History, Politics & Society
Jane Bell of Laceby, Elizabeth Dodds of Wrangle and Ellen Green of Fishtoft were three Lincolnshire women put on trial between 1845 and 1875 for killing their husbands with large quantities of arsenic, but were judged to be innocent of the crime.
This latest book by Malcolm Moyes on nineteenth-century Lincolnshire poison trials is a comprehensive examination of the circumstantial evidence against the women, which was often constructed from unsavoury rumours, village gossip and downright lies. It is also a critical analysis of the varied key factors which probably led to the acquittal of the women, despite all the odds.
Whilst all three women were saved from the hangman’s noose, the final verdict of the jury may still leave the modern reader with some doubts and question marks concerning the innocence of the women, as it did with a number of contemporary commentators on the cases.
Malcolm Moyes is the author of By Force of Circumstances: the Lefley Case Reopened and Attired in Deepest Mourning – Eliza Joyce, Mary Ann Milner and Priscilla Biggadike, both published by Troubador.
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