Walton Prison’s First Execution: Elizabeth Berry, Serial Poisoner?

Originally posted on HistorianRuby: An Historian's Miscellany:
Thirty-two years after being built, Walton Prison in Liverpool witnessed its first execution. On 14 March 1887, Elizabeth Berry suffered the ignominy of being the first prisoner and one of only two women to be executed there. The execution chamber was hastily built. It appears that a reprieve for the prisoner was expected and when this was… Continue reading Walton Prison’s First Execution: Elizabeth Berry, Serial Poisoner?

Cesar Picton: an African in Georgian Britain

Cesar Picton was born in Senegal in 1755 but was taken to Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire, as a boy in  November 1761. The castle belonged to Sir John Philipps, Baronet and MP for Pembrokeshire. Philipps described his journey to Norbiton, near Kingston upon Thames, where he had a home, with ‘a black boy from Senegal given to me by Captain Parr, a paraquet [parakeet] and a … Continue reading Cesar Picton: an African in Georgian Britain

William Marsden Lived Here

A blue plaque commemorating the founder of the Royal Free and Royal Marsden Hospitals adorns a townhouse in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Marsden was born in Yorkshire in 1796 and after his apprenticeship to an apothecary moved to London. He studied surgery at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and qualified as a surgeon in 1827. He opened what became known as the Royal Free Hospital as sick people … Continue reading William Marsden Lived Here

Oscar Wilde at the Old Bailey

25 March 1895 Oscar Wilde was largely the architect of his own downfall. He was jailed on 25 May 1895 after an investigation into his private life. Reacting to what amounted to being ‘outed’, Wilde brought a public prosecution against the Marquess of Queensbury. It was this court case that brought his lifestyle under criminal and public scrutiny. John Sholto Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry, was … Continue reading Oscar Wilde at the Old Bailey

Jack the Ripper: the Whitechapel Murderer

In the early hours of 31 August 1888, a killer came out of the shadows in the narrow streets of Whitechapel, London, and claimed the first of his five victims. On the 9 November 1888, after slaughtering his final victim he evaporated seemingly into thin air. Who was the notorious Jack the Ripper? With a list of suspects that seems to grow at least one … Continue reading Jack the Ripper: the Whitechapel Murderer

24 May 1819: the Birth of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, born Alexandrina Victoria, was born 199 years ago today. She was the daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Edward was the fourth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. She became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. On 1 May 1876, Queen … Continue reading 24 May 1819: the Birth of Queen Victoria