The dark history of an Essex village revealed

PUBLISHED: 16:28 24 October 2009 | UPDATED: 22:02 31 May 2010

HOME to a notorious poisoner and embroiled in scandal, the dark history of a village will be unearthed on Wednesday November 4. In the mid-19th century the village of Clavering – a place of poverty and distress – was thrust into the limelight because of i

HOME to a notorious poisoner and embroiled in scandal, the dark history of a village will be unearthed on Wednesday November 4.

In the mid-19th century the village of Clavering - a place of poverty and distress - was thrust into the limelight because of infamous poisoner, Sarah Chesham.

Put on trial for poisoning two of her sons, Sarah Chesham escaped the noose because the case could not be proved, said historian Jacqueline Cooper.

A few years later, however, her husband also died in mysterious circumstances, and this time she was found guilty of administering arsenic. She was hanged at

Chelmsford in 1851, watched by thousands.

This is the subject of the annual Eileen Ludgate Memorial Lecture to be given by Fred Feather at 8pm in the Clavering Christian Centre on Stortford Road.

The speaker is a former curator of Essex Police Museum, and has made a special study to see if Sarah was involved in the wider case of Essex poisonings.

Entry is free but there will be a collection in aid of Clavering Church. For more information contact Jacqueline Cooper on 01799 550462 or by e-mail jacqueline.cooper@virgin.net


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