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Walter Horsford
Above:Walter Horsford
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Walter Horsford - The St Neots' Poisoner

Has catching a murderer got easier? The case of the Police and the Poisoner -

In 1898, Walter Horsford was hanged for murder at Cambridge Gaol. A jury in Huntingdon found him guilty of poisoning thirty eight year old, Mrs Annie Holmes with strychnine.

This extended study explores in more detail the crime of Walter Horsford and how the police came to detect his crime. It will, hopefully, give an insight into crime, policing and the justice system in use in the 19th century.

The case information has been based on information collected from archive material held in Cambridgeshire at the Public Records Office.

The enquiry will focus specifically on tasks that will help pupils answer the key question: Has catching a murderer got easier?

The KS 2 & 3 activities are aimed at students but provide a wealth of additional information and insight into life and crime in the 19th century.

A case study for Key Stage 2, The Victorians and Key Stage 3, Britain 1750 - 1900 and GCSE History. The materials can also be used for general interest.

This section has reports and documents relating to the life of Walter Horsford that can be used for research or for completing the activities provided with this case study.