Trial of Mary Ann Higgins
Thursday 31st October

On 22 March 1831 William Higgins died an agonising death at his house on Spon Street. He was a relatively wealthy man, and acted as sole guardian to his niece, nineteen year old Mary Ann.

On the day of William’s death Mary Ann purchased arsenic from a chemist, supposedly to eliminate rats. Surgeons later discovered arsenic in William’s stomach, and even in his pea soup.

Mary Ann eventually confessed to the poisoning but claimed that Edward Clarke, a watchmaking apprentice who had been courting her, had coerced her into taking her uncle’s life.

Organised by local social historians Adam Wood and Jo Phillips, this recreation of the trial uses a transcript of the 1831 proceedings. Hear the evidence word for word and decide for yourself – was Mary Ann Higgins guilty of murder?


Thu 31 Oct
Book Online

Age guidance: Considered suitable for ages 14+
Running time: 2 hours

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