Mary Ann Cotton's prison letters sold at auction

Mary Ann Cotton's prison letters Auctioneers said the letters were one of the strangest lots they had sold

Related Stories

Prison letters sent by Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton have sold for £2,200 at auction.

Cotton, of West Auckland, County Durham, was hanged in 1873 for the murder of her seven-year-old stepson.

It is thought she was responsible for the deaths of up to 20 others, mainly by poisoning her victims.

The letters, which make reference to solicitors and financial problems, were sold to a dealer at an auction in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

The correspondence was addressed to a man who had lodged at Cotton's home.

Paul Hughes from Tennants Auctioneers said the auction was very busy.

"I haven't had anything in the past that has generated this amount of interest," he said.

Mr Hughes said it was possible the letters would be re-auctioned.

Cotton was caught when a post-mortem examination on one of her children revealed arsenic poisoning.

It is thought she killed three of her husbands and 15 of her children.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear

Weather

Newcastle upon Tyne

12 °C 8 °C

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.