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John Alexander DICKMAN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery in a train
Number of victims: 1 +
Date of murder: March 18, 1910
Date of arrest: 3 days after
Date of birth: May 17, 1864
Victim profile: John Innes Nisbet, 44 (a colliery clerk who had been carrying miners’ pay)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: In a railway carriage outside Newcastle, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging in Newcastle Prison on August 10, 1910

John Alexander Dickman was convicted of the murder of John Innes Nisbet who was forty four, a wages clerk, who was murdered in a railway carriage outside Newcastle.

On the morning of Friday 18 March, the slow train from Newcastle to Morpeth pulled in at the small town of Alnmouth. A porter opened a door and found the body of Nisbet under a seat. He had been shot dead and robbed of his satchel containing almost 400.

Witnesses recalled seeing Nisbet board the train in the company of another man who had since vanished but was later identified as John Dickman, a professional gambler. When interviewed. he admitted being on the train but denied the murder. His ready replies to their questions drew suspicion upon himself and so a search of his house was made, unearthing a pair of blood stained trousers and a number of gold sovereigns. When placed on an identity parade, he was picked out by several people as Nisbet's travelling companion.

A probe into his background found that he had been having trouble with mounting debts thus supplying a motive. The evidence was all circumstantial but the police believed that they had a strong case and he was committed for trial.

On 4th July he was tried by Lord Coleridge at Newcastle Assizes. Despite evidence that the body had gunshot wounds from two different guns - suggesting the work of two killers - Dickman was convicted. Passing the death sentence, Lord Coleridge added: 'In your hunger for gold you had no pity on the victim you slew.'

The conviction caused a public outcry, and a mass protest took place outside of the prison while he was hanged by John Ellis and William Willis. The sentence was carried out on forty five year old Dickman on the 9th August 1910 in Newcastle.


Was last hanged man really a murderer?

By Ray Marshall, Evening Chronicle

May 14, 2008

JOHN Alexander Dickman was the last man hanged in a Newcastle jail.

He was executed for the murder of John Innes Nisbet, a colliery clerk from Heaton who had been carrying miners’ pay for Stobswood Colliery.

On Friday, March 18, 1910, Nisbet boarded a train for Stobswood Colliery but never made it; he was found shot in the head five times under a seat of the train at Alnmouth, with the money missing.

But was Dickman framed? And did Sir Winston Churchill have a hand in a cover-up?

Author Diane Janes has researched the subject for her book An Edwardian Murder: Ightham and the Morpeth Train Robbery and will give a talk on the intriguing crime at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle this Friday.

On the train pulling away from Central Station, heading for Alnmouth, were at least three men carrying money collected from a bank in Mosley Street, for wages at different collieries.

Two, John Spink and Percival Hall, sat together in one compartment and acknowledge the third wage carrier, John Nisbet, as he entered another compartment, followed by a man in a raincoat and hat.

When Spink and Hall left the train at Stannington, they nodded goodbye through the window to their friend Nisbet.

Dickman never denied being on the train. He should have left earlier than he did, but went on to Morpeth, paid the excess fare and said he had missed his stop from becoming engrossed in his newspaper.

The train went on and Nisbet was supposed to leave at Widdrington, where someone was waiting for him.

He couldn’t be seen and the train moved on along its route to Alnmouth. “All change,” head porter Tom Charlton’s voice boomed down the platform at Alnmouth. As Charlton made his way down the length of the train, shutting the doors, he noticed a window had been left open and thought he had better close it.

Tom pulled the door open and saw bloodstains on the floor and a pair of smashed glasses.

Then, under a seat, he spotted a body. The face was badly disfigured with bullet holes indicating the man had been shot at point-black range.

Police checked back down the stations and soon realised Nisbet had been slain before Morpeth.

Asking at Morpeth if there had been anyone acting suspiciously when getting off the train, the ticket collector said no, but there was one man who had gone a stop too many and had paid an excess fare.

He added that although there was a train back to Stannington 12 minutes later, the man left the station.

It was soon established that the man in question was John Dickman.

Police investigations revealed that Dickman, after coming into a small amount of money, had turned to gambling and had financial problems.

Dickman admitted taking the journey, but denied being in the compartment with Nisbet.

Even though police produced witnesses saying he was in Nisbet’s company he said they must be mistaken.

They searched his property and found no guns, but they did find a bag from the same bank as the wages were collected from, with 17 sovereigns.

But Dickman also had an account at the same bank.

They asked to see his clothes. Two suits produced nothing. Then a raincoat was found with a stain at the bottom. The stain had been cleaned and police could not establish whether it was blood.

Then a detective found a pair of gloves – with a blood-stain just below the left thumb. Dickman had no explanation. From inside of a pair of trousers there was another stain – as if someone had been putting something (like money?) in the pockets.

After a two-day trial Dickman was found guilty and sentenced to hang.

The verdict created an uproar in legal circles. It was not known for convictions to be accepted merely on circumstantial evidence. Dickman protested his innocence and there were appeals and campaigns, but Home Secretary Winston Churchill refused to commute the sentence.


John Alexander Dickman (17 May 186410 August 1910) was an Englishman hanged for murder.

He was convicted of the murder of John Nisbet, which took place on a train travelling between Newcastle-on-Tyne and Alnmouth, on 18 March 1910. Nisbet had been carrying a bag containing the wages for a colliery. His body was discovered in a train compartment, dead of gunshot wounds and with his bag stolen.

On 6 July Dickman was convicted of the murder of Nisbet, and he was hanged in Newcastle Prison on 10 August.

There was some doubt over the conviction, as it appeared to some people to rest on inconclusive identification evidence. There was a campaign for him to be reprieved, with leaflets distributed in stations. The writer C H Norman was among those who were convinced of John Dickman's innocence. It has also been claimed that Dickman's defence lawyer was incompetent.

The case is not widely remembered today. However it did figure in the 1976 BBC television series Second Verdict, and a 2008 television programme Nightwatch. The latter programme suggested that two witnesses who said they saw Dickman and Nisbet entering the same compartment may even have been the real killers.

However it has been suggested that Dickman was also guilty of two previous murders, of Caroline Mary Luard at Ightham, Kent in 1908 and Hermann Cohen in Sunderland in 1909.


Diane Janes Edwardian Murder: Ightham and the Morpeth Train Robbery (2007)


Caroline Mary Luard (died 24 August 1908) was the victim of an unsolved murder known as the Seal Chart Murder after she was mysteriously shot and killed at an isolated summerhouse in a heavily wooded area near Ightham, Kent. Her husband, Major-General Luard, later committed suicide. It has since been suggested that John Dickman, who was hanged for killing a passenger on a train in 1910 may have been involved in her death.


Caroline Luard was born Caroline Mary Hartley in the last quarter of 1850 in Egremont, Cumberland, youngest daughter of Thomas Hartley of Gillfoot. In the summer of 1875 she married Charles Edward Luard and had two sons by him – Charles Elmhirst Luard, born in August 1876, and Eric Dalbiac Luard, who was born in April 1878. Elmhirst was the surname of Charles Luard’s mother, while Dalbiac referred back to Charles’s ancestor, Captain Peter John Luard, who had married Louisa Dalbiac in about 1783.

Charles Edward Luard was born in Edinburgh in 1839 and was therefore eleven years older than his wife. At the time of his birth his father, Robert Luard, was a Captain in the Royal Artillery. Like many in his family, Luard was a professional soldier and had retired with the rank of Major-General in the Royal Engineers. He had done so despite an incident during his career that might have ruined his chances of promotion. This related to the defeat of British forces by the Zulu at the battle of Isandhlwana in 1879, a reversal that was largely blamed on Colonel Anthony Durnford. However, it was rumoured that Durnford’s orders had been stolen from his body after the battle in order to absolve Lieutenant-General Frederic Augustus Thesiger, the 2nd Baron Chelmsford, and other senior officers of incompetence.

The fight to re-establish Durnford's reputation was led by his brother, Edward Durnford, his fiancée, Miss Frances Ellen Colenso, daughter of John William Colenso, Bishop of Natal, and Charles Edward Luard. Luard made himself party to a letter writing campaign, accusing fellow officers of a conspiracy to blacken Durnford’s name. He was subsequently court martialled and censured for his actions.

Luard had entered the army in 1857 and, in 1867, was executive officer in London during the Fenian disturbances. In the same year he wrote to the Commissioner of the City Police with a report on the defensive state of Newgate Gaol following a visit there in the company of the Commissioner and the City Architect. The letter included a sketch plan for rebuilding part of the prison wall.

He was involved in building the Household Cavalry barracks in Windsor and the United Services Recreation Ground in Portsmouth. It is also said that he devised the scheme for the rearmament of Gibraltar. He served in Bermuda and Corfu as well as in Gibraltar and Natal. At the time of the 1881 Census he was living in Wymering, Hampshire with his wife and two young sons and a staff consisting of a Cook, a Parlour Maid and a Nurse. Six years later he retired and, in 1888, moved to a house named Ightham Knoll just outside the village of Ightham near Sevenoaks in Kent.

Luard served as a Kent County Councillor and was also made a Justice of the Peace. He became a Governor of Shipbourne School, close to his home, where he also performed the role of Local Inspector of Art and Drawing. In January 1899, he published a leaflet entitled ‘An Association of the Managers and Governors of Schools for the Working Classes in the United Kingdom’, being a proposal for the establishment of such an association.

In 1901 he was heavily involved in the establishment of the Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs. This was because the Boer War had shown the vulnerability of the British Army to mere farmers who were able to shoot accurately from long distances. This led to Luard and Earl Roberts recommending that working men should be able to shoot a rifle, so that Britain could defend itself against invasion.

Luard also formed the Patriotic Party in 1907. His wife involved herself in charity work in the neighbourhood. It would be no exaggeration to say that they were pillars of late-Victorian society.

Both of the Luards' sons joined the British Army although, tragically, Eric Luard died in 1903 while still in his mid-twenties from a fever contracted while on service in Africa. His brother, Charles, died in France in September 1914.

The murder

On 24 August 1908, at about 2.30pm, Major-General Luard and his wife left their home and went for a walk with their dog. According to Major-General Luard’s account, they had two very different purposes. He wished to retrieve his golf clubs from the clubhouse at Godden Green Golf Club prior to a holiday that he and his wife were intending to take, while Mrs Luard merely wanted to take some exercise before returning home where she was expecting a Mrs Stewart, wife of a local solicitor, for afternoon tea.

Accordingly, having walked about a mile from their home, along the road that passed close to St Lawrence's Church and the associated school, at 3.00pm they parted ways at a wicket gate. This gate let on to a path that led to a ‘bungalow summer house’ known as ‘La Casa’ which was owned by the Luards’ neighbours, the Wilkinsons of Frankfield House, and which both families were accustomed to use from time to time. Beyond the summer house was a path through the woods which would allow Mrs Luard to return home in good time for her visitor.

Major-General Luard, meanwhile, set off in the direction of the Golf Course and was seen at various times during the next hour. At 3.20pm he was seen by Thomas Durrand at Hall Farm. Between 3.25 and 3.30pm Major-General Luard was observed by a labourer some 400 yards from the golf links, and again, by the same man, between 3.35 and 3.40pm. At 3.35pm he was seen by the Golf Club Steward, on the links.

Having collected his clubs, at 4.05pm Major-General Luard met the local vicar, Rev. A. B. Cotton who was in his motor car and apparently driving in the opposite direction. Cotton nevertheless took Luard's golf clubs, presumably to save him the trouble of carrying them any further and in the expectation of returning shortly in the right direction. This occurred at 4.20pm when Rev. Cotton stopped to pick up Luard, depositing him and his golf clubs at Ightham Knoll at around 4.25pm.

At home Major-General Luard found Mrs. Stewart still awaiting the return of Mrs Luard. Consequently, Luard set off in search of his wife by the woodland route, at approximately 4.30pm, and eventually found her, at about 5.15pm, on the verandah of the summer house which was otherwise locked and empty. She had been shot in the head and her three rings and purse were missing. No cartridges were found at the scene, merely some “disappearing footprints”.

The time of Mrs Luard's murder was estimated to be 3.15pm, when Major-General Luard was walking towards the Golf Clubhouse. Three shots were heard at about that time by two witnesses – Annie Wickham (55), a long-standing local resident and wife of a coachman, and Daniel Kettel (58), a gardener. Annie claimed the shots came from the direction of the summer house. She was at the Wilkinson's home at Frankfield House at the time – about 500 yards from the summer house.

The aftermath

Scotland Yard was immediately involved in the investigation and two bloodhounds, named Sceptre and Solferino, owned by a Major Richardson of Stratford-upon-Avon, were brought in to sniff out the route by which the killer had made his escape. However, the trail apparently went cold at the main road.

The initial inquest hearing into Mrs Luard's death was held at Ightham Knoll, the Luard’s own home, on 26 August 1908. Dr Mansfield, who had carried out the post-mortem examination of Mrs Luard, reported that she had initially been hit on the back of the head and that the blow had been of sufficient force to knock her to the ground, where she had vomited. Her killer had then shot her behind her right ear, with a second shot being fired into her left cheek.

Prior to the inquest Luard had been encouraged to write an account of the events of the afternoon of 24 August, about which he was questioned at some length. In describing his discovery of his wife’s body he stated that, ‘I then examined her dress and found that it was torn. Her pocket at the back of the skirt had been torn open. One of her gloves, which was lying near, was inside out, as though it had been torn off. She had both gloves on when she left me. I then looked at her hands, and saw that her rings were missing. She wore all her rings on the left hand, and always wore them, except when she washed her hands. One of the rings was over a hundred years old. It was an heirloom given her by her mother. It was of an old design of mounting.'

Luard admitted that he owned three revolvers. However, he claimed to be unable to remember where he kept his ammunition. London gun expert Edwin Churchill stated that, after examining the two bullets, he had concluded that they had come from a .320 revolver, which had been fired when the gun was no more than a few inches away from Mrs Luard's head. He also said that none of Luard's own revolvers would have been capable of firing such bullets, since his guns were all of much smaller calibre.

The police hoped that the pocket that had been ripped off the dress would lead them to her murderer; however, it was found at Ightham Knoll, on the day before Mrs Luard's funeral, by a maid who was shaking out the sheet in which her body had been carried back to the house from 'La Casa'. It was also hoped that the rings would be sold or pawned and so provide a trail to the murderer, but they were never seen again.

The inquest resumed a fortnight later at the George & Dragon Inn, Ightham. General Luard was again questioned and was asked by the coroner if he was aware of 'any incident in the life of the deceased or yourself which in your opinion would cause any person to entertain any feelings of revenge or jealously towards either of you?' Luard replied 'No' and said that neither of them had ever received letters suggesting that there had been such an incident. He also denied the allegation that his wife had received a letter prior to her death from someone seeking to make an appointment with her.

Since Mrs Luard's death, a whispering campaign had been under way that suggested that her husband was the murderer and that the theft of her rings was merely a device to throw the police off his track. Now Luard began to receive anonymous letters accusing him of the shooting. The volume of these letters and their vitriolic contents apparently persuaded him that he should leave the district and he advertised the remainder of the lease on Ightham Knoll for sale and made arrangements to have the house's contents put up for auction. In the meantime he was aware that his son, having learnt of his mother's death, was returning from South Africa to be with him and would be arriving in Southampton on 18 September.

Luard was invited to stay with Colonel Charles Edward Warde, the local Member of Parliament and brother of the Chief Constable of Kent, Henry Warde. Colonel Warde collected him at the end of the inquest proceedings on 17 September and drove him to his home, Barham Court, near Wateringbury. In the morning, Luard bathed and breakfasted, and then spent some time writing letters to his son and to Colonel Warde. He then walked to the railway line at Teston, hid in some bushes and jumped in front of the 9.09 train from Maidstone West to Tonbridge. He had pinned a note to his coat saying, 'Whoever finds me take me to Colonel Warde'.

On hearing of Luard's death, Colonel Warde went to Southampton and broke the news of his father's death to Captain Charles Luard in the cabin of the steamer on which he had just arrived.

The eventual verdict of the inquest on Mrs Luard was 'murder by person or persons unknown'. Later on, it was determined that General Luard had committed 'suicide while temporarily insane'.

A month later it was reported that an Inspector Jarvis of Scotland Yard had been in Winnipeg for three weeks and expected to apprehend Mrs Luard's murderer at any moment. Jarvis was said to be in Canada, on no salary, purely in the expectation that he would receive the £1,000 reward that was on offer for the killer's arrest. However, no arrest was ever made.

The idea that the murderer was a gypsy, hop-picker or itinerant, with a revolver in his pocket, who was prepared to perpetrate a random killing for the sake of a few rings (of which he would have been unaware until he tore the glove from Mrs Luard's dead hand) is not widely supported. The police seem to have come to the realisation that the killer was known to Mrs Luard, that the crime was planned and that the theft of the rings was an attempt to mislead them about the motive for the murder.

There has been speculation that the killer was John Dickman who, in 1910, was sentenced to death for the murder of a man named Nisbet on a train in Morpeth. Dickman's conviction was considered unsafe by a number of people, including five of the jury that found him guilty and who later signed a petition calling for him to be reprieved. Sir Sidney Orme Rowan-Hamilton, who was Chief Justice of Bermuda in the 1930s and who wrote a book about the Dickman case in 1914, seems to have been convinced that Dickman murdered Mrs Luard. He believed that she had responded to an advertisement that Dickman had placed in The Times, asking for financial help, by sending him a cheque. Dickman had subsequently forged this cheque - presumably by changing the amount - and when Mrs Luard discovered this, she contacted him and arranged to meet him without her husband's knowledge.

It has also been claimed that the judge who tried Dickman, the three Appeal Court judges who heard and rejected his appeal, and the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, who refused to commute his death sentence, were all friends of Major-General Luard and bent on avenging his and his wife's death.


John Alexander Dickman

John Dickman was born in Newcastle on 17th May 1864. His mother, Zelina Royer Dickman, died while giving birth to a fourth child. Soon afterwards, the three surviving children were sent to live with relatives.

After leaving school Dickman went to work for his father, who ran a successful farming and butchery business in Great Lumley, County Durham. Dickman disliked this work and eventually found employment as a clerk with a company called Mason & Barry in Wallsend. Later he worked as a clerk with shipowners Dixon, Robson & Company.

In January, 1892, Dickman married a young schoolteacher called Annie Bainbridge. After several years of financial stability, Dickman lost his job in 1901 with Dixon's and he was out of work for several months before finding employment as secretary with a colliery in Morpeth.

In 1906 Dickman arranged for the Morpeth Colliery Company to be sold to Moore, Brown & Fletcher. Although the transaction put him out of a job, Dickman received a commission of over £500, which was equivalent of several years' wages. Soon afterwards, a distant relative left him £200 in her will.

Dickman decided to use this money to become a professional gambler. He claims this venture was a success but there is evidence that by 1909 he was experiencing money problems and owed several hundreds of pounds to moneylenders.

On 21st March, 1910, Dickman was arrested and questioned him about the murder of John Nisbet. He was searched and he was found to be carrying £17 9s 5d. The £370 stolen from Nisbet was never found. Nor did the police find the gun that killed Nisbet although they did find evidence that he had purchased a revolver in October 1909.

At his trial Dickman claimed that although he knew John Nisbet he did not travel with him on 18th March, 1910. He admitted that he travelled on the same train as Nisbet but not the same carriage. Dickman pointed out he bought a ticket to Stannington Station as he intended to visit William Hogg at Dovecot Colliery. However, he missed his station and got out at Morpeth Station instead. The prosecution made the point that the bag that Nisbet had used to carry the £370 was found at the bottom of Isabella Pit, a disused mine shaft near Morpeth.

Charles Raven, a commercial traveller, claimed he knew both Dickman and Nisbet and saw them walking together on the way to Platform 5 of Newcastle Station. In court Dickman claimed he did not know Raven.

Another witness, Wilson Hepple, had known Dickman for over twenty years. He claimed he saw Dickman get on the train with Nisbet. Hepple also confirmed that when the police reconstructed the crime, he correctly identified the carriage where Nisbet's body was found.

Percival Hall, also a colliery cashier, took the same journey as Nisbet every Friday. He saw Nisbet at Newcastle Station with a man he later identified as Dickman. When he got out at Stannington Station he acknowledged Nisbet who was still on the train.

Cicely Nisbet also identified Dickman as the man sitting in the same carriage as her husband at Heaton Station. John Athey, the ticket collector who had been on duty at Morpeth confirmed that Dickman had got off the 10.27 train at his station. His ticket was for Stannington and so paid Athey the excess fare.

Professor Robert Boland of Durham University gave evidence as a doctor of medicine. Boland had examined Dickman's clothing and argued that he had found blood on a glove and on a pair of trousers that he had worn on the day of the murder. Boland also pointed out in court that Dickman's Burberry overcoat shown signs of being rubbed vigorously with paraffin, a substance that was used at the time for removing blood stains.

John Badcock gave evidence on behalf of the National Provincial Bank. He stated that at the time of Nisbet's murder, Dickman was overdrawn at the bank. Robert Sedcole on behalf of Lloyds Bank told a similar story. James Paisley of the Co-operative Society claimed that in October 1907 Annie Dickman had £73 in her account. However, by March 1910, this had fallen to £4. It seems that the £700 John Dickman had in 1906 had all been spent. Superintendent John Weddell also stated in court that when Dickman was searched after the murder he had tickets that showed he had several items with local pawnbrokers.

Dickman was the only defence witness. He admitted travelling on the 10.27 train on Friday 18th March, 1910. However, he denied sitting in the same carriage as John Nisbet. Dickman said he was so busy reading his newspaper he could not recall who else was in his carriage. Although he knew Nisbet he argued he was unaware that he collected the wages for the colliery every Friday.

Dickman was found guilty of the murder of Nisbet on 6th July, 1910, and sentenced to death. Dickman responded to the verdict with the claim: "I can only repeat that I am entirely innocent of this cruel deed. I have no complicity in this crime, and I have spoken the truth in my evidence, and in everything I have said."

A campaign was immediately started to get the verdict overturned. An advertisement appeared in national newspapers. "Execution of Dickman on purely circumstantial evidence. Protest by postcard to the Home Secretary, London. Sympathisers please repeat in local papers."

On 27th July, 1910, the governor of Newcastle Prison received a letter signed by C.A. Mildoning, claiming that he had travelled with John Nisbet in the train from Newcastle, "shot him, then jumped out of the moving train in advance of Morpeth Station". It ended that "one murder is quite enough for me to do without being the cause of an innocent man being hung."

On 6th August, 1910, C. H. Norman published an article in the Daily News entitled Ought Dickman be Hanged. Norman was a member of the Society for Abolition of Capital Punishment and the Penal Reform League and led the campaign to get Dickman a retrial. However, his brother, William Dickman, wrote to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle and asked if anybody could possibly believe his brother was innocent unless they "looked at the evidence through smoked glasses." He added: "his own punishment will soon be over, but he has put a blot on the name of his family and all relatives will have to bear the disgrace, not for years, but for generations".

The Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, took a keen interest in the case. He expressed doubts about the blood evidence and asked his civil servants to seek the opinion of another expert. Churchill also instructed Chief Constable Fullarton James to initiate further enquiries about who else got off the 10.27 train at Morpeth Station on the day of the murder.

Churchill also examined the identification evidence. He wrote on the file: "I think Mrs Nisbet's evidence should be disregarded. The strong evidence is that of Raven, Hepple, Hall." Churchill eventually decided that Dickman should be executed. When he heard the news, Dickman told his wife that his conviction was "the greatest outrage ever perpetrated".

C. H. Norman wrote to Winston Churchill arguing that: "Should Dickman be innocent... it would not disturb the digestion or appetite of the gentlemen responsible... to execute a man on suspicion... is a principle so immoral and horrible that it could only emanate from the minds of the Home Office staff".

John Dickman and was hanged in Newcastle Prison on 10th August, 1910. The Newcastle Evening Chronicle reported that Dickman "marched to his execution as erect as a soldier, never flinching, even when the rope came into view."

On 14th August 1910 The People newspaper published an article entitled Was Dickman a Double Murderer?. According to this article, the police had found evidence that connected Dickman to Herman Cohen, a Sunderland moneylender who had been murdered on 8th March, 1909.

In 1925 a person called "Condor" confessed to killing John Nisbet. The document of 40,000 words spread over 205 pages was sent to Truth Magazine. The document was sent to the Home Office but they refused to order the police to discover who had written the confession. It was claimed by Diane Janes (Edwardian Murder) that the confession had been written by C. H. Norman.

In 1949 Clement Atlee set up a Royal Commission to examine the issue of capital punishment. C. H. Norman sent the commission a memorandum concerning the case of John Dickman. He claimed that he had been in communication with Sir Sidney Orme Rowan-Hamilton, who had written a book about the case, The Trial of John Alexander Dickman (1914). According to Norman, Rowan-Hamilton claimed that Dickman not only killed John Nisbet but had been responsible for the death of Caroline Luard as well. In his memorandum Norman argued that Winston Churchill was a good friend of Charles Luard and took part in framing Dickman in order to punish him for killing Luard.


John Alexander Dickman


John Nisbet





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