Tyne Crossing #2
Day two of our look at the art work surrounding the new excavations attached to the construction of the new Tyne Tunnel, and here we have a look at the detail in the long panorama that greets us in Ferry Street, Jarrow. This section is dedicated to the death and public gibbeting of the miner William Jobling in 1832.
On June 11, 1832, Jarrow pitmen Ralph Armstrong and William Jobling were drinking in a pub in South Shields.
On the road by the toll-bar gate, near Jarrow Slake, Jobling begged from Nicholas Fairles, a 71-year-old magistrate.
Fairles refused to hand over any money, prompting Armstrong, who had followed Jobling, to attack him with a stick and a stone.
Both men then ran away, leaving Fairles seriously injured.
Two hours later, Jobling was arrested on South Shields beach. Armstrong, an ex-seaman, apparently returned to sea.
After his arrest Jobling was taken to Fairles’s home, and it was established that he had been present but had not taken part in the assault.
Jobling was returned to Durham Jail, and after Fairles died of his injuries on June 21, he was charged with murder.
Jobling was tried at Durham Assizes on Wednesday, August 1. The jury took just 15 minutes to reach a guilty verdict.
The sentence was that Jobling be hanged from a gibbet erected in Jarrow Slake, near the scene of the attack.
The judge in the case 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.”
Jobling was the last man to be gibbeted in the north east.
He was hanged on August 3.
After Jobling was taken from the scaffold, his clothes were removed and his body covered in pitch.
He was then riveted into a cage made of flat iron bars. His feet were placed in stirrups, from which bars of iron went up each side of his head, ending in a ring, from which the cage was suspended.
Jobling’s hands hung by his sides, and his head was covered with a white cloth obscuring his face.
In a horse-drawn wagon on Monday, August 6, his body was taken to Jarrow Slake, escorted by a troop of hussars and two companies of infantry.
The gibbet was fixed upon a stone sunk into the slake, and the heavy wooden uprights were reinforced with steel bars to prevent them being sawn through.
At high tide, the water covered up to 5ft of the gibbet, leaving a further 16ft to 17ft visible.
Isabella Jobling, the hanged man’s widow, had a cottage near the slake, so she would have been able to see her husband clearly for the three weeks he was left on display.
On August 31, after the guard on the corpse was removed, Jobling’s friends stole his body. Its whereabouts are still unknown.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28 mm lens, 1/4000 second, f5.6, iso 200