Writing Challenge #7

The Unfortunate Case of Eliza Fenning

I have been researching for hours trying to decide which historic crime would be my focal point for this challenge. And let me tell you, there are too many to count, but out of all the terrible things I read there was one story that stuck with me. In 1815 Eliza Fenning, a cook for the Turner family, was accused of attempted murder and was hanged for her crime. However there was very little supporting evidence, supposedly she had put arsenic in the dumplings she served the family for dinner, which she herself ate. Those who ate the dumplings were all horrendously ill, yet recovered. One of the family members tested the bowl the dumplings were made in, which showed positive for arsenic. Eliza had shown no contempt towards the Turner family in the previous weeks leading up to the incident and thus had no motive. There were many people who held the opinion that she was innocent and wrongly accused. If you would like to read the archived documents and letters then you can right here.

So following from that information here is my challenge, enjoy.

Her Unhappy Case

I am unfortunate young female,

Read the confessions,

See in my own hand-writing

Price: one shilling.

Decide your judgement

But I have already

Suffered the sentence of the law.

I swung for the crime

My fingers never partook

My mind never fathomed,

An ugly seed,

Flat, black, and heavy,

Spread poison

But never claimed

A soul – but mine.

Let me haunt,

Hear my plea:

“I am innocent,

Indeed I am.”

For I pay for the crime

Of another man.

That took quite a while to get all the facts, props to authors that base their books off of historic crimes, I did just a snippet of the research they have to do!

And with that I leave you,



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