James Berry was born in 1852, and before becoming the executioner of 134 people, he had worked as a policeman, a joiner, a mechanic, and a shoe salesman. His first job was the execution of Robert Flockhart Vickers and William Innes in Edinburgh. His fee was 10 pounds per hanging, plus travelling expenses, and he earned a little extra from selling his used ropes to collectors. After retiring at the age of 39, he did lectures and wrote a book on his experiences. In later life he took to drinking and evangelism, speaking out against the death sentence, and whereas he had previously entertained audiences with tales of grisly executions, he later told tales of death cell repentances. He died in 1913 and is buried in Bradford. Source - Family Tree Magazine, July 2001.
You can buy a reprint of his memoirs, "My Experiences as an Executioner" from www.lulu.com.
This site prints a copy on order, previously this book was only available through second hand dealers at ridiculous prices. The direct link is http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/my-experiences-as-an-executioner/336242?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1
Also recommended is "Executioner" by Stewart P Evans.
His business card
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