Tipperary Bill. William Morris.
William Morris plays the role of offsider to Bully Hayes. The articles below tell of his execution for the murder of Thomas Doak in San Francisco.
Of interest to us is his movements across the world. No doubt of Irish descent you will remember from our maps page that it was a Morris that ran the Telegraph Inn at Campaspie, Victoria in early 1850's.
Several men with different spellings of the name Morris are listed as passengers aboard the Madagascar however we believe William Morris would have travelled as crew alongside Bully Hayes.
Weekly Stockton Democrat
Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA
Sunday, 19 June 1859
HANGING of WM. MORRIS, alias TIPPERRARY BILL -- William MORRIS was hung in San Francisco on Saturday, 10th inst., convicted of the murder of W.M. DOAKE. The house tops surrounding the jail were covered with men, women and children, to witness the execution. The officers cleared the house tops, but the heights overlooking the scene were covered with people. The last words he uttered, after kissing the crucifix, before the fatal noose was adjusted, were: "For all the sins I have ever committed, I pray God to forgive me; I forgive all who has wronged me; God be with you all, and pray God bless you all; good-bye."
BY TELEGRAPH TO THE UNION.
BY THE STATS TELEGRAPH LINE.
San Francisco News — Execution of William Morris, alias Tlpperary Bill —His Diug Arrivals— Later from Victoria. San Francisco, June 10th. About five hundred people congregated in and about the County Jail, to-day, to see the execution of William Morris, alias Tipperary Bill. There was very little excitement. At the appointed hour, 12>_ o'clock, the door which opens from the north side of the Jail gallery into the yard was opened, and the officers, with the criminal, accompanied by two Father Confessors, made their appearance and ascended the gallows. Officer Ellis read the warrant for the execution. After the reading was concluded, the prisoner, with crucifix in band, stepped forward, and, in a firm but mild voice, said :
Gentlemen : I wish it to be understood that I leave behind me no verbal or written statement of any part of my career. I am willing to offer my life to God, as a sacrifice for the part, and hope that it may be accepted. God be with you all, and bless you. I forgive, and desire to be forgiven by, every person, and I ask your prayers for my forgiveness for all that is past.
Morris then stepped back, upon the drop, and, kneeling down, he repeated, with Father Peter, the Apostles' Creed, as received by the Roman Catholic Church. At the conclusion of this devotional exercise, he arose, shook hands with his spiritual advisers, and signified his readiness for death. He ascended the steps with no signs of trepidation. His was the firmest tread of the entire ascending company. When he arrived upon the platform, the Deputy Sheriff pinioned his arms, and the black cup was drawn over his eyes. At twenty minutes to one, Sheriff Doane unlatched the spring in the slide, and William Morris was hanging by the neck. The descent of the body was followed by a nervous straightening or stretch of the legs and a slight movement of the fingers. In less than one minute all perceptible movement, even of the slightest degree, had passed forever. At the expiration of twelve minutes, Dr. Ayers felt the pulse beating, but in three minutes more the blood had ceased to stir. At the end of half an hour, a plain cherry coffin was brought up the yard, and placed under the drop. In it was placed the body of the criminal. The cap was taken from his face, when it was plainly discoverable that death had been caused instantly by the breaking of the neck and not by strangulation. The corpse had every appearance of that of a man who bad died a natural death.