ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2002-07 > 1027963616
From: Frederick Feather <>
Subject: Re: arsenic Sally
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002 18:26:56 +0100
In the course of building up the Essex Police Museum I collected many
newspaper cuttings of Essex Assize trials and most are deposited
therein. There is a copy of her Death Certificate there. My former
colleague Maureen Scollan, who you may know, is very knowledgeable on
this case. Adrian Gray was one of the first to write it up.
There were 3 charges in 1848 (both Newport and Chesham were acquitted)
and one in 1851 (Attempted murder of Richard Chesham). I always supposed
Farmer Newport to have been the father of the baby Solomon, that was one
count, the other two victims were her sons aged about 8 and 10 but I am
relying on memory. The trial was Lent 1848, her later trial was in 1851.
It was said she was buried in Clavering churchyard but without a
religious ceremony. I know nothing of the alleged theft.
Her son Philip was convicted for theft of a waistcoat at Newport at the
Assize in 1852.
Will post any other later.
In message <005201c23681$90b41fc0$>,
jacqueline.cooper <> writes
>I live in Clavering and feel quite haunted by all these murders that
>happened here in the 19th century - everyone seemed to be potty - too much
>inbreeding? The nickname 'Arsenic Sally' seems to trivialise the terrible
>things this madwoman did. am researching her dreadful deeds for my new book
>on Clavering but have only found reports of two of these three trials -
>would be useful to have reference to the earlier one, and some explanation
>of why the farmer Thomas Newport was also arrested at one stage - was he the
>father of one or more of the children? And the story that she hid the
>arsenic in the yew tree which is still there today - is this just local
>legend, or is there documentary reference to it? And was her body really
>stolen from the graveyard? I seem to have only bits of evidence and need to
>fill in the gaps.
>And would also like to be accurate. I noticed in a book a few years ago
>about Essex crime, the author (who labelled Clavering 'the murder capital of
>Victorian Essex'!) identified Sarah Chesham as living on Hill Green - but I
>believe this was a different Sarah Chesham. What do you think, Fred?