‘The small, secluded romantic village of Dallowgill, in the West-riding of this country, has, during the past week, been thrown into the greatest alarm and excitement, by the sudden and mysterious death of a person named Robert Lofthouse.’

 The deceased, a 26-year-old local clogmaker, had been poisoned. His wife, Ursula Lofthouse, was subsequently charged with his wilful murder.

Ursula had married Robert at St. Andrew’s Church in Kirkby Malzeard in 1832, when she was 23 years old. She gave birth to their daughter a year later. But all was not well in the family home, for by the end of November 1834, just two years into their marriage, Robert was dead and Ursula stood accused of poisoning her husband.

Ursula Lofthouse was eventually found guilty of his murder and became the last woman to be publicly executed in York.

This is her story, told through a compilation of contemporary press reports, which retain the language of the time and allow the voices of those who were present to be heard once again.

 

The research into the life of Ursula Lofthouse was carried out by Jonathan Price, a former teacher and a volunteer at Ripon museums. While volunteering at the police museum, Jonathan was involved in local school visits, recounting the story of two poacher brothers from Pateley Bridge called the Sinklers, and Samuel Winn and Thomas Sweeting, the city’s first policemen. When he was researching the brothers, crime, and early policing in nineteenth century Ripon, many other stories with connections with Ripon began to emerge. One of them, the story of Ursula Lofthouse, he deemed worthy of further investigation.


Read the full story of Ursula Lofthouse

Latest Updates on Twitter

Know your way around archival records? Fancy uncovering the history of security and the security industry? 🔐 Apply to join this exciting @ahrcpress project! Any queries, just get in touch @BritSocCrim @CCJSLeeds #HCNet #twitterstorians https://jobs.leeds.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=ESLLW1153

We've just put 32 new petitioners' stories online!

You'll find rebels, murderers, playhouse-managers, and Frenchmen, all trying to use the #PowerOfPetitioning to woo Charles II.

Read them for yourself here: https://petitioning.history.ac.uk/investigating-petitioners/petitioners-in-the-reign-of-charles-ii-1660-1685/

Tickets for our March @CrimSocHull @cccjhull @UniOfHull
Rising Star Guest Speaker: Dr Zoe Alker are now available. Don't miss out on your free online place.
Book now: https://bit.ly/3al2VyI 🚓

Public History Research Seminar, 4pm this Friday: Dr Gillian O'Brien, 'A Captive Audience: Prison Museums and Dark Tourism?' Email happhistseminars2021@gmail.com to attend. All Welcome! @gillianmobrien @HAPPatQUB @QUB_History @qubpublichist @LJMU

1/ Today's #lostprisonsofDublin is the City Marshalsea, a debtors prison which from 1704 to 1805 was located on Merchant’s Quay between Skipper's Lane and Swan Alley. The inmates would cry out to passers-by for charity to pay for their maintenance or discharge their debts.

If you missed our webinar on the subject of criminal mugshots, which was part of @GraniteNoirFest, you can catch up via this link:

Phil Astley - Criminal Portraits webinar - Granite Noir 2021 https://youtu.be/UFcOG_7Cv0I via @YouTube

18th century. Liverpool's most feared press gang leaders were 'Jack the Nabber' (a 'piratical-looking scoundrel') and 'Irish John' who led a 'motely crew of desperados'. They would invade brothels and inns to kidnap sailors in the face of strong opposition from the townspeople.

3

New boundary signs for the city went up at the weekend, so for #MapMonday here's a map of the city's boundaries in 1930. #Hull as yet to extend to its current area to the west and north.
@Hullccnews @Hull_Museums @hull_libraries

Our asylum team continues the story of Orlando Bridgeman, as concern grows at the family home of Weston Hall when letters about his condition continue to arrive. Read more https://staffordshireasylumrecords.wordpress.com/patients/ #staffsasylums (image Weston Hall, County Archaeology Dept/staffspasttrack.org.uk)