‘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

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In 1871 Ripon #Yorkshire magistrates appointed 'Annie Ada Smyth as schoolmistress at the House of Correction, at a salary of £1 per quarter.
' 3 years later they advetised for a male warder. @Police_Gazette @BD1policemuseum @BritPoliceHist @ourcriminalpast @RiponTogether

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Congratulations to Natalie Craig who graduated last July from our History programme at Edge Hill University. She has been awarded the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire's undergraduate dissertation prize for her work on Lancaster Moor Asylum!!

@nidderdaleuk @Pateley_Bridge @ourcriminalpast J. Keighley Snowden, one time 'Keighley News' journalist, wrote two books about Jack Sinkler, Nidderdale Poacher. 'King Jack' 1914, 'Jack The Outlaw' 1926. Snowden talked to Sinkler over three years to get his story. @nidderdaleuk @Pateley_Bridge @ourcriminalpast @KeighleyLHS

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Did you enjoy the start to series two of the On The Record podcast?

Follow up with more medieval goodness about the Peasants' Revolt, England's first popular uprising on the blog today: http://socsi.in/KsUcI

Don't forget to subscribe to #OnTheRecord for future episodes! 🎧

A selection of menus for children taken from a leaflet entitled 'The feeding of children from one to five years' which was published by the Ministry of Health in March 1942. From the National Union of Railwaymen archive. https://cdm21047.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/health/id/1506/rec/15 #historyoffood #historyofhealth

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The Examination Letter for John Shore, who eventually worked on the 1888 Whitechapel Murder Case (aka Jack the Ripper) as an Inspector, before retiring as Supt from Scotland Yard in 1896 becoming Pinkerton Agent for London. His descendant is a resident of Leicestershire.

Shown on a tour today: plan of the Quaker Workhouse on River Street, #Bristol, surveyed in 1861 - exciting to see 19th century hand-coloured plans in such pristine condition #behindthescenes #archivetours (Catalogue: http://archives.bristol.gov.uk/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=SF%2fPl%2f18) ^et/ad

Unknown vessel (1920s-1930s?) discharging cargo into lighters (note the dusting of white on the hull). Location unknown. Junkshop photo (Chelmsford).

'Every offender, who, for any first or second-rate crime, suffers ignominious punishment, shall, all the time that he is undergoing the said punishment, wear the cap of ignominy.