Although illegitimacy was a sin in Victorian Britain, unmarried mother Caroline Sheming, 22, wanted to do the best for her newly-born son, and enlisted the aid of her mum, Mary Sheming, 51, to care for the baby while she went out to work.
But granny wasnt keen on having another mouth to feed, and bought some arsenic from a shoemaker. When Caroline came home from work on the last day of July 1844, she was distraught to find her baby in convulsions. He died later that evening.
When the local carpenter was heard saying that three days before the babys death Mary Sheming had ordered a coffin, she was arrested and brought to trial at Bury St. Edmunds in December 1844. Found guilty of murdering the baby, she was hanged on Saturday, January 11th, 1845, becoming the first woman executed at Ipswich Gaol for more than 30 years.