Antiquarian Law and History from the Lawbook Exchange
Murder mysteries have long been fascinating, at least as long ago as 1781. That was the year of the murder, trial, execution and book The Trial of John Donellan, Esq. For the Wilful Murder of Sir Theodosius Edward Allesley Boughton... Boughton was a young man of 20, Donnellan his brother-in-law, married to a sister. Boughton's age was critical, as at 21, he would be entitled to certain riches that would go to his sister if he died before his birthday. Boughton, in fine health, was poisoned by a concoction put in his drink, and all (or at least enough) signs pointed to his brother-in-law. Donellan protested his ignorance of it all and his own innocence, but the jury was unconvinced. In those days you got but one chance. The next morning he was taken off to the gallows and hung. Item 45. $400.
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