1834 and you can read a more detailed account of Jobling’s story on the Hub Pages.