[Sir James Graham, Home Secretary.] Autograph Letter Signed ('J R G Graham') to unnamed recipient, announcing his decision to remit the death sentence passed on Robert Sandys of Stockport, convicted of poisoning his children.

Sir James Graham [Sir James Robert George Graham] (1792-1861), 2nd Baronet, Tory Home Secretary, 1841-1846 [Robert Sandys of Stockport, poisoner]
Publication details: 
Whitehall. 24 April 1842.
SKU: 14285

The case was fully reported in The Times, with the issue for 14 April 1842 reporting the pronouncing of the sentence of death on 'Robert Sandys, a stout built Irishman, having a pale and haggard appearance, who was found guilty at the last assizes for this county [Chester] of the diabolical murder of his children by poison, in order to obtain a few pounds from a burial society of which he was a member'. 4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Headed 'Private' by Graham. Writing to someone closely connected with the trial, Graham begins: 'My dear Sir | I have sincere pleasure in informing you, that after the most anxious and mature deliberation I have made up my mind to advise the Crown to remit the Sentence of Death passed on Robert Sandys, and to commute it to Transportation for Life.' He explains that he has had 'great difficulty in arriving at this conclusion'. While he believes that 'the Verdict is consistent with the Truth, and that the Prisoner is guilty of a wilful and cruel murder, yet the Evidence given on the Trial was not conclusive in your judgment, and does not appear satisfactory to me'. He hopes that he has 'discharged my duty in leaning to the side of mercy in a Case so doubtful and so long suspended as this'. He concludes in thanking him for his 'great assistance', 'the promptness with which you communicated your own impressions' and 'the clearness with which you stated to me the result of the Evidence'.