In 18th century England crowds flocked to public hangings held in a carnival-like atmosphere.
A similar scene was enacted outside the Launceston gaol in Paterson Street in 1853, when thousands gathered to view the execution of James Dalton and Edward Kelly.
Both men were transported to Van Diemen's Land for theft, Dalton in 1836 aged 16 and Kelly in 1842 when he was only 12.
Dalton suffered excessive and harsh punishment and, in 1844, he absconded, committed an armed robbery and was sentenced to death. This was later commuted to transportation to Norfolk Island for life.
Kelly was sent to Point Puer boys' prison and in 1848 gained his freedom, only to be found guilty of stealing in 1849 and sentenced to another seven years.
He subsequently escaped, committed two robberies, and was also sent to Norfolk Island.
In the early 1850s, as the Norfolk Island settlement was disbanded, both Dalton and Kelly were returned to Van Diemen's Land.
On December 16, 1852 they escaped from Port Arthur and conducted a raid on Bona Vista near Avoca.
During the attack constable Thomas Buckmaster was shot dead.
Evading police, the duo travelled from Avoca to Forth, and made an incredible escape across Bass Strait in a stolen whaleboat.
Late one night, in a Melbourne coffee shop, Dalton attempted to exchange Van Diemen's Land banknotes for gold. He was due to embark on a ship for England next day at first light.
His enquiry to the proprietor was overheard by another customer, a former police cadet.
Pretending to be a gold broker, the man lured Dalton to his "office" off Little Collins Street - in reality the rear entrance of the Swanston Street watchhouse. Kelly was arrested on the Melbourne wharves soon after.
The exploits of Dalton and Kelly generated enormous public interest.
When they arrived back in Launceston on the steamer Clarence on February 11, 1853, they were escorted to the gaol by 14 policemen and hundreds of people.
The Launceston Court House was packed for their trial. Both were found guilty and sentenced to death.
A crowd of 2000, including women and children, turned out to the gallows on April 26 to see them swing.
In his dying speech Dalton attempted to save Kelly by taking the blame.
He admitted the murder, saying it was provoked by injustice and mistreatment.
His words elicited the sympathy of the crowd, but it was to no avail. After shaking hands with those on the platform, the pair were hanged.