William Godwin's Diary


Edward Despard (1751–1803), an Irish-born British colonel, was arrested in November 1802 for high treason. He was accused of liaising between the United Irishmen and the United Britons with regard to simultaneous uprisings in both countries and a plot to take the Tower of London, and the Bank of England, as well as to assassinate the king. Although the jury recommended clemency, and Nelson gave a dramatic statement as a character witness, Despard, along with six co-conspirators, was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Newington, Surrey on the rook of Horsemonger Lane Gaol, Southwark. This was to be the last use of this mode of execution in Britain.

See DNB.