Well, ladies and gents!
In Victorian England, the horror and the killings were very popular. People loved reading supernatural horror stories in literary books, but also real killer stories in newspapers. The British interest in that news was so great that free leaflets were circulated on the streets to inform anyone who had not bought a newspaper about the latest gruesome assassination.
The perpetrators became famous in one day. Songs were written about them and the news about their actions created a whole myth around their name. It was such an effort to beautify the perpetrators, so from short, fat and ugly, they were “transformed” into tall, good-looking and charming men. Fascinating!
People lived the perpetrators’ murder stories with mixed feelings of terror and admiration. This strange situation created a morbid fashion that even required the creation of souvenirs after every murder. People were making and selling ceramic statues depicting murder scenes or the killers themselves. Weird, right?
Well keep reading, hun, it is becoming weirder! 🙂
Red Barn Murder
A crime that happened in 1827 and shocked England…
A young woman, Maria Marten, was murdered by her fiancé, William Corder, who buried her under the Red Barn, a well-known spot in Polstead, Suffolk, England. He had been telling her family for a long time that Maria had become his wife and they were staying in Ipswich, away from them.
Her family’s suspicions were raised when her mother-in-law dreamed that Maria was dead and buried under the “Red Barn”. They searched and found her corpse. Police found Corder in London, where he had been married and living with his family. He was hanged in 1828 and 7,000 people gathered in the square to see his execution.
The statuettes created in honor of the murder were sold at auction in 2010 for $17,937. Can you imagine that?!
Charles Dickens called him “the worst man ever to stand trial“.
It was William Palmer, the doctor who had poisoned his family to get insurance money. There were suspicions that he had poisoned many of his patients as well, namely four children who had been in crisis before getting one-year-old.
The money he got from killing his mother, brother, wife and best friend was spent on cards and on the race track. He was executed in June 1856 in front of a crowd exceeding 30,000 people.
In 1849 Frederick George Manning and his wife, Marie Manning, killed her lover, Patrick O’Connor.
Her relationship with the wealthy O’Connor began before she got married and continued after her marriage. Two years later, she arranged with her husband to kill him and steal his money and his railroad shares.
In the end, they both intended to betray each other. Marie left without telling Frederick anything, taking O’Connor’s money with her. Frederick was planning to do just that, but he didn’t have the time. They were arrested and executed in November 1849. It was the first married couple to be hanged simultaneously since 1700!
Murders at Stanfield Hall
Isaac Jermy and his son were murdered in 1848 by James Bloomfield Rush, a farmer who rented one of their farms.
Rush was unable to pay the rent and planned to kill the entire Jermy family, including his son’s pregnant wife. He intended to disguise himself before the assassination so that the suspicions would fall on the men who were pressuring Jermy to sell his land. It’s like a movie script, right?
His plan failed and Rush was hanged in 1849. His story did not only inspire ceramic figurines, but entire books, written by Joseph Shearing…
Well, that’s it, sweetie!
Thank you for reading this article of mine! Please let me know your thoughts about it—did you enjoy it?
If there is anything else you’d be interested in reading about the Regency Era, feel free to let me know…
…and who knows? Maybe you will read about it soon!
Written by Olivia Bennet