The life and death of Spence Broughton, executed in 1792 for his part in robbing the Sheffield and Rotherham mail, is the subject of Rob Hindle‘s dramatic poem-sequence The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman (first published by Longbarrow Press in June 2009 and reissued this autumn). Broughton’s body was gibbeted at the scene of the crime on Attercliffe Common (between Sheffield and Rotherham), where it hung for 36 years (read Hindle’s further reflections on Broughton in ‘Haunts‘).
On 28 October 2012, Hindle (with guest readers) will perform the sequence at Hill Top Chapel, Attercliffe, Sheffield (see the Events page for details).
Manufacture of the Gibbet Iron
They have been up all night,
bending the rolled iron,
hammering the rivets in.
Now it hangs on its hook
turning idly in the first light:
against the black bricks,
the forged outline of a man.
Listen to Rob Hindle and Ray Hearne perform this poem (with introduction) here.