In the last four decades of the Georgian era, 131 women in England and Wales went to the gallows. What were their crimes? And why, unlike most convicted felons, were they not reprieved? ‘Unfortunate Wretches’ brings new insights into their lives and the events that led to their deaths, and includes chapters on baby murders among domestic servants, counterfeiting, husband poisoning, as well as the infamous Eliza Fenning case.
Mary Morgan – a teenager hanged as an example to others
Mary Bateman – a ‘witch’ who duped her neighbours out of their savings
Harriet Skelton – hanged for passing counterfeit pound notes, in spite of efforts by Elizabeth Fry and the Duke of Gloucester to save her
Eliza Ross – the so-called ‘female burker’, hanged for murdering an old woman and selling her body to anatomists
Plus, for the first time, all the stories of the women have been compiled in a unique directory.