By Vanessa Morgan

This chilling assortment brings jointly true-life old murders that surprised not just the town yet usually made headline information during the nation. circumstances featured the following contain riots in 1791, a financial institution theft in 1844 and an arson assault in 1912. homicide such a lot foul additionally increases it is grotesque head, with John Thompson stabbed his common-law spouse in a healthy of drunken jealousy in 1861, and Mary Albion is murdered in her mattress while a theft went mistaken in 1898. Vanessa Morgan's well-illustrated and spell binding textual content will attract each person attracted to real crime and the shadier facet of Birmingham's previous.

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Then wheeled away again, carrying something bulky. Peter was known to have drawn some money from his account, and on the Saturday morning Mary Walsh had gone to the pawnbroker Alan Walton, in Dale End, and redeemed about a pound’s worth of items belonging to her and John. Asked how she had come by the money she said her husband had sold some umbrellas. Despite the evidence against all the prisoners, it was only Thomas who was found guilty. He was not given the death sentence but was ordered to be transported for life.

Other principal houses demolished or set on fire were – the Old and New Meeting Houses in Birmingham, Revd Coult’s and Mr Ryland’s at Five Ways, Moseley Hall in Bordesely (the property of John Taylor the co-founder of the bank Taylor Lloyds, now Lloyds TSB), Mr Hobson’s in Balsall Heath, Mr Russell’s in Shovel Green, Mr Hanwood’s in King’s Heath and in nearby Moseley, Mr Hawkes Jnr’s, Mr Budd’s and Mr Harwood’s. The rioters were very organised in the ways they attacked the buildings: If a house was detached, it would be set on fire; if semi-detached, the doors and windows were broken and the furniture taken out into the street, piled up and set alight.

The new Victoria Law Courts in Corporation Street were built to house the assizes in the late 1880s by Birmingham firm, John Bowen & Sons. The foundation stone was laid by Queen Victoria on 23 March 1887 and the courts were opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales on 12 July 1891. The building is now the Magistrates Court. Sentence of death is what most criminals could expect before the nineteenth century and the sentence would always be carried out within forty-eight hours of the trial. But by the turn of the century it was usually only murderers who faced the hangman’s noose and as the nineteenth century progressed their wait until that meeting lengthened to fourteen days.

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