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28 October 2014

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The History of Britain's Hangmen

The Berry Family Tree

Portrait of Sir Charles Berry

Matt Berry is the Great great, great grandson of Britain's first official Hangman, a Lord James Dorkun Berry. His portrait can be spotted above the fireplace in the drawing room of Sir Charles Berry.

In 1774, James himself was hanged on his own portable gallows by his son (and successor) Matthew Jacob Berry. Matthew remained high executioner until 1810 when he was accosted and convicted of showing tenderness towards his horse. He was hung by his son and successor Hillary Howard Berry.

In 1828, on the orders of Captain Richard Cork, Hillary organized the legendary mass hanging of 200 slaves on the island of Tutuna. Hillary committed suicide in 1850 and was found hanging in his barn by his son Charles Berry, (later to become Sir Charles). Sir Charles's portrait can be seen in the gentleman's club and in times of peril is visited by Matt's friend and current Assistant To The Hangman, Rich Fulcher.

On his father's death, at only 15 years of age, Sir Charles Berry became the youngest High Executioner ever. It was at this time that he took an assistant in the form of Ken Wormwood. Sir Charles had taken pity on Wormwood when watching him receive a severe pasting in a bare-knuckle fight that Sir Charles himself had organized.

Sir Charles and Ken Wormwood became the most prolific Hangmen in British history. Between 1870 and 1910 they managed to dispatch a staggering 2966 men and women. Sir Charles counted Charles Chaplin and Dan Leno as personal friends.

In 1912 Sir Charles died whilst performing a party trick (which involved suspending oneself by the neck and trying to swallow an orange whole whilst being pleasured) in front of some unfortunate women from Whitechapel.

Sir Charles had no children and so it was Ken Wormwood who trained Sir Charles's youngest nephew James Berry to act as his assitant.

In 1921 Ken Wormwood was found guilty of the murder of an American doctor named Francis Fulcher. Wormwood had killed the doctor over an argument about wooden tablets at the Ten Bells pub in London's east end.

James Berry hanged Ken Wormwood and became the Britain's next High Executioner, remaining so until 1946 when he was hung for treason by his son Sir Keith Berry (of whom little is known), who was in turn hanged for sexual menace by his son Matt Berry, the present High Executioner to the King of England and all Sovereign colonies.

Whilst drinking in the Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields Matt noticed an American tourist being taken advantage of by a local prostitute. The women had just about robbed the American of his trousers when Matt intervened. The tourist who by now had no money or lodgings introduced himself to Matt as Rich Fulcher. The rest is...

Rich Fulcher and Matt Berry conduct a hanging

Matt Berry (Hangman)

Find out more about the Hangman's heir.

Hangman Berry

Rich Fulcher (Assistant Hangman)

Find out more about the American Tourist.

Hangman Rich

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