Eastwood Murder 1851

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One of the female stars in the Poldark series reminds me of this murder from 1851 .

The murderess Sarah Barber was an unusually tall, very attractive red-head. She was accused of poisoning her (much older) husband with arsenic .

She worked in the Sun Inn at Eastwood as a bar-maid and ironically the trial was held there too .

The story would make an excellent Sunday night series , as though sentenced to death, for some reason it was commuted and she was transported to Van Demens Land . Even during this she made an escape bid .

A good account here a third of the way down


also a piece in an old Bygones


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Quite right, it would make amazing TV - but you dont know the half of it. I have spent the last 7 months researching and writing this almost unbelievable story and have just published my 74,000 word book on Amazon. I have not used any modern accounts and went back to the original 1851 accounts in newspapers. I can tell you why Sarah Barber did not hang. Petitions in both Nottingham and Eastwood raised 11,000 signatures in 2 days to have her death sentence commuted to transportation. It was a close run thing - she still came within 28 hours of hanging and the scaffold and barricades were already part-assembled when a messenger arrived by train from the Home Office. I doubt if anyone knows the coroner investigated two reports of poisoning in Eastwood, nor that the Eastwood surgeon who carried out the post mortem failed to discover arsenic and declared Joseph Barber died a natural death. It was only because of Joseph Barber's brother contracting another surgeon that arsenic was discovered.

Sarah Barber's is an almost unbelievably tragic story from start to end and she had but a few short years of happiness in Tasmania.She inherited a fortune from her grandmother equivalent to over £300,000 in today's money. She married too young at 17 and to the wrong man. If you made up a story like this it would be declared fanciful. If anyone is interested you can read the synopsis for this book and look inside and read the first few chapters for free. Just click on the hyperlink or image below and dont worry there is no compulsion to pay the £2.01 cost of the e-book. I dont have print copies but you dont need to have a Kindle to download and read e-books. You can download a free app for iphones or smart phones or ipad or any pc or laptop from Amazon.


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#4 just downloaded the book from Amazon, don't mind paying the £2.00 for it as you have spent time and money and effort writing it, i live in eastwood and will be really interested to read the book, many thanks for the opportunity

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Ha Ha! Sadly Amazon control sale prices and £2.01 is the minimum you can sell it for. Why the odd penny? Amazon is a USA company so you have to price books first in US dollars and the lowest allowed price is $2.99. From the £2.01 sale Amazon take 30% and the UK government take 20% VAT so I am left with a quid and a penny. The buyer is supposed to pay the VAT but I have absorbed the price. You cannot buy a pint of beer, a pack of cigs nor even a decent coffee for £2.01. I wont be getting rich any time soon but it wont stop me writing.......

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PDF? They can be converted to Word documents all too easily and then any Tom Dick or Harry could cut, paste and use the fruits of seven months hard labour without doing even 1 minute of research. I have already had some scrote take copyrighted information from my first book Saville's Spinney totally without any permission. Said scrote just copied info from other peoples web pages then claimed the finished product as all his own work....... which obviously it wasnt. So no PDFs sorry for the reasons given here. Pensioners can afford a £2.01 e-book. I should know, I am one!

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