65 - The Ratcliffe Highway Murders

In December 1811, two households in the borough of Wapping, one of the docks districts of east London were annihilated in a pair of brutal and apparently motiveless crimes. After the crimes, the murderer was disposed of in a novel and unusual fashion. Twenty years later, they were described in Thomas De Quincey's satirical essay “On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts” as “the sublimest and most entire in their excellence that ever were committed.”

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Opening music from https://filmmusic.io. "Classic Horror 1" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

"Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Closing music by Soma.


Caledonian Mercury, September 21, 1812.

Ipswich Journal, December 28, 1811.

“Another horrid murder!” Bury and Norwich Post, December 25, 1811.

“Another massacre – coroner's inquest on the dead bodies of Mr. Williamson, and family.” Leeds Mercury, December 28, 1811.

“Important examination.” Leeds Mercury, December 28, 1811.

“Murder of Mr. Marr and family.” Caledonian Mercury, December 14, 1811.

“Murder of Mr. Marr and family.” Hull Packet and East Riding Times, December 17, 1811.

“Murder of Mr. Marr's family in Ratcliff Highway.” London Observer, December 15, 1811.

“Murders in New Gravel Lane.” London Morning Chronicle, December 24, 1811.

“Murders in New Gravel Lane, &c.” London Times, December 24, 1811.

“The late murder in Ratcliffe Highway – examination of suspected persons.” Jackson's Oxford Journal, December 21, 1811.

“The late murders.” Jackson's Oxford Journal, January 4, 1812.

“The Marr's murder.” Exeter Flying Post, June 1, 1815.

“Williams, the murderer.” Caledonian Mercury, January 4, 1812.

“Williamson's murder.” Jackson's Oxford Journal, February 1, 1811.

De Quincey, Thomas. “Postcript to 'On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts.'” On Murder. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. https://books.google.com/books?id=sww0kGQ5AFkC&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=postscript+to+murder+as+one+of+the+fine+arts&source=bl&ots=LZhKTGKaaB&sig=ACfU3U11QoFgOth13xjI_QQr-qRjmWEZKg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjdwPKYhNrnAhUaknIEHWPnDdE4FBDoATAAegQIChAB#v=onepage&q=postscript%20to%20murder%20as%20one%20of%20the%20fine%20arts&f=false

The Literary Panorama, Vol. XI. London: Cox and Baylis, 1812. https://books.google.com/books?id=UZLfAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA359&lpg=PA359&dq=Roxburgh+Castle+(1809+ship)&source=bl&ots=KxKyfUQM-l&sig=ACfU3U1r4OtmDCpT60PvubrRTDn9PqSp2g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjX7tWbq9nnAhVslXIEHdV7DUYQ6AEwBXoECA0QAQ#v=onepage&q=Roxburgh%20Castle%20(1809%20ship)&f=false





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