The Last Man In England To Be Gibbeted, James Cook.

The hunt for James Cook.

A warrant was issued, but James Cook had already fled to Loughborough, whence he took a coach to Manchester, leaving his father and brother to be arrested and charged with connivance.

A reward of £200 was offered for his capture. Half from the Home Secretary and the other half raised by Mr Paas’s business partners.  The whole of Leicester could talk of nothing else.

The law acted with remarkable speed. Mr G. Owston, the high constable, and Mr Cummins, an officer, was posted to Liverpool and they traced Cook to Seacombe (Cheshire) where he had embarked a rowing boat for the ship, “Carle of Calton”, under the alias of “Perry”.

The ship was anchored 5 miles off of Liverpool and was waiting to sail on the 3.a.m. tide to America. The police officers spotted the skiff at 2:30.a.m. and made their move.

With difficulty, the officers of the law overhauled the skiff, and when they actually did so Cook jumped overboard and swam ashore.

But he was overtaken, and Cook attempted to seal his fate by trying to swallow a bottle of laudanum, but this was prevented.

James Cook was Identified by a Magistrates Court in Liverpool and was then transported back to Leicester for Trial.

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