20 Oct: The Boy Who Poisoned His Granddad

William Alnutt tipped arsenic into the family sugar bowl on 20th October, 1847 – and five days later, the 12 year-old’s sweet-toothed grandfather, Samuel Nelme, was dead. It was the second time the deeply troubled Alnutt had attempted to murder his grandfather, following a failed plot to shoot him with a pistol in their garden. His trial caused a media sensation.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider how Alnutt’s arrest coincided with the burgeoning concept of juvenile delinquency; study Alnutt’s letters from prison, begging forgiveness from God; and uncover the alarming availability of arsenic in Victorian London…

Further Reading:

• ‘WILLIAM NEWTON ALLNUTT, for the willful murder of Samuel Nelme’ (Old Bailey transcript, 1847): https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/print.jsp?div=t18471213-290

• ‘Headlines from History – October crimes and punishment’ (The British Newspaper Archive Blog, 2017): https://blog.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/2017/10/03/headlines-from-history-october-crimes-and-punishment/

• ‘Top 10 Most Evil Children In History’ (MindChop, 2017):