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A Poisonous Method Part 1: Arsenic

Date(s): 25 January 2021

Cost: £2.74

Age Restrictions: 16+

Booking Link:

Copy Of A Poisonous Method Arsenic Eventbrite 1

Join Surgeons' Hall Museum Curator for a trilogy of talks exploring why poison was the Victorian murder weapon of choice. Part one Arsenic!

A whole host of poisons were readily available and accessible to the public in 19th century Scotland. Murder by poison became an increasing worry for authorities and the medical community. This series will investigate three groups of poisons which were used to commit murder in the 19th century. For each poison we will look at the statistics, economic and social issues, present evidence from murder trials, and discuss the abilities of the authorities and most crucially the medical witness to prove a crime had occurred.

Part One: Arsenic

Arsenic was once the most popular choice for the would-be poisoner. It was also one of the most difficult to prosecute and prove. So much so, that the Government introduced the Arsenic Act of 1851 to place restrictions on the purchase of arsenic. In this session we will investigate the number of arsenic poisoning trials, hear tales from historic cases and question why poisoning by arsenic grew and why they were so difficult to convict.

This talk can be enjoyed individually or as part of the series. Each part must be booked separately.

This is a pre-recorded lecture which lasts approximately 1 hour and delivered specially for Surgeons Hall Museums online program. Ticket holders will receive exclusive access to view this lecture at their leisure from 3pm GMT on Monday the 25th January for 7 days. Ticket holders can also ask questions in the comments section below the lecture which will be answered by the speaker.

We will email attendees the link and password to lecture through Eventbrite by 3pm on Monday the 25th of January. The lecture will then be accessible for 7days. Please keep a look out for your details and check spam if not received. If you have any problems please email

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