These stories from the dark history of Liverpool inform us of the violent and tragic lives of people caught up in poisionings, brawls and riots.
Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Liverpool
Liverpool was one of the Victorian cities with the most rapid rate of expansion. With its growth came all the social problems relating to overcrowding, strained personal relationships and the easy availability of drink. These factors were a recipe for crime, and the city certainly had its share, from public disorder over religious or trade union issues to body snatchers working to feed the anatomy schools during the cholera era. The inheritance of the slave trade and the latter ocean liners also meant that the huge docks and their environs gave rise to some darker crimes, and these are in abundance: the murder of a quiet old bookseller, for instance; and violence and conflicts of interest stand famous and notorious murders, including the ‘Man from the Pru’ (Wallace) and the Florence Maybrick husband-murder case. As the stories unfold we also learn about some other fascinating figures in the scenes of crime and law in the city’s history: Lord Birkenhead, Rose Heilbron and Basil Neild – professionals involved in the courtroom dramas. Here are some of the best and most intriguing cases from the archives of evil and unscrupulous misdeeds in one of the greatest cities of Europe.