"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Old Bailey Clipping of the Day

While browsing through Old Bailey Online's murder cases--as we all do--I came across this trial from February 26, 1729, that caught my eye thanks to its sheer pithy weirdness.

John Swart, was indicted for the Murder of Elizabeth Hether, by flinging Salt in her Eyes, which so grieved and distampered the said Elizabeth Hether, that she languished from the 10th of October last to the 27th of the said Month, and then died, but as it did not appear to be done with Malice aforethought, the Jury acquitted him.
Calling all crime historians! Are there any other known cases of "Murder By Salt-Flinging," or was Mr. Swart unique in the annals of homicide?


  1. The Drones Club in P.G. Wodehouse's stories are filled with jolly young gentlemen flinging sugar and bread at each other, but no one was ever brought to trial for it, or even expelled from the club, so I think those items must be much safer than salt.

  2. oh no, I'm going to google that next!


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