Aztecs, chocolate, chocolate of Chiapas, Christiana Edmumds, death by chocolate, female poisoners, history of chocolate, Lady Denham, Maynards poisoner, Murder, Napoleon, Poison, Pope Clement XIV, Victorian poisoners
Chocolate is one of lives greatest pleasures or as Michael Levine put it ‘Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food’. It seems that the majority of Britain agrees as in 2017 the UK topped the Europe chocolate eating league, comprising a third of the European market. On average Britain consumes 11.2kg or 266 Mars bars per year. Our love affair with chocolate began hundreds of years ago and it seems to be a relationship which will last for many years to come.
A very brief history of chocolate
Cacao has been used by South American indigenous cultures for centuries and until very recently it was believed that it was the Olmec people (originating from Mexico) who were the first to have consumed chocolate which they called Theobramo Cacao or ‘food of the gods’. A recent discovery now pushes back the timeline by about 1500 years and reveals that in fact the Mayo Chinchipe culture of Ecuador were processing cacao more than 5000 years ago.
Cacao was a tricky plant to grow and because of its low yield was considered extremely valuable. The Mayans preferred their cacao, hot and frothy seasoned with chilli and vanilla whilst the Aztecs liked it foamy and cold. The Aztecs used the beans as currency, 10 beans could buy a rabbit and a 100 a human slave. They saw it as a man’s drink and warriors drunk it before battle to stimulate aggression and sexual performance. The Spanish conquistadors were fascinated with chocolate and were able to add sugar to the mixture to dilute the bitter taste although at first not all Europeans knew what to make of these strange ‘black almonds’. A pirate ship after finding the precious cargo threw it overboard thinking they were rabbit droppings.
The Spanish brought back to Europe the know how to make chocolate which rapidly became popular throughout the continent. Most Europeans added coffee, wine and water to their chocolate drink whilst the English and Dutch added milk. In the 1700s Britain saw the rise of the chocolate houses. Chocolate was even recommended as medicinal for children and consumptive patients. It was popular amongst the aristocracy and a unique set of rooms especially for the preparation of chocolate has recently been found at Hampton Court dating to the reign of William III and Mary II.
Despite its popularity, this bitter tasting drink gained a possibly unfounded reputation as the perfect tool for poisoners.
“Beware the chocolate of Chiapas”
This popular Mexican saying refers to one of the earliest suspected cases of poisoned chocolate being used. In the mid-1600s a Bishop of Chiapas incurred the wrath of his female parishioners when he banned the drinking of chocolate in his church which he said broke religious fast laws. The women protested saying that the chocolate was a medicinal necessity for their weak stomachs and prevented them from fainting during the long mass services. The ladies tried to circumvent the ban by attending mass in other outlying parishes and convents. In order to bring his disobeying congregants to heel, the bishop extended the ban to cover all parishes and forced the women to attend mass at their own parish i.e. his. The ladies still defiant stayed at home and refused for a month to attend church.
According to the Dominican English monk who was travelling in the Americas at the time, Thomas Gage, one of the ladies, the wealthy Doña Magdalena de Morales was so incensed that she sent the bishop a poisoned cup of chocolate. Shortly afterwards the bishop became sick and died convinced that he had been poisoned. In order to prevent dissent Pope Alexander VII made a law that all drinks including chocolate did not break the fast.
Whatever the truth behind the legend, what is clear is that in the war between chocolate versus Church; chocolate wins!
“What frosts to fruits, what arsnick to the rat; What to fair Denham mortal chocolate”
One of the famous stories of drinking poisoned chocolate is that of the death of Lady Margaret Denham. Lady Denham was the second wife of John Denham, 30 years her senior. Her beauty attracted the attention of many men including the king’s brother, James, Duke of York. Denham a respected poet and government official was at this time suffering premature aging which had left him limp and reliant on crutches. He had also just recovered from a serious mental breakdown during which he had believed he was the Holy Ghost. A rather cruel description of the couple notes “His wife was young and beautiful; himself was old and unappetizing”.
The evidence isn’t clear on whether Denham knew that his wife was the duke’s mistress although it was hardly a secret. Some sources imply that Denham was cuckolded and so passionately devoted to his wife that he was blind to her faults. If these are to be believed Denham only learned of Lady Denham’s indiscretion during a trip to visit his quarries in Portland, a destination he never reached as he returned, planning to make her pay.
In early November 1667 Pepys wrote that Lady Denham was sick and a rumour started to circulate that she had drunk poisoned chocolate. She never totally recovered. There was minor improvement in the middle of month but in December she was still unwell. In January, the following year she died.
Aside from Denham the other poisoner in the running was the Duke of York’s wife Ann Hyde who had a double reason to hate Margaret who was not only having a very public affair with her husband but also was an advocate of a political rival faction which campaigned against her father, the Earl of Clarendon. A popular rumour was that the Duchess was so terrified by an apparition of the deceased lady that she bit off part of her tongue.
Pepys never gave weight to the rumour although he did express his intense dislike of Lady Denham and her influence over the Duke of York calling her a whore and ‘this bitch of Denham’. Despite an autopsy which suggested a ruptured appendix later generations were convinced the story of poisoned chocolate was true and it reached almost mythical proportions.
A Poisoned Pope: Clement XIV
Pope Clement XIV was born Giovanni Ganganelli near Rimini in 1705. Educated by the Jesuits after school he became a Franciscan Friar and was promoted to cardinal in 1759. A close friend of Pope Benedict XIV he was named his successor and ascended to the papal throne in May 1769.
Clement XIV inherited a Catholic Church in crisis with the Holy See being opposed, the role of the pope decreasing in importance and France wanting back French provinces such as Avignon held by the papacy. Added to this Portugal (and other Catholic countries) was threatening a schism if the interfering Society of Jesuits were not disbanded. Initially Clement prevaricated partly because of his genuine admiration of the Jesuits and partly because he was afraid of their (possibly unwarranted) reputation as assassins. Eventually under increased pressure and to avoid a total schism, Clement banned the Society and the Jesuits were expelled from all Catholic countries.
The stress which Clement had been under began to take on a toll on his mental health. He spent the last year of his life suffering from remorse, depression and a paranoid fear of assassination. On the 10 September 1774 Clement was violently sick and confined to bed. He insisted it was due to poison which had been delivered to him in a chocolate drink. On the 22 September 1774 he died.
Despite being described as an ‘upright and moral man’ his papacy was fraught with difficulties and has been seen by posterity negatively. Was he poisoned, Clement thought he was but the autopsy said otherwise!
Napoleon’s near miss
A rumour abounded in both English and American newspapers possibly the result of British propaganda at its most inventive that Napoleon had narrowly avoided death when he was served a poisoned chocolate beverage by an abandoned lover. The story goes that Pauline Riotti, a former mistress of Bonaparte was left destitute by Napoleon who had promised to support her and their child. With no means of income a sympathetic priest helped her find a job as a monastery kitchen inspector.
In 1807 Pauline after learning that Napoleon planned to visit the monastery was determined to get her revenge. During the preparation of Bonaparte’s late morning chocolate Pauline emptied something into the mug. Unfortunately a cook had been watching and relayed a warning message to Napoleon. Pauline was sent for and forced to drink the chocolate. She began to convulse and an hour later she died, apparently mad.
This is a classic story of a failed attempt at murder by a spurned lover. Did it happen, not sure but I would love it to be true.
The Chocolate Cream Poisoner
One story of chocolate poisoning which is undoubtably true concerns a woman called Christiana Edmunds. In 1869 Christiana was living with her elderly mother in Brighton and engaged in a secret love affair with a local married doctor, Dr Charles Beard. She was infatuated and when he ended things she continued to harass him. When Dr Beard refused to see her, Christiana instead of venting her anger at her ex-lover decided her only option was to get rid of the wife.
Obtaining strychnine from a dentist, Isaac Garrett under a false name and on the pretence of poisoning feral cats and forging prescriptions for arsenic which were delivered by an errand boy to different chemists, Christiana injected the poison into chocolates. The chocolates having been procured from Maynard’s a local chocolate shop. Christiana’s first attempt on Mrs Beard was when she personally delivered the chocolates to her house, after which the unfortunate lady became violently sick. When confronted by the doctor, she denied any culpability and even claimed to have been ill herself. Mollified the doctor left.
Christiana began sending boxes of chocolates anonymously to not only Mrs Beard but also to other well-to-do families in Brighton, to her own friends, herself and sometimes back to Maynard’s for resale. Her targets were indiscriminate she did not care who ate the poisoned chocolates. More and more people began to fall sick.
In 1871 Christiana’s campaign claimed its first victim. Sidney Barker aged 4 died after eating chocolates bought from him at Maynard’s whilst he was visiting Brighton with his family. At the inquest a verdict of ‘accidental death’ was recorded. John Maynard was exonerated and destroyed all his stock. Christiana had the nerve to give evidence at the inquest complaining that she had also been poisoned. Her vindictive campaign against John Maynard continued as she sent three letters to Sidney’s father encouraging him to sue Maynard.
The poisoning continued and it was not until six victims including Mrs Beard’s servants fell sick that the Chief Constable placed an advert in the local paper asking for anyone with evidence to step forward. Finally Dr Beard handed in Christiana’s incriminating love letters. Suddenly everything fell into place as now there was a motive for what had looked like random attacks. Christiana was identified as the anonymous author of both the letters sent to the police attacking Maynard and to Sidney’s father. She was arrested on the charge of murder and placed in custody.
After an initial hearing in Brighton it was decided that no Brighton judge could give a fair judgement and the trial was moved to the Old Bailey in London. On 8 January 1872 Christiana was convicted of the murder of Sidney Barker and sentenced to death. The sensational nature of the trial was relished by the tabloids. The descriptions given in the papers varied from tall and handsome to thinking too much of herself. One damning article called her a ‘scheming, image-obsessed murdering minx’. Her sentence was commuted and she was placed in Broadmoor mental asylum for the criminally insane where she stayed until her death in 1907. She never denied, gave an explanation or showed any remorse for what she had done.
“Of all murders poisoning is ye worst and most horrible
because it is secret
because it is not to be prevented
because it is most against nature and therefore most hainous
it is also a cowardly thing”
Sir John Coke 
The above reasons illustrate a deep-rooted fear in England in the 17th century of being poisoned even though actual cases were rare with most casualties being accidental or suicides. Literature was full of lurid tales of poisoning which only increased the paranoia. Initially poisoning was linked to witchcraft due to the mixing of ingredients and seen as the murder weapon of choice for women. For some reason maybe a guilty conscience men developed a huge fear of being poisoned by their wives.The difficulty of proving that someone had been poisoned is illustrated by the case of Mary Bell who was accused of killing her husband in 1663, five years after the supposed crime took place. Chocolate was a popular drink, it could disguise bitter tastes and so there was no better choice. Countless other unsubstantiated rumours of chocolate poisoning attempts floated around including Frederick the Great of Prussia and King Charles II.
Even today chocolate poisoning cases occur. In France in 2006 Ghislain Beaumont aged 45 murdered both his parents with a poisoned chocolate mousse. He claimed that his mother kept him as a virtual prisoner and was trying to prevent him moving in with his girlfriend.
Interesting chocolate fact!
Luckily chocolate itself is not lethal for humans but if you are determined to use it to commit a murder then somehow you must persuade them to consume 22lb of cacao, the equivalent of 40 bars of Dairy Milk in one go!
Harmony from Discords: A Life of Sir John Denham, Brendan O Hehir, 1968
Sir John Denham (1614/15–1669) Reassessed: The State’s Poet, Philip Major, 2016
John Denham (poet), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Denham_(poet)
COLUMNIST: Painting a picture of Lady Denham – the scandal and her demise, Stephanie Bateman, https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/columnist-painting-a-picture-of-lady-denham-the-scandal-and-her-demise-1-8684708
Sir John Denham, https://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1676/
By Permission Of Heaven: The Story of the Great Fire of London, Adrian Tinniswood, 2004
Death By Chocolate: Did You Know It Can Kill?, http://www.health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.com/death-by-chocolate.html
Death by poisoning of His Holiness Pope Clement XIV, https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/death-by-poisoning-of-his-holiness-pope-clement-xiv-1-2402306
Papal Profile: Pope Clement XIV, http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com/2012/10/papal-profile-pope-clement-xiv.html
Clement XIV, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Clement-XIV
QI: quite interesting facts about chocolate, The Telegraph, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/qi/5878406/QI-quite-interesting-facts-about-chocolate.html
Humoring Resistance: Laughter and the Excessive Body in Latin American Women’s Fiction, Dianna C. Niebylski, 2004
Death by chocolate, https://mexfiles.net/2010/04/26/death-by-chocolate/
When the Church said “No” to chocolate, http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1469-when-the-church-said-no-to-chocolate
Britain is now top of the chocoholics league, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-147227/Britain-chocoholics-league.html
Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage, Louis E. Grivetti, Howard-Yana Shapiro, 2009
Poison – hidden weapon of the Tudor wife, https://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2015/12/poison-hidden-weapon-of-tudor-wife.html
A historical murder: The Chocolate Box Poisoner, https://robin-stevens.co.uk/a-historical-murder-the-chocolate-box-poisoner/
Broadmoor Revealed: Some patient stories: Christiana Edmunds (1829-1907), http://murderpedia.org/female.E/images/edmunds_christiana/christiana-edmunds.pdf
The Case of the Chocolate Cream Killer: The Poisonous Passion of Christiana Edmunds, Kaye Jones, 2016
Archaeologists Find Earliest Chocolate Ingredients in Ecuador, Kristina Killgrove, https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2018/10/31/archaeologists-find-earliest-chocolate-ingredient/#482331ea242a
Chocolate mousse murderer: Middle-aged man kills parents by lacing pudding with poison because they wouldn’t let him leave home, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-520312/Chocolate-mousse-murderer-Middle-aged-man-kills-parents-lacing-pudding-poison-wouldnt-let-leave-home.html February 2008
The Chocolate Kitchens, https://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/explore/chocolate-kitchens/
 Britain is now top of the chocoholics league
 QI: quite interesting facts about chocolate
 When the Church said “No” to chocolate,
 The Chocolate Kitchens
 Death by chocolate
 Death by chocolate
 Humoring Resistance
 Harmony from Discords: A Life of Sir John Denham
 Harmony from Discords: A Life of Sir John Denham
 Clement XIV
 Papal Profile: Pope Clement XIV
 Chocolate: History, Culture and Heritage
 A historical murder: The chocolate box poisoner
 Broadmoor Revealed: Some patient stories: Christiana Edmunds
 Christiana Edmunds (Old Bailey Records Online)
 Christiana Edmunds
 Poison – Hidden weapon of the Tudor wife
 Chocolate: History, culture and Heritage
 Daily Mail: Chocolate Mousse Murderer
 QI: Quite Interesting facts about chocolate
black death, bones, cadaver, chantries, chantry, Christianity, corpse, effigies, funeral, funerary, Gisant, Henry Chichele, Lincoln Cathederal, Medieval death, memento mori, mortality, purgatory, resurrection, Richard Flemming, shroud, skeleton, spirituality, Thomas Haxby, tomb, transi, York Minster
A dark secret in Lincoln Cathedral
A visitor wandering the aisles of Lincoln’s fine Gothic cathedral, awed by its vast air ribbed vaulting, intrigued by its curious Medieval carvings – such as the famous Lincoln Imp – and immersed in its impressive Medieval and Wren libraries, would be forgiven for overlooking the tomb of Richard Fleming, the bishop of Lincoln from 1420-1431.
Fleming’s monument forms part of a chantry chapel and is tucked away on the North wall of the cathedral. A cursory glance is all most visitors probably afford it – yet another elaborate memorial to a high churchman. But if you look a little closer, Richard Fleming’s tomb hides a remarkable and macabre secret. In the lower part of the monument, beneath the sculpture of the recumbent bishop in his robes of office, lies a very different image, a shrunken cadaver, ribs protruding, eyes hollow, wrapped in a winding-sheet. The sculpture offers a visceral reminder of the bodily decay, awaiting high and low alike, after death. Fleming’s tomb is one of the earliest English examples of the Transi or Cadaver Tomb in England. But why would a prominent and influential churchman chose to have himself depicted as food for worms?
What’s in a name
Kathleen Cohen, in her fascinating book Metamorphosis of a death symbol, explains that the word transi derives from the latin verb transire – trans to cross, ire to go and that this links in with the French word transir, in use from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, and which means ‘to die’ or ‘to pass away’ or ‘ to go’. Transi tombs can, using this basis, be interpreted as depicting the transitional body, from life, to death, and onwards to resurrection.
Transi or as they are more commonly know, cadaver tombs are similar but also distinct from the more familiar Medieval tombs, known as gisants, which depicted the medieval deceased recumbent and dressed clothes befitting their rank and station. In stark contrast, the transi figure presents the viewer with the deceased in an advanced state of decomposition, sunken eyes, prominent ribs, even covered in toads, snakes and vermin (although this was always more popular on the continent, particularly Germany, rather than in the British Isles).
Cadaver tombs could be double deckers or single – Richard Fleming’s is a fine example of the double-decker with the gisant style representation atop the cadaverous one, while the sadly battered and worn cadaver tomb in York Minster, in the west aisle of the north trancept, is an example of the single-decker, with deceased represented only as a decayed corpse. The York tomb is attributed to Treasurer Thomas Haxby (1418-1425) but according to research by Dr Pamela King, may in fact belong to Treasurer John Neuton, founder of York Cathedral’s Medieval library.
Possibly the most famous cadaver tomb in England belongs to Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury between 1414 – 1443, and is a fine example of the double-decker transi tomb. Other examples of cadaver tombs were employed by lay people, men and women alike, and even royalty (particularly in France).
Medieval Death: Plague and punishment
For many years art and architecture historians shied away from examining any deeper meaning in these grisly monuments, seeing at most either a simple didactic Memento Mori function – reminding the living that they too will die, or a psychological reaction to the horrors of the Black Death. The plague that had killed between 30-60% of Europe’s population had peaked in the 1340’s and many felt that its impact was expressed in these monuments and other Morbid medievalisms. However, the plague argument can be challenged by the fact that there had been regular outbreaks of plague before the Black Death. Perhaps most convincingly, Italy, the origin of the Black Death in Europe, and which suffered huge numbers of deaths, did not evolve a strong cadaver tomb tradition at this time. So, while the Black Death may have had some influence on the medieval taste for the macabre, it was not necessarily the driving force behind the development of the cadaver style tomb. 
In fact, more recent research by Kathleen Cohen in her 1973 work Metamorphosis of a death symbol and in 1987 Dr Pamela King’s PhD thesis Contexts of the cadaver tomb in fifteenth century England have added new dimensions of temporal and spiritual complexity to these remarkable and shocking monuments. They argue that they can be viewed as both a reaction to changing social and political situation of the fifteenth century a time when church and nation-state were becoming ever more intertwined – and as a part of the broader spirituality of the Medieval past. They may be viewed then, not as a simple Memento Mori didactic with the viewer, but a reaction to contemporary issues faced by the church as well as a crucial part of the souls journey through purgatory – a dramatic means for soliciting the prayers of the living for the benefit of the dead.
A Morbid Taste for Bones, The state of the soul after death
As mentioned above, while it is true that lay people, both men and women chose the cadaver tomb for their funerary monument, churchmen seemed particularly drawn to this style of memorial and may have been instrumental in its initial dissemination. Cohen and others have suggested that this may in part be due to the fact that during the 15th century the church underwent a radical change due to the rise of the nation-state. As more and more powerful men were rewarded for their loyalty to king and country with ecclesiastical preferments, the church became vastly wealthy and inextricably linked to worldly power. Henry Chichele (1363/4 – 1443) was a prime example of this type of man: a high-flying ecclesiastical lawyer who was rewarded by Henry V for services rendered to the crown with the archbishopric of Canterbury, in 1414.
Chichele, like many of his contemporary churchmen, chose the cadaver tomb. And make no mistake, these tombs would have been deliberately chosen by their future occupants, not picked for them by relatives after death. In a ‘double-decker’ the incorruptible office held by the individual is depicted in the gisant style sculpture above – showing the individual in all the pomp and glory of their office. Beneath, the corrupt human form is depicted decaying and gnawed by worms. But what was the message they were trying to convey?
Medieval art and literature often portrayed the body as intrinsically sinful. Images of a vain and luxurious life were often counterpoised with images of the consequences of sin suffered after death. The state of the soul after death was of huge importance to Medieval people. Images such as the Danse Macabre, Mort Roi (king death) and the three quick and the three dead, emphasised that worldly vanity and glory would not help the soul awaiting judgement. This preoccupation with the state of the soul after death was because Medieval people believed that upon death, the bulk of them would end up in purgatory for an indeterminate period before they reached their final destination, be it heaven or hell. One of the prime purposes of most medieval tombs was, therefore, to elicit prayers from the living to speed the deceased person’s passage through purgatory to heaven. Cadaver tombs were no different, many, such as that of Richard Fleming, being associated with their own chantry chapel precisely for this purpose.
It was also an element of Medieval Christian belief that the death provided not only a release from the sins of the mortal body, but also from the original sin of Adam. It was thought that the life of an individual from cradle to grave was a re-run in microcosm of mankind’s fall from Grace. And with the fall from Grace came the hope for resurrection. Pamela King decodes the cadaver tomb imagery thus: the physically corrupt body is an allegory for the soul, the Transi image therefore provides, to paraphrase Dr King, an accessible figure for a metaphysical state. 
Part of this concern for the soul expressed itself in a wish to humiliate or abase the mortal (and sinful) body in order to save the soul. Not only wealthy and powerful churchmen could wish to patch up the disjoint between their worldly success and their Christian faith. John FitzAlan, 14th Earl of Arundel (1408-1435) chose a cadaver tomb. Arundel was a highly successful and able commander during the latter part of the Hundred Year’s War. During his short but highly successful military career he accrued many titles and lands for his services. Although he died of wounds in France, his will stipulated he be buried in the FitzAlan Chapel at Arundel Castle, his tomb is a double-decker cadaver tomb.
In an aside provided by Kathleen Cohen, Arundel, despite being praised as the ‘English Achilles’ for his military skill, could also be ruthless and cruel. En route to fight in France it is said that he rounded up 60 or so women and girls from a convent in Southampton to ‘amuse’ his troops while at sea. The unfortunate women, having been raped by the soldiers, were then tossed overboard when a storm overtook the troop ships. It would seem then, at least to modern eyes, that a powerful and wealthy individual choosing a tomb that humbles and humiliates the body as an act of Christian piety in death, could also display a certain degree of hypocrisy.
Overall though, the transi image can be seen not solely as a reminder that the glories of high office may seem to be long-lasting, but sinful mortal bodies will all end up as food for worms, but also that death and decay are an inevitable part of the process that ultimately lead to resurrection of the good Christian soul. 
The End of purgatory and the rise of pagan glory
The fashion for cadaver tombs ran from the fifteenth century to the mid sixteenth century (and beyond, John Donne commissioned an extraordinary monument that would seem to have been influenced by this tradition). However as the religious climate of Europe changed with the protestant reformation in the sixteenth century, transis too, began to change. As the new protestant ideology promoted by Martin Luther (1483-1546) and others, rejected the idea that good deeds and indulgences from the church would get you into heaven, and promoted the idea that entry to heaven was based on God’s grace alone, the existence of purgatory was questioned. And if there was no purgatory then there was no need for elaborate tombs and chantry chapels designed to elicit prayers from the living for the dead soul.
The Renaissance also brought with it new ideas that contrasted with the Medieval mindset, including the concept of commemorating the deceased and their worldly deeds. So, while cadaver tombs continued to be built, in particular by royalty, they began to display a kind of pagan sense of glory instead of the Medieval focus on humility and abasement of the body associated with these types of tombs. One prime example of this change is the tomb of Henri II and Catherine Medici, at the Basilica St Denis, built between 1560-1573. Catherine, who was alive when the tomb was created, is said to have disliked the first emaciated image created for her and commissioned a second one. The replacement sculpture is said to have been based on a Venus from the Uffizi in Florence   and presents a very different image from the cadaverous worm riddled transis of the previous century. While the cadaver tomb still undoubtedly pointed to the resurrection of the soul, in this instance at least, royal vanity demanded a pagan aesthetic!
Cadaver tombs developed from a combination of factors – the concern for the state of the sinful soul after death – its need for prayers in order to achieve salvation, the conflict faced (in particular, but not solely) by high churchmen in relation to growing temporal power versus the spiritual asceticism of Christianity. Although it is hard to imagine that a modern viewer of such a tomb would not take away some form of Memento Mori didactic, it would seem that this was not their primary purpose as understood by Medieval people. As Protestantism spread through Europe, and the Renaissance provided a new emphasis on commemorating the dead, the cadaver tomb changed in style and purpose.
Regardless of their ultimate meaning, a modern viewer, coming across one of these macabre monuments is given a thought-provoking and startling insight in to the Medieval mind.
You can find some notable transi tombs in England in York Minster, Lincoln Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral.
Sources and notes
Uncredited images by Lenora.
Brown, Sarah, The Mystery of Neuton’s Tomb
Cohen, Kathleen, 1973, ‘Metamorphosis of a death symbol’  
King, Pamela, 1987, ‘Contexts of the cadaver tomb in fifteenth century England’ 
accessories, aniline, arsenic, carroting, clothing, clothing workers, crinolines, dresses, dyes, Emerald, fashion, fleur du mal, flowers of death, garment workers, hair ornaments, hat makers, Matilda Scheurer, mercury, Paris, pigment, Poison, poisoning, Scheele's Green, socks
The nineteenth century may have seen the grim and grimy Industrial Age take hold of Britain and other industrial nations, painting the world grey as it went, but it was also a time when vibrant colour blossomed, and the fashion industry thrived, unchecked by government regulation.
In earlier centuries the fashion conscious had had to make do with traditional animal and mineral dyes which were expensive and involved a complex dying process, as well as (Quelle Horreur!) not holding their colour. Colours such as green were especially hard to create, and required a compound of blue and yellow dyes; while the best quality men’s hats were made from very expensive beaver fur. Clothing and hat manufacture was often a small scale, artisanal process, and fashion was usually affordable only to wealthier section of society. But in the nineteenth century new chemical and industrial processes began bring fashion to a wider audience.
One of the more noticeable trends of the nineteenth century, and one that all classes could easily participate in, was colourful socks. Stripes and checks in a plethora of colours became all the rage. Fuschine and Coraline striped socks created ‘rainbow spanned ankles’ according to the Lady’s Newspaper in 1861. But such glorious footware was not for everyone, soon reports came in of terrible reactions – one member of parliament was laid up for months because of ‘painful eruptions of the feet’; while an unfortunate Frenchman, proud owner of a pair of British socks in bright red, suffered ‘pustulent, inflamed feet and ankles with acute and painful eczema in red transverse stripes’.  In the case of the unfortunate Frenchman, the cause was the Fuschine dye, aggravated by the socks having been worn, unwashed, directly on the skin for a stupendous 12 days in a row! Similar reactions were reported in 1871, when a pair of prized purple and yellow socks left a gentleman’s feet resembling ‘an inflammatory tiger’ .
The British Sock trade was a thriving industry and although the Lancet and other journals did report on the phenomena, and some factories returned to more natural dying processes, manufacturers were largely unreceptive to the dangers.
Red, orange and purple dyes seemed to be the most inflammatory, but not everyone was affected. Studies by William Crookes in 1868, eventually discovered that certain factors increased a person’s risk of chemical burns from these ‘chromatic torpedoes’, these were:
- Not washing them before wearing
- Heat – the dye could leech from silk or cotton sock to the skin
- Wearing wool socks in very tight, hot shoes in summer increased risk
- Individual sweat chemistry
The impact on some sock-wearers may have been bad, but the impact on workers in sock factories was dire. In 1868 Crookes found that workers using a new orange dye, mixed with magenta, often had to give up work after only six months. They were debilitated by the corrosive effect of the dye, which left their arms covered in open sores. 
My Chemical Romance
It was a pharmaceutrical chemist called Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786) who began the revolution in colour. In 1778 Scheele developed a brilliant green pigment, known as Scheele’s or Schloss Green. Scheele created the pigment from copper arsenite or acidic copper arsenite. Scheele’s Green was later improved and superseded by a slightly more stable pigment called Paris or Emerald Green. It was a huge success, green, formerly a most illusive colour to capture, was soon to be found everywhere: from wallpaper, candles, children’s toys and of course, fashionable garments and accessories. As Alison Matthews David points out, in her excellent and thought provoking book Fashion Victims The Dangers of Dress Past and Present, one of the things that made Scheele’s and Emerald Green so fashionable was that the vibrant chemical pigment looked good in both daylight, and by gaslight.
However, this green revolution was not without it’s victims. The pigment was made from arsenic and while arsenic was available over the counter for much of the nineteenth century, and used for many household chores, it’s toxicity was not unknown. As a small indicator of how toxic it could be, Wikipedia reports that it was used as an insecticide until the 1930’s. Newspapers reported on the toxicity of the emerald green and tarlatane gowns worn by fashionable young ladies. Dr AW Hoffman, writing in the London Times in February 1862, reported that ‘[..] green tarletanes so much of late in vogue for ball dresses’ contained half their weight in arsenic. Matthews David calculated that a 20 yard gown could contain up to 900 grains of arsenic – while mere five grains is usually lethal to an adult. Public outrage at the ladies wearing these fashions intensified, in 1862 the British Medical Journal wrote:
‘Well may the fascinating wearer of it [green] be called a killing creature. She actually carries in her skirts poison enough to slay the whole of the admirers she may meet with in half a dozen ball-rooms.’
Foliate head-dresses were also very popular at this time, bringing nature and greenery into the dull drab Victorian cities. Ladies often adorned their hair with nymph-like wreaths and artificial flowers. Hoffman’s report in the Times concluded that each headdress contained enough poison to kill twenty people.
Soon the plight of poisoned garment workers became headline news. While fashionable green-clad ladies might suffer from occasional rashes or allergic reactions on their decolete or hands from from wearing green gowns and gloves, for the most, they were separated from the poisonous fabric by petticoats and lining materials. Flowermakers on the other hand, had no such protections. Often pressing the pigment, in the form of coloured dust, into the fabric, they inhaled the white arsenic on a daily basis and suffered terrible sometimes fatal consequences.
In November 1861, Matilda Scheurer died an agonising and colourful death. She was nineteen and worked ‘fluffing’ artificial leaves with green powder. Breathing it in and eating it with her food on a daily basis. She suffered convulsions, vomited green water from the mouth nose and eyes, the whites of her eyes went green and it affected her vision in that she reported that everything looked green. After much suffering she eventually died.
Other workers suffered from bleeding sores on their hands and faces, and had their vision severely affected.
The Press, Ladies Societies, and various medical reports began to turn the tide against the green pigment. Despite fashionable ladies often being treated as the villains of the piece, it is important to remember that societies such as the Ladies Sanitary Association did a lot to help raise awareness of the dangers of green. French Studies also provided evidence of the danger of working conditions for flower makers -finding that no cats or rats survived in the factories, and that workers suffered from scabs, ulcerations, loss of skin and cancerous scars on their legs. 
Such findings eventually led to countries like Germany and France legislating against dangerous pigments, but Britain did nothing. However, the popularity of green had been irreparably damaged and Matthews David suggests that the fashion for pure white gowns that took hold at the end of the century was partially a reaction to the dangers of colour pigments such as Scheele’s Green.
Hatters have always held a place in the public imagination, ever since Lewis Carol created the memorable Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. Whether this literary creation was intended to show the effects of mercury poisoning on hat manufacturers or not (and there is some debate on this), his erratic behaviour and shakey demeaner do seem close to the effects suffered by hat makers.
Men’s hats have formed an elaborate and often expensive part of etiquette and social status for centuries. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries beaver was the luxury material that the best hats were made from. Beaver pelts could be felted without addition of dangerous chemicals such as mercury. Once felted, they could be moulded into what ever shape was currently fashionable: tricorne, bicorne, cone, topper, whatever. However, their popularity was their downfall, and by the late sixteenth century beaver was extinct in Europe and only available via North American trade routes. Eventually that source also dried up, and by the eighteenth century inferior local materials such as rabbit or hare were being used. These pelts, being rougher, required a mercury and acid solution to break down the keratin in them and achieve felting. The process caused the fur to turn orange, so it became know as carrotting. 
There are a number of legends as to how hatters discovered the benefits of mercury, one memorable (if probably apocryphal tale) explains that hatters routinely added their own urine to the heated kettles containing the acidic liquids used in the process. It was found that one worker’s urine was apparently more effacious than his colleagues – he explained that had been receiving mercury treatment for syphilis (a syringe of mercury to his penis) and thus the benefits of Mercury were revealed to the hatting trade! 
Hatting guilds had tried to ban Mercury from the process in 1716, in order to protect quality, the trade was losing its artisanal status as the process became more industrialised, but the defiance was short lived. Hatters suffered as a consequence. Mercury is incredibly toxic and a 1925 study by the Bureau International du Travail found that its impaired the neuromotor system. Hatters suffered from trembling and shaking. Evidence could be found in their very shaky signatures.
Medical text books and wax models in the Musee des Moulanges at Hopital Saint-Louis in Paris showed typical symptoms to include clubbed, stained and bulging nails, possibly indicative of underlying heart or lung problems and chronic oxygen deprivation. They also suffered from erratic behaviour. Hatters wore no protective gloves, they ingested mercury through their lungs and skin on a daily basis and the effects were permanent.
Even today, some museums such as the Victoria and Albert, have to mark these hats as toxic.
Jean-Jaques Grandville satirized the dangers of the hatters trade well, in his illustration ‘La Mode’ – showing a wheel (an agonising French execution device).
Ashes to ashes
Poisonous chemicals were not the only way that fashion could be fatal in the nineteenth century. Changes to the textiles favoured by fashion could also be catastrophic. In earlier centuries fabrics such as brocades and heavy silks and velvets were favoured. However the nineteenth century saw new fabrics such as muslins, cottons, and bobbinet/tulle (machine woven lace), often stiffened and made more flammable with starch, become popular. Such diaphanous, ethereal costumes, that looked delightful by gas light, were much less fire safe than the heavier fabrics of old.
In addition to this structural garments such as the steel crinoline, a prime example of how industrialisation influenced fashion, could be very combustible. The Crinoline was a large bell shaped structure that trapped air beneath it, thereby creating a chimney or funnel effect that could swiftly incinerate the careless wearer.
Between 1858 – 1864 nearly five million crinolines were manufactured by two Peugeot factories alone – illustrating the impact of industrialisation on production. Every woman, at every age and level of society wore them. Some crinolines had cirumferences of 8 feet. While they definitely gave ladies presence and allowed them to own the space they occupied, they came with great risks.One such unfortunate lady, the 18 year old Archduchess Mathilde of Austria, was caught smoking an illicit cigarette by her father. Trying to hid the offending article behind her, her skirts caught fire and the hapless Archduchess burned to death in front of her horrified father. 
Ballerina’s also suffered – in huge numbers – from flammable fashion. Favouring tulle for their ethereal costumes and dancing very close to the footlights (so the male theatre goers could ogle their legs) they regularly incinerated themselves and their audiences. In the USA in 1861 Philadelphia’s Continental Theatre saw one such fatal blaze that claimed the lives of 8 (possibly 9) ballerinas . Drury Lane Theatre in London saw the firey demise of the star Ballerina Clara Webster in 1844 and perhaps the most famous victim of the fashion for flimsy tutu’s was Emma Livry star of the Paris Opera Ballet. Considered the last great star of the Romantic Ballet tradition she had a suitably tragic end, when choosing to reject a dingy and stiff flame retardant tutu in favour of her ethereal tulle, she suffered the consequences, dying 8 months after her tutu caught fire during a rehearsal.
In 1860, the height of the crinonline’s popularity, the Lancet medical journal estimated that 3000 women a year burned to death. 
Suddenly, in the nineteenth century to be a la mode was no longer the preserve of the rich; everyone from the society beauty to the scullery maid could participate in this newly democratised world of fashion, however, there was a heavy price to pay.
While the ladies and gentlemen of fashion, as the wearers of these garments, may well have been affected by them, far more victims were of the lower and disenfranchised classes. Ballerinas worked in highly flammable costumes, garment trade workers and mill workers worked in a largely unregulated industry, slaves worked in exploitative conditions on cotton plantations. The fashion industry in the nineteenth century had a wide and deadly reach.
A lot has improved since then, with stricter regulation of chemicals, and improvements in working conditions and workers rights in the West. However, headline grabbing incidents such as fires in Bangladeshi sweatshops and Chinese workers at risk of Silicosis from sandblasting jeans,  is a reminder that continued demand for cheap, fashionable clothing may have simply hidden the problem from us, by transferring manufacture to less regulated areas of the globe. Until these global issues are addressed, fashion will still claim it’s sacrifices amongst the poor.
Sources and notes
Matthews David, Alison, 2015, ‘Fashion Victims The Dangers of Dress Past and Present’ -, -,-, 
Stand and Deliver! the dandy highwayman
…He continued his highway robbery, but he made two bad blunders-not from the point of view of a thief, but from that of the gentleman in him. The first was when he stopped an opulent looking chariot, which he found to contain two ladies, their maid and their jewels… and he had hastily retired after tendering a naive apology…
Taken from the Queen of Regency romance novels, Georgette Heyer, ‘The Black Moth’, the novel tells of the English Lord Jack Carstares who is forced to become a highwayman after taking the blame for a cheating scandal a few years before in order to save the life of his younger brother, Richard. As you would expect from this type of novel which is not exactly a gritty factual account of the period (although personally I don’t care as I adore Heyer) her portrayal of a highwayman follows the romantic image. He is handsome, noble and courageous, fallen on hard times through no fault of his own and even though forced to lead a life of crime behaves gallantly towards women. Although real life highwaymen were miles away from Heyer’s Carstares, the idea of the courteous masked man of the road did have its roots in stories of real flesh and blood highwaymen.
The First Gentleman Highwayman
One of which is Claude Duval. Duval’s memoirs were written by William Pope whilst Duval was imprisoned at Newgate. It is largely thanks to Pope’s (at worst fictional and at best embellished) biographical account that Duval has been turned into a folkloric legend. Duval in turn has paved the way for all future depictions of the chivalrous highwayman.
The Early YearsDuval was born in Domfront in Normandy in 1643 to a respectable but poor family. His father Pierre earned his living as a miller whilst his mother, Marguerite was the daughter of a tailor. Pope refutes an idea that must have been circling at the time that Duval was actually English and had been born in Bishopsgate, London. His reason is completely irrational but at the same time rather revealing “If he had not been a Frenchman, ‘tis absolutely impossible that he should have been so much beloved in his life, and lamented at his death by the English ladies”. Obviously the French were considered to be much more skilful and successful in the art of love and seduction than Englishmen! Duval’s life seems to have been the stuff of prophesy. Pope recounts a story that tells of a friar who seems to have been struck by this ability when looking at the young Duval. The friar predicted that Duval would be a traveller when he was older, would never be short of money and would be successful with women above his station. His parents were as you would expect delighted with the news although the friar either did not see the whole picture or purposely held back some salient details as to how Duval would achieve his fame and fortune. Possibly for the best!
A Parisian Education
In his early teens Duval left Domfront to travel to Paris and make his fortune. He seems to have fallen into the employment of a group of English Cavaliers who had followed the exiled Charles II to France. Duval settled in the St Germain district of Paris and spent his time running errands for the Englishmen and working at a place called St Esprit, which was a cross between a tavern, an ale house, a cook shop and a brothel. It was here that he probably learned the ways of the world and became a connoisseur of women as well as dabbling in a little stealing on the side. On Charles II’s restoration to the British throne in 1660, Duval accompanied the returning Englishmen to England working in either the stables or as a page boy in the household of Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond.
A knight of the road
Duval only worked for the Duke for a short time before he was dismissed. It was rumoured that he may have got a bit carried away with his master’s fiancée or she with him. He was said to have rented a house in Wokingham and continued to live the high life, but being overly fond of women, drinking and gambling plays havoc with your finances especially if you don’t have much to start with. Duval finding himself financially embarrassed seems to have decided to turn to a life of crime. He was obviously good at it as he somehow became the leader of a gang of notorious highwaymen. As a highwayman Duval seems to have found his purpose in life, choosing a lifestyle which brought him the fame, fortune and women which he craved. He revelled in being an infamous highwayman preferring to operate on the roads to London where the richest picking could be found. In particular the area of Holloway between Highgate and Islington became his patch and despite his genteel manners he had no qualms about living a life of crime and debauchery. He was also clever enough to be in control of his own publicity carving his image as a debonair and courteous highwayman.
“Yes Sir. I have had sport enough from a son of a whore…”
He also wanted it to be known that he abhorred the use of violence. This must have been from a sense of fun and theatrics rather than from any practical reason as you would hang just the same whether you killed a man or not. An example often given is of Squire Roper, the Master of the Royal Buckhounds from whom he stole 50 guineas and left tied to a tree. Squire Roper was not amused and complained bitterly about the way he had been treated. This was in sharp contrast to the well-heeled ladies who tried their hardest to be robbed by Duval!
A musical interlude involving a flute and a coranto
The most famous episode from his life and which has been romanticised to such a degree that it probably has squeezed any truth from it is the account of Duval holding up a carriage in Hampstead Heath (or possibly Bagshot Heath in Surrey according to some reports). On seeing the carriage appear he made the standard call ‘Stand and Deliver’. Inside the carriage were a beautiful young lady and her older husband. Determined not to be seen as frightened and impressed with the handsome face of the highwayman she suddenly produced a flageolet which she just happened to have on her (why springs to mind – did she expect to be held up or did she always carry musical instruments on her person in case the need might arise for a tune?) and started playing. As you would expect of a highwayman along with his pistols and sword he also carried a flute and in response started to play as well. Duval then asked the musical lady whether she could dance as well as she played. She accepted his invitation and with I guess music being played by one of Duval’s equally versatile men, the lady and the highwayman danced a coranto under a moonlit sky. Duval showed his skill and grace by out dancing all but the greatest of French dancing master despite wearing rather restrictive riding boots.
The lady’s husband naturally a bit miffed at this point strongly suggested that his wife get back into the carriage. As the husband started to give orders to drive off Duval politely reminded him that he had to pay for his evening’s entertainment. Now either the gentlemen only gave Duval £100 which was accepted by him in good humour and “with a flamboyant sweep of his feathered hat” despite knowing full well that there was a further £300 hidden under the man’s seat or Duval only accepted £100 despite being offered the full sum. According to Leigh Hunt this episode was “an eternal feather in the cap of highway gentility”. Even though it is hard to believe that Duval had time for a romantic musical interlude in the midst of a theft whilst avoiding arrest it is definitely an enchanting tale.
A less than chivalrous incident
Another episode which does not show Duval in such a favourable light was reported to have occurred in Blackheath. Duval and his men stopped a coach containing a number of ladies, one of whom was feeding a baby with a silver bottle. Apparently Duval on seeing the bottle grabbed it but after being admonished by a member of his gang who reminded him about the need to protect his reputation, Duval grudgingly gave it back. A slightly different version possibly circulated to counteract any negative publicity states that it was in fact one of Duval’s men who snatched the bottle and it was Duval who convinced his man to give his prize back.
Escape to France
On the 19 November 1669 a royal proclamation was issued with Duval named first in a list of notorious offenders and a reward of £20 placed on his head. The London Gazette described him as “the most wanted highwayman in England”. Duval was forced to leave England and return to France to wait until things had cooled down. Although back on home territory and probably trying to lie low, Duval was unable to keep out of trouble. Finding highway robbery less lucrative over that side of the Channel since carriages travelled with less money and more guns Duval decided to return to England.
Capture and trial
Unfortunately shortly after his return Duval’s luck ran out. It was reported (although no corroborating evidence exists) that during a drunken night of revelry at the Hole-in-the-Wall in Chandos Street in London, early in 1670, Duval was finally arrested. Pope states that if Duval hadn’t been drunk (and considering three pistols and a sword were found on him) he would never have been taken so easily. Duval was arraigned and convicted at the Old Bailey of six counts of highway robbery (with others known of but not proved). It seems that even at this stage Duval was convinced that he would be pardoned by Charles II but in the end due to the judge, Sir William Morton threatening to resign if the conviction was overturned Charles decided to stay well out of it.
Whilst Duval was imprisoned it seems he was not short of company as a steady flow of wealthy women; some of whom might have been his victims and others simply eager to get a glance of the devilishly handsome highwayman. It seems he did not disappoint as many of them petitioned the king and other leading officials on his behalf and “…Not a few accompanied him to the gallows, under their vizards, with swollen eyes and blubbered cheeks”. On the 21 January 1670 at the age of twenty seven, Duval was hanged at Tyburn. According to records as well as the ladies quite a few men attended. The men were possibly relieved that the spell that Duval had cast on their wives, daughters, sisters and even mothers would finally be vanquished.
Lying in state
After his death, Duval was cut down and brought in a mourning coach to a pub near Covent Gardens. He lay in state for several days although the name of the deceased was withheld from the pub owner so as not to cause any problems. The bed posts were covered in black drapes, candles lit and the body watched over by several men in black. He was visited by a number of veiled women who stricken with grief took their last tearful leave of Duval.
A chivalrous thank you and fitting epitaph
Duval managed his reputation or legend to the last. If true a note was found on his body when his clothes were searched which included a thank you to all the women who had visited him, tried to attain a pardon for him, comforted him and would accompany him on his final journey to the gallows. He also reassured them that he was prepared for his death and had made his peace with his maker. Duval made a last dig at the men in their lives as he states that he admits that his obligation to them is great since they have loved him “better than your own country-men, better than your own dear husbands”. Duval was buried in the churchyard of St Paul’s (possibly under the name of Peter Duval) and his headstone bore the epitaph
Here lies Du Vall:
Reader if male thou art,
Look to thy purse;
if female to thy heart.
Much havoc has he made of both;
for all men he made stand,
and women he made fall.
The second Conqueror of the Norman race,
Still one for the ladies
Even in death Duval’s amorous activities seem to have continued. His ghost is believed to haunt the Holt Hotel in Oxfordshire. The hotel was previously known as the Hopcroft’s Holt, a staging post on the north road to Oxford and was a favourite drinking hole and possible headquarters of Duval. Duval’s ghost is said to be particularly fond of Room 3 and many women are said to have felt they were being watched. Duval’s link with the inn is commemorated in a painted carved wooden sign displayed outside the hotel.
A gracious leader of thieves
Duval is considered to be the first gentlemen highwayman and for some he “brought class and dignity to the profession of highwayman”. Whether he really deserves the praise he has garnered is open to debate as although he fascinated women of all ages, he was when it came to it a thief, a charming one but still a thief. It should also not be forgotten that he rode with men who were hardened criminals and in all likelihood did not ascribe to the same code of conduct. He must have wielded power as he was believed to have controlled a gang of up to fifty men and robbed houses and convoys as well as carriages and coaches. They would not have followed him if they thought him to be a weak, foppish and ineffectual leader however gallant he was! He was also successful as he managed to evade capture through his own skills and cunning for ten years, outperforming most of his fellow highwaymen. None of them really expected to live a long life and die in bed.
The legend of Duval
The myth of Duval life later became even more elaborate with some people claiming that he once saved the life of Charles II and that he was more than a friend to Nell Gwynne. As with every legend there is no separating myth from fact. The image of the charming witty debonair and handsome highwayman galloping through the country with his pistols at his side and dressed in a curly wig, black hat and eye mask is defining appealing. In my mind I imagine him cut from the same cloth as the highwayman described by Alfred Noyes in his poem ‘The Highwayman’
…He’d a French cocked hat on his forehead,
a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet,
and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle.
His boots were up to his thigh.
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle
His pistols butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky…
The memoirs of Monsieur Du Vall: Containing the history of his life and death, William Pope, 1670
Stand and deliver: a history of highway robbery, David Brandon, 2010
Claude Duval, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Duval
Claude Duval, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Claude-Duval
Claude Duval: Gentleman highwayman, http://www.sloughhistoryonline.org.uk/ixbin/hixclient.exe?a=query&p=slough&f=generic_theme.htm&_IXFIRST_=1&_IXMAXHITS_=1&%3Dtheme_record_id=sl-sl-claudeduval&s=1MBABDA5YeF
Claude Duval (1643-1670), http://www.berkshirehistory.com/bios/cduval.html
Claude Duval – the romantic highwayman, http://www.hounslow.info/libraries/local-history-archives/claude-duval/
Claude Duval – The Gallant Highwayman, http://stand-and-deliver.org.uk/highwaymen/claude-du-vall.html
1670: Claude Duval, gentleman highwayman, http://www.executedtoday.com/2010/01/21/1670-claude-duval-duvall-gentleman-highwayman/
Highwaymen, http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Highwaymen/ The ladies love Claude Duval, http://www.roguesgalleryonline.com/the-ladies-love-claude-duval/
The Highwayman, Alfred Noyes, 1906
The Old Bailey: Eight Centuries of Crime, Cruelty and Corruption, Theresa Murphy, 2011
The thief of hearts: Claude Duval and the Gentlemen Highwayman in fact and fiction, John and Philip Sugden, 2015
Antiques at the Holt, http://www.antiques-at-the-holt.co.uk/holt.htm
Foul deeds of suspicious deaths in Hampstead Heath and St Pancras, Mark Aston, 2005
Duvall, the dandy highwayman from Domfront, http://www.normandythenandnow.com/tag/claude-duval/ The Holt Hotel, https://www.hauntedrooms.co.uk/product/holt-hotel-oxford-oxfordshire
The Black Moth, Georgette Heyer, 1921
 The Black Moth, Georgette Heyer, 1921
 The memoirs of Monsieur Du Vall: Containing the history of his life and death, William Pope, 1670
 Stand and deliver: a history of highway robbery, David Brandon, 2010
 Duvall, the dandy highwayman from Domfront, http://www.normandythenandnow.com/tag/claude-duval/
 Claude Duval – The Gallant Highwayman, http://stand-and-deliver.org.uk/highwaymen/claude-du-vall.html
 The Old Bailey: Eight Centuries of Crime, Cruelty and Corruption, Theresa Murphy, 2011
 The ladies love Claude Duval, http://www.roguesgalleryonline.com/the-ladies-love-claude-duval/
 Duvall, the dandy highwayman from Domfront, http://www.normandythenandnow.com/tag/claude-duval/
 The memoirs of Monsieur Du Vall: Containing the history of his life and death, William Pope, 1670
 Stand and deliver: a history of highway robbery, David Brandon, 2010
 The Old Bailey: Eight Centuries of Crime, Cruelty and Corruption, Theresa Murphy, 2011
Astonishing Transactions at Stockwell
In the eighteenth century Stockwell was a rural hamlet in Surrey, repleat with rolling fields and shady lanes flanked by hedgerow. It boasted less than a hundred dwellings mainly centred around a village green, upon which flocks of sheep ambled whilst sparrows and yellow hammers sported in the skies above. It was a veritable rustic idyll.
Mrs Golding was an upstanding and well-regarded member of the community, a lady of independent fortune who lived alone, but for her maid, Ann Robinson. Her house was situated close by the Tower public house. A more respectable and unremarkable old body it would have been hard to find. However on twelfth night, Monday 6 January, 1772, her unobtrusive life was suddenly cast into turmoil.
Mrs Golding’s peaceful forenoon was rudely shattered when her young maid servant, a girl of about twenty, and employed little more than a week, burst into the parlour to exclaim that the kitchen was being turned upside down by hands unseen. Alarmed, Mrs G accompanied the girl to the aforesaid chamber and to her utter astonishment was witness to the following events:
‘Cups and saucers rattled down the chimney – pots and pans were whirled down the stairs, or through the windows; and hams, cheeses and loaves of bread disported themselves upon the floor as if the devil were in them.’ 
While the astounded old lady contemplated the strange turn of events, things escalated –
‘a clock tumbled down and the case broke; a lantern that hung on the staircase was thrown down and the glass broke to pieces; an earthen pan of salted beef broke to pieces and the beef fell about’ 
Soon the cacophony of chaos had drawn quite a crowd. But although Mrs Golding and her neighbours may have feared the devil was at play in her pantry, nevertheless she was also sensible enough to consider that the house may be about to come tumbling down about their ears, and hastily summoned Mr Rowlidge, a carpenter, to inspect the building. His assessment was that the weight of an extra room added to an upper floor was occasioning the disruptions and that immediate evacuation was required. Mrs Golding fled fainting to her neighbour, Mr Gresham, for shelter. She left Mr Rowlidge and his associates to retrieve her remaining possessions – and her maid, who had repaired to an upper chamber.
Mr Rowlidge and his companions urgently impressed on the young woman the need to vacate the property, yet Ann repeatedly ignored their entreaties. Eventually the young woman sauntered downstairs, with such an air of unconcern that it quite amazed Mr Rowlidge and his companions.
In the house next door, Mrs Golding was in a dead faint. Such was her violent reaction to the sudden calamity that it was misreported that she had expired, and her niece, one Mrs Pain, was summoned from her home at Rush Common close to the nearby settlement of Brixton Causeway.
Of the witnesses present, one was a surgeon, Mr Gardner of Clapham. He was called upon to practice his art on the trembling Mrs Golding by letting her blood. Mr Gardner intended to examine the blood later, so it was left to rest in a basin. The congealing mass was too tempting to the disruptive spirit in attendance upon the unfortunate Mrs Golding, and the jellied lump of blood was observed to spring from the basin, which itself then shattered upon the ground.
The bouncing blood did not bode well, soon the many valuables transported from Mrs Golding’s and stowed in Mr Gresham’s parlour were under supernatural attack. China stored on a sideboard came crashing down, shattering a pier glass placed beneath it. Pandemonium soon reigned in the Gresham household – as it had done in Mrs Golding’s.
In terror, Mrs Golding fled to another neighbour, Mr Mayling, for respite. Deciding that her neighbours had been put too much trouble by the devilish commotions, she quickly departed Mr Mayling’s house to that of her niece at Rush Common. If Mrs Golding had hoped the strange events had ceased, she was to be disappointed. During dinner, the maid was sent back to Mrs Golding’s house and later reported all was quiet there. Things were less quiet at the Pain’s – at 8pm:
“a whole row of pewter dishes, except one, fell off a shelf to the middle of the floor, rolled about a little while, then settled, as soon as they were quiet, turned upside down; [..] two eggs were upon one of the pewter shelves, one of them flew off, crossed the kitchen, and struck a cat on the head, and then broke to pieces.” 
Other items soon flew about – a pestle and mortar, candlesticks, brasses, glasses and china, a mustard pot jumped about, even a ham, hung on the chimney, and a flitch of bacon, all went flying. There were many witnesses, family and friends alike, many of whom were so afraid that they fled in terror, fearing witchcraft or the devil was at work.
And during all of this tumult, one person one person carried on as if nothing was amiss. Ann Robinson. Ann continued to flit between the kitchen and parlour wherever the family was. She just would not sit still. Hone reports in his Everyday book that she:
“advised her mistress not to be alarmed or uneasy, as these things could not be helped.”
Following this strange advice, Mrs Golding and the Pain’s began reconsider Ann’s apparent sang froid.
At 10pm the services of a Mr Fowler were called upon, he was asked to sit with the ladies but fled at 1am, being so terrified by the goings on. Mrs Pain fled to bed, Mrs Golding paced amidst the ruins of her possessions. By the early hours of the morning, unable to withstand the destruction any more Mrs Golding left her niece and went to the timorous Mr Fowler’s. Ann returned to the Pain’s to help Mrs Pain retrieve the children from a barn to where they had been evacuated. Hone reports that all was quiet at Mr Fowler’s, until Ann returned.
Once again, a litany of destruction ensued – candlestick struck lamp, coals overturned and Ann informed Mr Fowler that such events would pursue Mrs Golding wherever she went. Terrified, Mr Fowler bid his neighbour leave, but first he entreated her to:
“consider within herself, for her own and the public sake, whether or not she had not been guilty of some atrocious crime, for which Providence was determined to pursue her on this side of the grave.” 
This slight to her good character – that her travails must be divine punishment for a crime she had committed irked Mrs G and she soon gave short shrift to Mr Fowler’s admonitions and declared:
“her conscience was quite clear, and she could as well wait the will of Providence in her own house” 
Unsurprisingly, when she returned home, her supernatural attendant accompanied her – a box of candles was overturned, a table danced, and a pail of water mysteriously seethed and boiled.
For Mrs Golding and Mr Pain her nephew-in-law, the evidence was stacking up against the unflappable Ann. A trap was set. Ann was to go on an errand back to Rush Common. During that time, about 6 -7am on Tuesday morning, all paranormal activity ceased. Upon her return she was dismissed on the spot as the cause of the diabolical destruction. As if by magic, all disruption ceased and Mrs Golding was never again to suffer such travails.
Stockwell ghost: poltergeist or hoax?
At the time, the Stockwell ghost was almost as notorious as the Cock Lane Ghost of the 1760’s. Interest was so great that the main witnesses, Mrs Golding, John and Mary Pain, Richard and Sarah Fowler and Mary Martin, the Pain’s maid, even went so far as to publish a pamphlet a few days after the events, on 11th January 1772: An authentic, candid, and circumstantial narrative of the astonishing transactions at Stockwell … Surry … the 6th and 7th … of January, 1772 …
The curious thing about the Stockwell haunting is that so many people considered it to be genuine, even after the main witnesses began to express their doubts, it was reported that even years later, many locals attributed events to the supernatural.  And this in the eighteenth century: the century famed for the Enlightenment and for thinkers such as Hume, Diderot and Voltaire who to tried to take God out of the equation by presenting a ‘disenchanted’ world free from religious superstition. However, in tandem with this new rationalistic world view, came an enthusiastic popular religion in the form of Wesley’s Methodism, and Wesley himself claimed to have experienced a poltergeist called ‘Old Jeffrey’ at the family home Epworth Rectory. And of course, old superstitions die-hard.
Faced with chaotic, frightening and inexplicable events, many apparently rational people will question their view of the world before looking for more prosaic explanations. In fact, many ‘sober’ and respectable persons attended Mrs Golding, ostensibly to express their sympathies for her not inconsiderable financial losses, but also with an undoubted air of rubbernecking at someone else’s misfortune. Many came away terrified and convinced of the diabolical origin of the disturbances and some no doubt, like Mr Fowler, questioned what the respectable Mrs Golding had done to bring down Providence’s displeasure. As seen with the Cock Lane Ghost, there was an enduring popular belief that ghosts often returned in order to right a wrong or uncover a crime. Mrs Golding stood to lose much more than just her china and plate, she stood to lose her good character.
Poltergeist activity is often associated with young girls. Anthropological studies suggest the are an expression of inter-personal conflicts or domestic violence within kin-groups. In the case of young servant girls, away from home and family, perhaps in a restrictive or oppressive environment, it is understandable that some found it tempting to rail against the power imbalance between master (or mistress) and servant. The historical record certainly provides many examples of young servants perpetrating hoaxes on their employers.
Even if one gives Ann the benefit of the doubt and attributes her sang froid and comment that such things were normal, to the fact that the poltergeist was attached to her and perhaps for her it was normal, it seems fairly clear that the young Ann Robinson was faking it (in order to clear the house for an illicit liaison). The pamphlet points the finger of blame strongly in her direction, whilst stopping short of making an outright accusation, claiming rather to be simply recounting events as they happened (even maids can get litigious). However, all doubt must have been dispelled several years later when Ann finally confessed to her part in orchestrating events. Her confession was made to one Reverend Brayfield and was reported by William Hone, in his Everyday Book of 1825:
‘She had fixed long horse hairs to some of the crockery, and put wire under others; on pulling these the ‘moveables’ of course fell [..] Ann Robinson herself dexterously threw many of the things down, which the persons present, when they turned around and saw them in motion or broken, attributed to unseen agency’
It is worth noting that not everyone was convinced by this confession: Catherine Crowe, famous for introducing the term poltergeist into the English language in her 1848 work The Night-side of Nature, was convinced the phenomena was real. But she was in the minority.
Ann may well have been a simple serving-maid, but many of the middle and upper class writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century believed that servants were routinely committing similar dastardly deeds, and pulling the wool over their unsuspecting employers eyes. All of which suggests that the ‘umble folk had a pretty good grasp of basic psychology, allowing them to tap into popular fears to get the better of their betters.
The god-fearing folk who witnessed events at Stockwell were often so terrified that they would refuse to look upon the shattered items for fear of what devilish imps they might see – thereby giving the nimble and nefarious Ann further opportunity to create mayhem, even going so far as to add a paper of chemicals to a pail of water to make it ‘boil’.
If not for the ultimate callousness and meanness of the trick – Mrs Golding was an elderly lady and she was badly frightened as well as suffering considerable financial loss – young Ann was clearly a force to be reckoned with. One wonders if she ever repeated the tactic on future employers – or if her descendants can be found employed in todays popular Halloween entertainment, the Haunted House.
Sources and Notes
Crowe, Catherine, 1848, The Night-Side of Nature:
Davies, Owen, 2007, The Haunted: A Social History of Ghosts    
Hone, William, 1825: The Everyday Book:    
MacKay, Charles, 1852, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds:  
Cartomancy, eighteenth century, England, Folk hero, Fortune-telling, Gipsy, Gypsy, Gypsy Hill, Gypsy life, Gypsy Queen, John Keats, Margaret Finch, Norwood, palm reading, Romany, South East, Surrey, Vagrancy Act
And liv’d upon the moors:
Her bed it was the brown heath turf,
And her house was out of doors.
Her apples were swart blackberries,
Her currants, pods o’ broom;
Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,
Her book a church-yard tomb.
Her brothers were the craggy hills,
Her sisters larchen trees;
Alone with her great family
She liv’d as she did please.
No breakfast had she many a morn,
No dinner many a noon,
And ‘stead of supper she would stare
Full hard against the moon.
But every morn, of woodbine fresh
She made her garlanding,
And every night the dark glen yew
She wove, and she would sing.
Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen,
And tall as Amazon:
An old red blanket cloak she wore,
A chip hat had she on.
God rest her aged bones somewhere–
She died full long agone! 
This poem was written by John Keats for his sister Fanny, in either the July or August of 1818, whilst on a walking tour of Scotland with his friend Charles Brown. The beauty of the Kirkcudbrightshire coastline with its “craggy moors towering inland” reminded Brown of Sir Walter Scott’s evocative descriptions in his book ‘Guy Mannering’. Brown recounted the story to Keats who was unfamiliar with the book.
The character of the gypsy Meg Merillies in particular caught Keats attention. In the novel Meg plays a pivotal role in moving the plot forward and is instrumental in bringing the story to its happy and resolved conclusion. Scott eschews the widely held view of gypsies as criminal (e.g. horse thieves) and sinister and instead presents a romanticised version. Meg is portrayed as mysterious and enigmatic fulfilling the traditional role of the kind and generous wise woman and healer who uses her otherworldly senses to help those around her.
Scott based his character of Meg on the famous Scottish gypsy Jean Gordon who lived in the first half of the 18th century. Jean is described in contemporary sources as being unusually tall (six foot), having a remarkable appearance and an unusual dress sense. She was regarded by all who knew her as honest and respectable, unfortunately for her, her sons were not. On the 5th June 1730 her three sons and two of their wives were hung for sheep stealing at Jedburgh. Two years later, Jean herself was arrested possibly for vagrancy and banished. In 1746 she was grabbed and drowned in the River Eden after angering a crowd with her vocal support for Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Keats’s Meg is as much a part of the physical landscape as she is the world of people. The verses emphasise the harshness of the life she leads and her poverty but for me the overriding impression it leaves is one of freedom. Despite the overall beauty of the words it is the first line of the last stanza ‘Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen’ which always catches my eye. Although it refers to the Scottish Queen Margaret, it conjures up in my mind the image of another Margaret, another queen who fits the theme of the poem so perfectly, that is, Margaret Finch, Queen of the Gypsies.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Roma generally travelled around the country making a living as best they could, returning to London and its outskirts during the winter months. The largest identified group of Roma congregated in Norwood, Surrey. The main families were believed to be the Lees and the Coopers who “were reputed to be rich, [and]…were not held in disrepute like poorer gypsies in some other areas”.
The popularity of Norwood was due to its “remote and rural character, though lying so handy for both London and Croydon” and this is one of the reasons why Finch and her community decided to settle there. A hill in Norwood originally derogatorily nicknamed Beggar’s Hill eventually due to its strong historical and cultural association with the Roma became known as Gypsy Hill.
A leader of her people
As so very little is known about the life and background of Margaret Finch, her role as the Queen of the Gypsies has to be gauged from other sources. To be named as the Queen is the ultimate accolade so the fact that Margaret was elected to the role shows how important and respected a person she would have been in her community.
How old she would have been when she was elected is unknown, it could have been at any age depending on when her predecessor decided to name a successor. Evidence from a newspaper article published on the 2nd August 1899 gives some idea of the characteristics needed to fulfil the role of Queen. The article reports on the election of Laurel Harrison, 17, to replace her grandmother Snake Mary who at the time was 94. Laurel is described as carrying “herself well and has the dignity befitting her new position. She is said to possess the gift of intuition to an unusual degree, being this especially well fitted for her future as the principal fortune teller of her people”. It is more than likely that as in the case of Laurel Harrison the role of Queen was passed on in Finch’s own branch of her family as after Margaret’s death her niece ‘old Bridget’ took on the role. After Bridget’s own death in August 1768, her niece, another Margaret became Queen.
In her role, Margaret’s advice would have been sought on any important issues affecting the Roma society. The Roma have an extremely complex socio-political structure made up of nations or ‘natsiia’ which are then broken down into other subgroups with the family being the smallest unit. One of the most important components of the structure is the Kris or Council of Elders which deals with any issues or disputes which are too complex or grave to be dealt with by the bandoliers (rulers of the Communities). Margaret would have had the power to choose each bandolier for each community and would have used her wisdom and experience to choose a suitable candidate. She would have also elected the head of the Kris which unlike the other Elders was a permanent position. As the leader of the combined Gypsy nations she would have had the final word in all decisions or instructions among the tribes with all the members pledging loyalty to her.
It is not surprising then that when Margaret Finch, Queen of the Gypsies chose to settle in Norwood in Surrey it became the beating heart of Gypsy London.
The most famous gypsy of her age
Finch was a unique individual. As the Queen of the Gypsies she must have inspired fear, devotion and respect from amongst her own people. Not much information is known about her early life but more than likely she had spent the first half traveling throughout Britain. It is only when she grew older and settled permanently in Norwood that descriptions of her appeared. As an old woman she was described as “a withered, wild and grotesque” figure with bony, claw-liked hands who lived with an emaciated terrier and smoked a pipe.
Her singular appearance and behaviour fascinated people who travelled large distances to visit her and ask her advice. According to one report Margaret lived in a conical shaped hut made out of branches at the base of an ancient tree at the lower end of Gypsy Hill.
A report published by James Caulfield a year after Margaret Finch’s death stated that the “oddness of her figure and ye fame of her fortune-telling draw a vast concourse of spectators from ye highest rank of quality, even those of ye lower class of life”
Margaret Finch’s reputation was such that she was considered the greatest and most famous gypsy of her era. This may have been the reason why in his ‘History of Signboards’ the author Larwood tries to suggest the possibility that Margaret was one of the gypsies that Samuel Pepy’s wife visited along with some of her companions in August 1668 at Lambeth. Although there is no concrete evidence to suggest that Margaret was at Lambeth on that date and some of his calculations are suspect (he states that Margaret was seventeen at the time but if her age at the time of death was roughly correct, she would have been in her thirties), it does show the depth of her fame.
The role of fortune telling ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦
As a foreign people in a foreign land, looked on with suspicion due to their unusual lifestyle, looks and customs, gypsies would have had limited employment choices and so had to make a living as best they could. Their numbers added to those already travelling through the country searching for work i.e people forced off their land due to land enclosures and later the Industrial Revolution as well as war veterans. With the limited opportunities open to them they became pedlars, hawkers, street performers and fortune tellers.
Fortune telling has been an important source of income for many gypsies over the centuries. In general fortune tellers were regarded with suspicion. This situation was not helped by the fact it was known that groups of professional vagabonds disguised as gypsies travelled to fairs to rip off anyone they could. By the late 18th century it was not uncommon to find male con artists dressed in a green robe and wearing a false beard (beards equalled wisdom) purporting to be from the mystical East. Stories abounded of young serving girls allowing in pretend gypsy women who promised to tell them their future for a shilling and then proceeded to steal their master’s silver plate or cloth. It was nearly impossible for most people to differentiate between genuine and fake gypsies. This combined with the pervading fear of the other, those who did not fit into the commonly accepted pattern of social behaviour, made gypsies both fascinating and frightening.
Not only was fortune telling a way to earn money but it would have given Margaret an aura of mystery and magic as well as an opportunity for her to make contacts amongst non gypsies. Usually gypsy society is insular with contact with non gypsies (except when it is necessary) disapproved of but the role of Queen was also seen as a contact point between the two societies. From the people that came to her to find out their futures, Margaret would have been able to learn about changes in the social and political climate and to discover secrets and useful information. Gypsies used many different divination methods to predict the future such as crystal gazing, tea leaves and palmistry, the method that Margaret was believed to favour was cartomancy.
Cartomancy, whereby a meaning was ascribed to each card in a standard deck was extremely popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Louisa Lawford in her 1851 book ‘The Fortune-Teller’ gives a list of the card meanings. Although there is no surviving written record of the meanings that Margaret would have assigned to her cards it is highly possible that they would have been very similar for example,
Ten of Clubs – fortune, successes or grandeur; reversed, want of success in some small matter
Ace of Clubs – signifies joy, money or good news; reversed, the joy will be of brief duration
King of Hearts – a fair liberal man; reversed, will meet with disappointment
Seven of Hearts – pleasant thoughts, tranquility; reversed, ennui, weariness
Ten of Spades – tears, a prison; reversed, a brief affliction
Queen of Spades – a widow; reversed, a dangerous and malicious woman
Seven of Diamonds – satire, mockery; reversed, a foolish scandal
Nine of Diamonds – annoyance, delayed; reversed, either a family or love quarrel
Above all Margaret must have been a shrewd woman as she ran a highly successful business. She would have been well aware how much her image contributed to her popularity. She would not have been so successful if she had given people unfavourable or distressing readings. In was in her interest to keep her clients happy and that included maintaining an exotic and bizarre appearance.
The end of an era
When Margaret Finch died on the 24 October 1740 she was reported to be about 109 years old. She had spent over half a century telling fortunes. She was buried in St George’s, the Parish Church of Beckenham. It is said that a large crowd gathered to see her on her final journey accompanying her body in a procession which included two mourning carriages. In death as in life she remained a strange and unique character. She had to be buried in a deep square box because due to her habit of sitting with her chin resting on her knees, her muscles had become so contracted that she could not alter her position.
In one way Margaret was lucky to die when she did as only four years later King George II’s Vagrancy Act was passed. Although bills against vagrancy had been in existence since the mid-16th century (when the number of people with no fixed abode rose due to the dissolution of the monasteries) with punishments fluctuating in severity from slavery and death to whipping and branding and where at one point it was illegal just to be a gypsy, this new law ushered in a new era, establishing strict guidelines on how to deal with ‘vagrants’. The Act allowed the authorities to arrest anyone they didn’t like and those without a visible means of subsistence such as “unlicensed pedlars, fencers, jugglers, bearwards, minstrels, fortune tellers and gamesters”.
As the century finally due to a close the situation of the Norwood gypsies was becoming increasingly precarious. In August 1797, 30 men and children were arrested under the Vagrancy Act and in 1802 the Society for the Suppression of Vice brought charges against the Norwood fortune tellers. Faced with forced enclosure of the Common and persecution, the gypsy families including the Lees and the Coopers finally left Norwood for good. By 1808, the area was being referred to as the place which was “once the haunt of a numerous horde of gipsies”. Remarkably the small building which Finch had lived in was still standing.
Things did not get any better. In the Vagrancy Act of 1824, Section 4, it is clear that gypsies were being singled out and closely monitored as the authorities attacked them through one of their main means of survival “every person, pretending or professing to tell fortunes, or using any subtle craft, means or device, by palmistry or otherwise, to deceive and impose on any of his Majesty’s subjects” were to face the full force of the law. The Roma were only removed from the Vagrancy Act in 1989!
The legacy of Margaret Finch
Margaret Finch was considered one of the most remarkable people of her time and her fame and those of the Norwood gypsies continued after her death. For instance, in 1777 a very success and popular pantomime called ‘The Norwood Gypsies’ was performed in Convent Gardens. A number of publications believed to be either written by or inspired by the Norwood gypsies were published including the ‘Norwood Gypsy Fortune-Teller’ which was extremely popular with all levels of society. The book claimed to be able to teach its readers the art of divination including telling fortunes by grounds of tea or coffee and by lines in the hand, the science of foretelling events by cards and ‘directions to choose a husband by the hair’!
Not only did Margaret earn money for herself and her community but her presence generated income for local businesses, “Norwood, and the roads leading to it; on a fine Sunday, resembled the scene of a fair; and, with the greatest difficulty only, could a seat or a mug of beer be obtained, at the place called the Gipsy-house.”. From that time onwards there has always been a pub near the site which has taken it name from its famous inhabitants including the Gypsy Queen and Gipsy Tavern (both of which have now closed). The latest inheritor of the title is the ‘Gipsy Hill Tavern’.
On a last note, in the Victorian artist John McCullum 1851 painting of the lych gate at St George’s Church you can see the small figure of a woman on the right. Many believe this to be Margaret Finch. Even today crystals mainly amethysts are left at the lych gate. Amethysts are believed to be a calming and meditative stone which help people make contact with the psychic and spiritual realms. The stones are only ever to be found at this spot in the churchyard. Maybe they are left as a tribute to Margaret Finch or as recognition of the spiritual essence of the place, or simply as a reminder of this area’s unique nature. Whatever the reason the memory of the gypsies of Norwood and their famous Queen lives on.
Keats: Poems Published in 1820, John Keats
Summary and Analysis of Meg Merillies by John Keats, https://beamingnotes.com/2014/09/21/summary-analysis-meg-merilies-john-keats
Jean Gordon, www.scottishgypsies.co.uk/jean.html
The Norwood Gypsies, http://www.rwhit.dsl.pipex.com/chp14.htm
The Norwood Gypsies, http://romanygenes.com/the-norwood-gypsies/4574799978
Reading Eagle, August 2nd 1899, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid-19558
South London Gypsy History http://transpont.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=margaret+finch
The History of Signposts by John Camden Larwood, 1868
The Gypsy!, http://larp.com/jahavra/gypsy1.html
The Fortune-Teller or peeps into futurity, Louisa Lawford, 1861
Vagrancy in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England, Sara Byrnes, http://www.cornellcollege.edu/english/blaugdone/essays/vagrancy.htm
The Norwood Society, http://www.norwoodsociety.co.uk/articles/85-the-norwood-gipsies.html
Margaret Finch, www.beckenham.history.co.uk/margaretfinch
Vagabands and Beggar, www.rictornorton.co.uk/gu10.htm
Gypsies and Travellers, www.oldbaileyonline.org/static/Gypsy-travellers.jsp
19th century fortune telling from the drawing room to the courtroom, https://mimimathews.com/206/01/11/19th-century-fortune-telling-from-the-drawing-room-to-the-court-room
Romani people in fiction, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people_in_fictionhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people_in_fiction
Gypsies – Sociopolitical Organization http://www.everyculture.com/Russia-Eurasia-China/Gypsies-Sociopolitical-Organization.html
 Keats: Poems Published in 1820, John Keats
Summary and Analysis of Meg Merillies by John Keats, https://beamingnotes.com/2014/09/21/summary-analysis-meg-merilies-john-keats
 Jean Gordon, www.scottishgypsies.co.uk/jean.html
 The Norwood Gypsies, http://www.rwhit.dsl.pipex.com/chp14.htm
 The Norwood Gypsies, http://romanygenes.com/the-norwood-gypsies/4574799978
 Reading Eagle, August 2nd 1899, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid-19558
 South London Gypsy History, http://transpont.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=margaret+finch
 The History of Signposts by John Camden Larwood, 1868
 The Gypsy!, http://larp.com/jahavra/gypsy1.html
 The Fortune-Teller or peeps into futurity, Louisa Lawford, 1861
 Vagrancy in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England, Sara Byrnes, http://www.cornellcollege.edu/english/blaugdone/essays/vagrancy.htm
 The Norwood Society, http://www.norwoodsociety.co.uk/articles/85-the-norwood-gipsies.html
 Vagrancy in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England, Sara Byrnes, http://www.cornellcollege.edu/english/blaugdone/essays/vagrancy.htm
 South London Gypsy History, http://transpont.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=margaret+finch
 Margaret Finch, www.beckenham.history.co.uk/margaretfinch
body bugs, burial, Burial Act, Burial reform, Cemeteries, churchyard, crypts, dancing on the dead, Enon Chapel, George Graveyard Walker, London, Mr Howse, open sewer, pyramid of bones, vaults, Victorian
Slums, sewers, corpses, a corrupt clergyman, a pyramid of bones, and …dancing on the dead. Sometimes the Victorian’s failed, quite spectacularly, to live up to their prim and proper reputation.
London’s burial grounds: a mass of putrefaction
London in the mid nineteenth century had a problem: a burgeoning industrial and commercial centre with a population pushing at 2.5 million living souls, it also had an ever growing population of the dead. Inner city burial had been carried out in London for centuries -it has been observed that London, even today, is one huge grave, if you only know where to look. But by the mid nineteenth century fears of disease spread by the miasma from inner city graveyards and a fashion for wealthier people to be buried in suburban cemeteries, meant that London’s remaining inner city burial grounds were often terribly overcrowded and unsanitary. One such place, the ‘Green Ground’ on Portugal Street, a burial ground for the nearby workhouse, was described by George Walker as:
‘[A] mass of putrefaction’ and ‘The soil of this ground is saturated, absolutely saturated, with human putrescence,’ the author noting that ‘The living here breathe on all sides an atmosphere impregnated by the odour of the dead.’ 
It was not uncommon for gravediggers to chop into or even discard earlier burials in order to cram new ones into overcrowded graveyards:
‘What a horrid place is St Giles Churchyard! It is full of coffins up to the surface. Coffins are broken up before they are decayed, and bodies are removed to the “bonehouse” before they are sufficiently decayed to make removal decent’
So reported the Weekly Despatch in September 1838.
No wonder that women rarely attended burials. Yet these places were often the only resort open to the poor. One scandalous case that provided a catalyst for a change was the infamous Enon Chapel….
Enon Chapel – undercutting the competition
Close to the Strand, on the west side of St Clement’s lane, an insalubrious neighbourhood was to be found. Accessed via a narrow court, Carey Street offered slum housing and overcrowding to the poorest of the poor. It was here in 1822, that an enterprising and cynical Baptist minister, Mr W Howse, founded his ministry: saving souls and selling burials. Enon Chapel itself, fitted into this down at heel locale, sited, as it was, above an open sewer which ran though its vault.In 1822, fear of the resurrection men was still strong. Burke and Hare had yet to set up their fearsome murder trade north of the Border, but before them were others, stealing fresh corpses from graveyards for the anatomists table. This popular fear may have been one of the factors in Mr Howse’s calculations in setting up his burial business at Enon. It had a vault. At barely 59 feet by 12 feet it wasn’t a large vault, but Mr Howse was an enterprising individual and knew how to spin a profit from almost nothing. In 1823 Enon was licensed for burials.
Burials in the vault at Enon Chapel were a mere 15 shillings. This compared very favourably to the competitors – close by at St Clement Danes it cost £1.17s2d for an adult burial, and £1.10.2d to bury a child – and that only covered a churchyard burial. At a time when poor families would often have to warehouse their dead in their homes until they had saved enough for burial, Enon Chapel had a clear advantage over the competition: offering both secure and, more importantly, affordable burials.
Things went well for Mr Howse for a number of years, if people marvelled at how capacious the tiny vault was, nobody asked any awkward questions. Even when worshippers retched into their hankerchieves or fell unconscious at the noxious stink that was rife in the chapel, especially in warm weather, they said nothing. It may have been harder to ignore the long black flies that emerged from the decaying coffins, or the ‘body bugs’ that would infest worshippers hair and clothes, and neighbours of the chapel noted that meat, if left out, would putrefy within an hour or two. By the 1830’s rumours were beginning to circulate, but still nobody suspected the true scale of the horror beneath their feet.
A Modern Golgotha uncovered
In 1839, following some concerns with goings on at Enon, the Commissioner of Sewers inspected the open sewer under the Chapel with the view that it should be covered or vaulted. However, their investigations took a grusome turn when they discovered human remains, some of them mutilated, discarded in the sewer – whether by design or accident, it was not clear. Oddly enough, despite the sheer horror of this discovery, the remains were not removed and burials did not stop. Mr Howse continued his profitable venture burying up to 500 people a year in the vault until his death in 1842. In total around12,000 people were buried in a vault measuring only 59 feet by 12.
In part, he appears to have managed to cram so many corpses into so limited a space because he discarded the coffins (he and his wife used them for firewood). This would no doubt have increased the stench exponentially – Julian Litten, in his book The English Way of Death, notes that intramural vault burials usually required a triple encasing for the corpse, in both wood and soldered lead, so as to ensure that the coffin was water-tight and air-tight . Discarding the outer shell of the coffin, Howse disposed of the occupants in deep pits filled with quicklime to help the bodies decompose.
It was also said that extensive building work, such as at Waterloo Bridge, allowed Howse to secretly remove upwards of sixty cart loads of decomposed human remains for use as landfill and bone-meal in the building trade; other remains were unceremoniously dumped in the Thames. It said that it was not uncommon to find a disembodied skull rolling down the streets around Enon Chapel.
Dancing on the dead
When Howse died in 1842, burials ceased and Enon Chapel was closed. The new tenant, Mr Fitzpatrick, took up residence in 1844. Despite making the surprising discovery of a large quantity of human bones buried under his kitchen floor, he was not put off, and simply reburied them in the chapel. Later tenants, a sect of Teetotallers, went one better. In the true spirit of Victorian enterprise, combined with a large and profitable dash of Victorian ghoulishness, they reopened Enon Chapel for dances using the great marketing tagline of ‘Dancing on the dead’:
‘Enon Chapel – Dancing on the Dead – Admission Threepence. No lady or gentleman admitted unless wearing shoes and stockings’
Who says teetotallers don’t know how to have fun!
The Poor Man’s Guardian, somewhat disdainfully, reported on these events in 1847:
‘Quadrilles, waltzes, country-dances, gallopades, reels are danced over the masses of mortality in the cellar beneath”
The dances seem to have been very popular, proving that even the Victorian poor, many of whom may have known people interred beneath them, had a dark sense of humour. That, or a pragmatic view of their own mortality and the fleeting nature of pleasure.
George ‘Graveyard’ Walker
Not everyone appreciated this grim humour. George ‘Graveyard’ Walker, a surgeon whose practice was in the vicinity of Enon Chapel, and who had a side-line as a public health campaigner, was Not Amused. And with good reason, he had had the misfortune to have viewed Enon Chapel vault in all its gory glory, first hand. In his book, Gatherings from grave yards, a survey of 47 London burial grounds, published in 1839, Walker described it thus:
‘This building is situated about midway on the western side of Clement’s Lane; it is surrounded on all sides by houses, crowded by inhabitants, principally of the poorer class. The upper part of this building was opened for the purposes of public worship about 1823; it is separated from the lower part by a boarded floor: this is used as a burying place, and is crowded at one end, even to the top of the ceiling, with dead. It is entered from the inside of the chapel by a trap door; the rafters supporting the floor are not even covered with the usual defence – lath and plaster. Vast numbers of bodies have been placed here in pits, dug for the purpose, the uppermost of which were covered only by a few inches of earth….Soon after interments were made, a peculiarly long narrow black fly was observed to crawl out of many of the coffins; this insect, a product of the putrefaction of the bodies, was observed on the following season to be succeeded by another, which had the appearance of a common bug with wings. The children attending the Sunday School, held in this chapel, in which these insects were to be seen crawling and flying, in vast numbers, during the summer months, called them “body bugs”..’ 
As well as a genuine disgust at the way material gain had trumped over moral and religious scruples at Enon Chapel, Walker, and many others at that time, considered the proximity of these putrefying burial grounds to human habitation to be injurious to public health. It was believed that, similar to sewage, badly overcrowded burial grounds were giving off a deadly graveyard miasma. Walker, himself, had a flair for the dramatic, describing the miasma as ‘the pestiferous exhalations of the dead’.
This miasma was believed to cause diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Gravediggers and those living close by cemeteries were at particular risk, but the threat was to the population as a whole.
The public scandal of Enon Chapel and its ilk, along with the tireless campaigning of philanthropists such as George Walker and reformer Edwin Chadwick, led to a Parliamentary Select Committee being set up in 1842. The committee was tasked to look at improving London’s overcrowded and unsanitary burial places. The law took it’s time, but pressure from Walker and The National Society for the Abolition of Burials in Towns eventually forced the government into action. The Burial Act of 1852 would seal the fate of London’s overcrowded inner city burial places, allowing the government to close them down. It also and allowed the creation of suburban garden cemeteries such as Highgate and Brookwood. Cemeteries that were designed as much to be enjoyed by visitors, as to bury the dead.
Roll up, Roll up – for the gravest show on earth!
There was to be one last macabre act in the tale of Enon Chapel. In 1848 Walker purchased the Chapel with the promise that he would give the inhabitants of the vault a decent burial, at his own expense, at Norwood Cemetery. This philanthropic gesture however, was somewhat marred by Walkers morbid sense of theatre. Rather than discretely disinterring the bodies and having them respectfully removed to their final resting place, he chose to open the event to the public. To drum up interest he had attendants strolling up and down the street holding skulls, a sure fire way to entice in the average Victorian death lover. And the public came in their droves – upwards of 6000 came to tour Enon Chapel and to view the immense pyramid of bones unearthed by Walker.
Despite criticism, Walker defended his approach in a typically Victorian way, he emphasised that the spectacle was educational (the same argument used by Madame Tussaud to elevate her Chamber of Horrors to a moral level) and he wasn’t precisely selling tickets – but he did accept contributions from visitors. Less educational and more sensational was the highlight of the Enon tour. Visitors came face to shrivelled face, with the long-dead proprietor Mr Howse. ‘A stark and stiff and shrivelled corpse’ identified by his ‘screw foot’ 
A case of poetic justice, the greedy speculator responsible for the desecration of so many of the deceased, found his own final resting place disturbed in the most unseemly way.
Footnote – it’s all in a name
It is interesting to note, as Catherine Arnold does in her fascinating book Necropolis, London and its dead, that if you look beyond the traditional explanation for the name Enon (the place near Salim where John the Baptist baptized converts), a far darker etymology emerges. Arnold points to Hitchcock’s Bible Names Dictionary which provides one possible meaning for Enon as ‘Mass of darkness’ – how very, very apt.
Enon Chapel is long since gone, the London School of Economics sits on its site now and the bones of the dead lie in an unmarked communal grave at Norwood.
If you want to find out more about London’s hidden dead, see the excellent and funny You Tube video by Caitlin Doughty and Dr Lindsay Fitzharris at the end of the sources section)
Sources and notes
Images by Lenora unless otherwise credited.
Arnold, Catharine, Necropolis: London and its dead, 2007   
Fitzharris, Dr Lindsay
Litten, Julian, ‘The English Way of Death, the Common Funeral since 1450’,1992 
Find out where the secret burials of London are with Caitlin Doughty and Dr Lindsay Fitzharris:
Britain has an amazing selection of local beers and ales which you can often only find at a few select pubs close to where they are produced. Many of them have been given names which have a strong regional historical or cultural relevance. Manufactured at the Ringwood Brewery, Lovey Warne is one such ale. Classified as a golden or blonde ale, it has a moderate toasted malt and caramel aroma and a bitter citrus taste. It is named after a famous local figure, the female smuggler, Lovey Warne and its amber colour is meant to symbolise her scarlet coloured cloak.
When people think of smuggling in the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain they immediately think of the coasts of Cornwall and Dorset. Books such as Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier set in the wild, remote landscape of Bodmin Moor and Winston Graham’s Poldark series have also helped cement this connection in people’s minds. People tend to forget that smuggling went on all over Britain and how well organised and sophisticated the smuggling network became at its height.
Free trading: A respectable occupation
Smuggling or Free Trading as it was otherwise known became an important source of income for many families hit hard by exorbitant taxes. These unpopular taxes implemented to help pay for the wars on the continent and fill the Treasury’s coffers, had left many families on the brink of starvation. So in order to augment their meagre or in many cases non-existent wages many people turned unsurprisingly to smuggling. People from all levels of society were involved in the trade with the high-duty goods such as brandy, tobacco, lace and tea bringing the best profits.
Smuggling was considered by many to be an honourable trade and a recognised occupation. In addition many people even though not directly involved in the trade themselves were sympathetic to the smugglers’ cause. One such sympathiser, a farmer by the name of Burt Chubbs helped rescue smugglers being chased by excise men. He hid them in his barn and then misdirected the officers by claiming the smugglers’ wagon had broken his leg whilst heading towards Burley. This attitude together with the deep mistrust rural communities felt towards outsiders and especially the King’s men known for their corruption meant that it was nearly impossible to convince anyone to become an informant and most rewards for information were left unclaimed.
A centre of smuggling: The New Forest
One such area which became well-known as a centre of the smuggling trade was the New Forest. The New Forest (one of the most beautiful areas in England) in Hampshire lies inland away from the harbours of Christchurch and Bournemouth in Dorset. The dense forest which would have then extended much further south made an ideal hiding place for contraband transported from the coast. Indeed many of the villagers who lived within the boundaries of the forest played an important and active role in the distribution of these goods and it was once claimed that every labourer in the forest was either a poacher or a smuggler or both. In the mid-18th century, it was written “We hear from the New Forest in Hampshire that smugglers have got to such a height in that part of the country that scarce a week passes but great quantities of goods are run between Lymington and Christchurch”. Another source showing the scale of the operations stated that he had heard of “twenty or thirty wagons laden with kegs, guarded by two or three hundred horsemen, each bearing two or three tubs, coming over the Hengistbury Head, making their way, in the open day past Christchurch to the Forest”. Some parts of the forest are still known as ‘the Boatyard’ despite being miles from the sea.
A smuggler’s refuge
The picturesque New Forest village of Burley with its traditional cottages and pretty lanes is located about 4 miles south east of Ringwood. Today it is a charming stop for tourists visiting the New Forest but go back about three hundred years and the village reveals its much darker past. The village once a close-knit secretive community was a main centre for smuggling in the region. The village was so infamous that the revenue men preferred not to enter it unless they absolutely had to as they were aware that the villagers were able to raise an armed mounted troop of men at short notice more than capable of dealing with the King’s officials.
One of the main pubs in the village, The Queen’s Head Inn was used to store contraband and not long ago during building work a secret smugglers’ cellar was discovered. In the room the workmen also found some long forgotten loot including pistols, cutlasses, brandy bottles, coins as well as several straw hats from Italy. It is even claimed that prior to the discover of the cellar, strange noises such as groans were heard coming from their direction, these sounds promptly stopped after the discovery. I wonder were the noises warning people away from or directing them to the cellar?
The infamous Warne Brothers
In Burley you will find a small street called Warnes Lane named after the notorious Warne family who lived nearby. The Warne brothers Peter and John were believed to have run the Christchurch smuggling fraternity in the first quarter of the 1800s. They possibly acted as ‘landers’. The lander’s role was to move goods away from shore and inland as quickly as possible. They would then either hide the contraband somewhere safe such as a pub or a church or pass it on to their clients. It is rumoured that there was an oak tree in Burley where the gang would meet to discuss their plans. Peter and John lived with their sister Lovey in a house at Crow Hill Top called Knaves Ash. Knaves Ash was perfectly positioned for moving contraband unseen due to the number of tracks that converged at the house. One of the most famous of these sunken tracks was known as Smugglers’ Road. It begun near the inlet village of Chewton, passed through Burley, continued onto the turnpike road at Picket Post and ended at Ridley Wood.
Not much is known about the Warne family but their father may have owned or managed one of the pubs in Burley. If he did then there is a possibility that it could have been the Queen’s Head Inn. Although it was the brothers who were a leading force in the smuggling ring it is their sister Lovey (probably short for Loveday) who has passed into New Forest folklore.
The legend of Lovey Warne
The legend goes that Lovey would walk along Vereley Hill watching for any sign of the revenue men. If she saw them she would turn her cloak inside out to display a red lining which she would wear to warn the smugglers. The romantic image of Lovey wandering the heath in her red cape has captured people’s imagination and she has been immortalised not only in alcohol but also in music and books.Signalling to the smugglers was not the only contribution Lovey made to her brothers’ business. For a while she took an even more active role. On orders from her brothers she would ride on her pony (most likely one of the New Forest ponies, known for their sturdiness and stamina) to pre-arranged meetings with ships’ captains in Christchurch harbour. There she would go to the captain’s cabin, undress, wind herself in valuable silks, put her clothes back on and return home. As she left the ship she would have passed by the inept and oblivious revenue men who even if they were suspicious were under official orders not to search women. At home the silks would have been removed and possibly sold at the market at Ridley Wood which dealt in both legal and illegal goods.
The scam continued for a time until one incident when Lovey’s luck nearly ran out. One day as she left a ship she was stopped by a revenue man and invited for a drink at the Eight Bells in Christchurch, an offer she would have been unable to refuse without arousing suspicion. Once at the pub, the revenue man became a little too friendly, touching her legs and thighs and getting a little too close to the hidden silks. Acting quickly she jabbed the man in the eye with her elbow and fled whilst the landlady sat on the man pretending to tend to his damaged eye allowing Lovey the time she needed to get away. It is believed this incident put an end to Lovey’s front line participation.
Lovey and her brothers pretty much disappear from history at this point. The only further brief glimpses we have is a possible record of Lovey marrying at the age of seventeen in Christchurch in around 1814 and a story surrounding her death. The church of St John the Baptist was built in Burley in 1839 and Lovey was one of the first villagers to be buried there. According to the story she wanted to be buried with her beloved pony but permission was not granted and instead the pony was buried in the middle of a ring of fir trees outside the churchyard.
The usefulness of a good, sturdy petticoat
It was not unusual for women to play a prominent role in the smuggling trade. Although they may not have been physically able to move the heavy tubs, they did contribute in other ways. Like Lovey they could act as look outs, be responsible for keeping the cargo hidden or deliver messages. Again just as Lovey had done many women would wrap themselves in silks and carry them hidden but openly past the revenue men who were powerless to do anything about it.
Women would also transport alcohol by hiding cow or pig bladders filled with brandy and gin underneath their thick petticoats. In 1799 George Lipcomb described meeting some of these women. He was initially shocked by their “grotesque and extraordinary” appearance “till upon enquiry, we found that they were smugglers of spirituous liquors…and, indeed they were so heavily laden, that it was with great apparent difficulty they waddled along”. Sometimes being so overburdened was useful, in Gosport a woman called Maclane was the only survivor when the Queen Charlotte boat sunk, she was saved from drowning by “being buoyed up with a quantity of bladders”. In Folkestone women would disguise themselves as laundresses and hide liquor in baskets covered with linen.
Women were also involved in processing commodities. They would cut and dry ordinary leaves to mix in with the tea leaves to increase its bulk for selling and dilute French brandy. Brandy was shipped in its pure form, which made it easier to transport in large quantities but was undrinkable. The women would also heat the liquid and change its colour from clear to the honey colour which the British preferred.
Despite the fact that women were not allowed to be searched a number of them were arrested on smuggling related offences such as the 70 year old Catherine Winter, a Weymouth seamstress who served an 18 day sentence in 1844. Other evidence from the Register for Dorchester Gaol between 1782 and 1853 lists the names and occupations of more than 64 women from the surrounding villages and towns in prison on smuggling charges. The end of the Napoleonic War together with the tax reforms of 1830 finally brought the country much needed social and economic relief and as a consequence made smuggling much less appealing.
Although smuggling did of course continue albeit on a much lesser scale the golden era of Free Trading was over and the New Forest shook off its disreputable reputation and eventually become what it is today, a beautiful and popular tourist destination.
The New Forest, Bournemouth & Poole – smuggling, www.smuggling.co.uk/gazetter_s_13.htm
Lovey Warne of the New Forest, http://the-history-girls.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/lovey-warne-of-new-forest.html
The New Forest Smugglers, http://www.thenewforestguide.co.uk/history/new-forest-smugglers/
New Forest Smugglers, http://inewforest.co.uk/new-forest-smugglers/
Burley 1958, http://www.royhodges.co.uk/Burley.pdf
Smugglers Cove, http://dorsetsea.swgfl.org.uk/html/smuggler/smug_mr3.htm
Women and the smuggling trade, http://the-history-girls.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/women-and-smuggling-trade.html
Smuggling in the eighteenth and early nineteenth Century, http://lugnad.ie/smuggling/
Dorset – Smugglers Coast, http://dorset-ancestors.com/?p=910
Cindy Vallar, Smuggling, www.cindyvallar.com/smuggling.html
Smuggling in and around Burton Bradstock, http://www.burtonbradstock.org.uk/History/Smuggling/Smuggling.htm
 The New Forest Smugglers, http://www.thenewforestguide.co.uk/history/new-forest-smugglers/
 Lovey Warne of the New Forest, http://the-history-girls.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/lovey-warne-of-new-forest.html
 Lovey Warne of the New Forest, http://the-history-girls.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/lovey-warne-of-new-forest.html
 Smuggling in and around Burton Bradstock, http://www.burtonbradstock.org.uk/History/Smuggling/
 Women and the smuggling trade, http://the-history-girls.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/women-and-smuggling-trade.html