MARY ANN COTTON. 1832-1873.
                Mary Ann Cotton.. The Evidence.. Execution.. Hartlepool History Team.. Illustrations. Newspaper & Public Comments.. Mary Ann Cotton.. The Evidence.. Execution.. Hartlepool History Team.. Illustrations. Newspaper & Public Comments..
However it is possible that during the hot summer months or with the heating of the room, that trace amounts of arsenic flaked off from those items rubbed and cleaned with arsenic, or by the known green arsenical wallpaper and were airborne as particles of arsenic. It is also possible that the soft-soap mixture when dry would produce trace amounts of arsenic in a similar way? It is also conceivable that particles of those mixtures would then be inhaled into the body. But how would those particles of arsenic be deposited within the soft tissues of the stomach and vital organs? The Lancet a world-renowned academic publication appears to have supported Mary Ann Cotton’s defence barrister when they suggested their theory of arsenic absorption, which is stated below. It is accepted that the wallpaper adorning Mary Ann Cotton’s rooms was of a patterned bright green design and stated as being arsenic paper because the process to design the pattern used large amounts of arsenic. The scientists of the Lancet openly disagreed with Dr. Scattergood, when he stated that it was impossible for arsenic particles to be inhaled and enter the stomach and vital organs of a human body. The Lancets theory was that arsenic was a compound which when inhaled would have a substantial irritating effect on the alimentary tract and mucous membranes. They also stated that the absorption into those membranes and subsequent absorption into the blood would have a measure of inflammatory changes to that area within the body. It was also noted in their comments that if a wound is subjected to arsenic, quite similar to the inhalation of arsenic then changes within the stomach and vital organs itself had been recorded and noted. They had also been testing and analysing the mixtures which made up those arsenical green wallpapers and of similar products containing that lethal mixture. The medical minds at the Lancet also produced their findings and forwarded their numerous reports to the Government and stated that a new act or law should be instigated to the banning of those compounds within household items as it was well established that by the early 1860’s nearly 500-700 tonnes of green arsenical wallpapers had been produced and manufactured. However The Lancets findings did nothing towards the case of Mary Ann Cotton, but it is sobering that they disagreed with Dr. Scattergood’s comments concerning inhalation of arsenic. In today’s modernity such findings from a world-renowned academic publication, would undoubtedly be used as a defence argument in a similar case. Unfortunately for Mary Ann Cotton her defence team did not or were not aware of such clinical findings at that time, it would have made little difference, because as we know Mary Ann Cotton had no forensic expert to disprove Scattergood’s theory anyway! To conclude this brief article, I may also mention that my research proves, that evidence in the form of parcels of items or forensics went missing during transportation by train from West Auckland to Dr. Scattergood’s laboratory in Leeds. Specimens had been contaminated, one piece of evidence the stomach and contents of the child, Charles Edward Cotton had actually been buried in Dr. Kilburn’s garden in West Auckland prior to forensic examinations.
“The Evidence.”
Evidence Page 6