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Mary Ann Cotton and Arsenic Poisoning in the Victorian Era

40-year-old Mary Ann Cotton was arrested in West Auckland, County Durham, in 1872 after her stepson, Charles Edward Cotton, was found to have been poisoned by arsenic. During the nineteenth century, arsenic was readily available and could be bought, unregulated, from most grocers. In this special blog, using pages from the British Newspaper Archive, we explore the crimes of Mary Ann Cotton, and how arsenic played a deadly role in everyday life.   Want to learn more? Register now and

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Headlines from History – October crimes and punishment

Kray twins portraits

Throughout the month of October, The British Newspaper Archive will take a closer look at stories of crime, courts, and punishment in the papers.  We have pulled together some headlines from the month of October including a riot, a case of arsenic poisoning, a couple of London’s notorious criminals, and a political crime. Register now! 4 October 1936 The Battle of Cable Street took place in London’s East End on the day of a scheduled march by Oswald Mosley’s right wing

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Your newspaper discoveries: The case of the poisonous Bath buns

Michelle Higgs, author of A Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England, got in touch to share this shocking story she found in The British Newspaper Archive. What have you found in the newspapers? Let us know by emailing press@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk ************** Victorian Britain was a hazardous place to live, and not just because there was a potential accident around every corner. The trading standards and food hygiene we take for granted today simply didn’t exist, so shoppers often risked illness or even

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