Perhaps from Jack, the proper name + Provincial (English) ketch a hangman, from ketch, for catch to seize; but see the citations below.
A public executioner, or hangman. [England] The manor of Tyburn was formerly held by Richard Jaquett, where felons for a long time were executed; from whence we have Jack Ketch. Lloyd's MS. British Museum. [Monmouth] then accosted John Ketch, the executioner, a wretch who had butchered many brave and noble victims, and whose name has, during a century and a half, been vulgarly given to all who have succeeded him in his odious office. Macaulay.
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