MURDERER

[William Rogerson, astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Wm. Rogerson.') to 'W. S. B. Woodhouse Esqr.', regarding William Holden and his memorial to Jeremiah Horrox.

Author: 
William Rogerson (1796-1872), astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and putative murderer of the son he had by his daughter [Moses Holden (1777-1864) of Preston, astronomer; Jeremiah Horrox
Publication details: 
11 August 1847. 19 George Street, Greenwich.
£45.00

Rogerson was employed at the Royal Observatory between 1822 and 1845. The long entry on Rogerson on the Royal Observatory website (which states that he 'brought both honour and shameful publicity to the Observatory'), gives full details of the circumstances surrounding his dismissal, and his trial for the murder of his son Theodore Horatio Richardson, one of three or four children had by his daughter Ann Maria. 3pp, 16mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged, with slight traces of glue from mount to blank reverse of second leaf. One fold. Fifty-three lines, closely written.

[Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, murderer, artist, essayist and dandy.] Autograph Letter Signed ('T. G Wainewright') to the wife of 'Mr. P.' [probably Ann Procter, wife of poet Bryan Waller Procter], in florid style, calling himself a 'verbal pauper'.

Author: 
Thomas Griffiths Wainewright (1794-1847), murderer, artist, art critic and aesthete [Bryan Waller Procter ('Barry Cornwall'), poet, and his wife, nee Anne Skepper]
Publication details: 
Without place or date. Paper watermarked 1824, and written [probably at Turnham Green] about the same time.
£1,250.00

Only a handful of letters (or less) by the artist, aesthete and murderer Thomas Griffiths Wainewright survive (None yet traced!). He holds the dubious distinction of being the first English murderer to employ strychnine; with his wife's help he first murdered her half-sister and then his uncle. Artist, essayist, connoisseur and dandy, friend of Charles Lamb and patron of William Blake, Wainewright is a fascinating and elusive figure who inspired Oscar Wilde, whose study of Wainewright, the essay 'Pen, Pencil and Poison', first appeared in 1889, cribbed from the introduction to W.

Autograph Letter Signed from 'the Whitechapel Road murderer' Henry Wainwright, asking an unnmaed individual to preside at a 'testimonial Entertainment' for 'Mr. Talbot' at the Beaumont Institution, Mile End Road.

Author: 
Henry Wainwright (c.1839-1875), 'Whitechapel Road murderer' of his mistress Harriet Lane, found guilty after an Old Bailey trial before Sir Alexander Cockburn, and hanged in Newgate by William Marwood
Publication details: 
84 Whitechapel Road, London. 10 December 1860.
£220.00

1p., 12mo. Good, on lightly-aged paper. The word 'Declined' has been written at the head of the letter by the recipient. The first paragraph reads: 'A number of influential gentlemen in the neighbourhood of Mile End and Bow, in recognition of the services of Mr Talbot, have resolved to give him a testimonial Entertainment on the 27th inst. at the Beaumont Institution.' The 'Committee' have requested Wainwright to ask the recipient to 'kindly preside on that occasion'.

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