Documents From Village History

MURDER IN MAREHAM

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Murder report march 1863
JOHN Garner, 48, farmer and coal dealer and his wife Elizabeth Garner, 22,
were convicted of manslaughter on March 17th and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The couple were accused of murdering Johns mother, Jemima Garner, at Mareham-le-Fen on December 20th, 1861
by administering poison to her mixed in with her food.
The couple were also accused of murdering Garners first wife, Hannah, but the charge was dropped after the manslaughter conviction.
After the death of Hannah Garner, Jemima moved into Johns house.
During the trial neighbours told the court that mother and son often quarrelled, Garner also ran a shop in which he sold arsenic.
In March, 1862, Supt Thoresby, while working on another case, found it necessary to check Garners records,
he discovered that he had sold large quantities of arsenic around the time of the two deaths.
Supt Thoresby applied to exhume the body of Jemima Garner, and it was subsequently discovered that she had died from arsenic poisoning