‘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

New content from ⁦@HistoryWM⁩ ‘Not a penny off' - Birmingham and The General Strike 1926 https://historywm.com/articles/the-1926-general-strike-in-birmingham

We might not have a coastline here in Shropshire but there are plenty of other places to get into the holiday vibe. Can't afford a yacht on the French Riviera? Why not don a bikini and hike a lift on a supplies barge? [Blists Hill PH/M/1/4/128] #HolidayFashion

A house of correction in the 19th century and a women's prison in the 20th, the largest in Western Europe. Holloway Prison needs a fitting legacy. A women's building, with specialist services & accommodation for vulnerable women would be ideal. Read more https://tinyurl.com/277h6yz4

The greatcoats our #Nightwatchmen wore had gone up in price by 5 shillings in 1833 since they’d last been bought in 1828 for 28/5 each – about £100 in today’s money. Fascinating to see how the costs are broken down, such as ‘Altering capes to fit the neck’.
#Textilehistorians

3

Lovely postcard from the collection showing #Manchester Assize courts. Designed by Alfred Waterhouse and completed in 1864 they were demolished in 1957 & suffered heavy damage during the Blitz.

We hold some calendars of prisoners for the Assizes in our collection.

#SecretsOfTheMuseum @V_and_A @BBCTwo female convict prisoners made mosaic tiles which make the beautiful floor in Cast Courts, Room 46 of V&A. Made by women held in Woking convict prison around 1870s/1880s #prisonhistory #prison @prisonhistoryuk @Victorian @YvonneJewkes

New article out now on 'flash houses' - pubs alledgedly used by members of the 'criminal underworld' in 19th-century London: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/09526951211024561

Have you ever wanted to stand inside a Kiln?

Well, at Coalport China Museum, you can!

Come and take at these amazing brick structures from inside and out 👀

Book your tickets now: http://www.Ironbridge.org.uk/plan/ticket-prices

#Museum #EngineeringMarvel

3

Development Manager, National and Networks @SampsCaroline wrote a blog about the Research Resilience event we ran with @history_uk, where she calls for more conversations between historians and archivists to shape future ways of working.

Read it here: https://www.history-uk.ac.uk/2021/07/19/reflections-research-resilience/