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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Killer cremated after 180 years
Corder hearse
A single hearse carries Corder's remains to the crematorium
Almost 180 years after being hanged for a notorious murder in Suffolk, the remains of William Corder have been cremated.

Corder, who shot then stabbed his lover, Maria Marten, in Polstead in 1827, was hanged in Bury St Edmunds.

Linda Nessworthy, a descendant, lobbied for five years for the Royal College of Surgeons to release his skeleton.

The college agreed and arranged the cremation at South London Crematorium in Streatham.

The killer's scalp and a book bound in his skin are still held at the Moyses Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds.

Maria Marten
Maria Marten was shot and stabbed at Polstead's Red Barn in 1827
Mrs Nessworthy was among a handful of people at the crematorium on Monday.

"It's actually such a relief to get here because it has taken years to get to this point. It is nice to be able to put the final chapter together for William and lay him to rest," she said.

"It was almost like we were giving him a service that would release him - that he was going home. That's what is felt like so that was why it was very emotional."

She conceded that Corder, who confessed to the murder the night before he was hanged, was a villain.

"But at the end of the day he was a human being and had a right to be laid to rest," she said

Now there are plans to bury his ashes with a special service in the churchyard in Polstead, burial place of the lover he murdered.

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