Papers relating to the case of Thomas Smethurst

Made:
1859
part of archive:
Alfred Swaine Taylor collection relating to forensic medicine and toxicology

Apothecary and water-cure enthusiast Dr Thomas Smethurst, also known as ''The Richmond Poisoner'', was convicted of the murder of Isabella Bankes, his wife through bigamous marriage. However, the guilty verdict proved controversial and the medical evidence provided during the trial was disputed. Taylor had admitted during the trial that one of his tests for arsenic had been contaminated, which, despite Taylor's confidence that arsenic was present, cast doubt on all the forensic evidence. Smethurst was eventually reprieved and pardoned for murder, however he did have to serve time for bigamy.

The collection contains a report, press cuttings and a pamphlet relating to the case.

Details

Extent:
1 folder
Identifier:
MS/2203/F
Access:
Open Access

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