Ann Newall was delighted when her next-door neighbour in Carluke, Lanarkshire, knocked on her door and presented her with a freshly cooked meal and a glass of whisky. “I made it myself,” Mrs. Elizabeth Jeffrey told Ann. “It’ll do you a lot of good, seeing you’ve been so poorly lately.”

Ann ate the meal with relish, and a couple of hours later died of poisoning.

It was, Mrs. Jeffrey explained later, “a dry run.” She was planning to poison her lodger, Hugh Monro, to whom she owed £6, and she wanted to see if the poison worked. When Ann Newall died it was clear that it did, so she then spread some in Monro’s porridge. He became ill, but survived, so she poured some more into his rhubarb. The unfortunate lodger died the next day.

Elizabeth Jeffrey paid for the double-murder on the scaffold on Monday, May 21st, 1838, outside the County Hall in Jail Square, Glasgow. She was the first woman hanged in Scotland during the reign of Queen Victoria.