Mary Ann Cotton Murders

Illustration of Mary Ann Cotton, 1872 (The Illustrated Police News, etc., via Newspapers.com)

Illustration of Mary Ann Cotton, 1872 (The Illustrated Police News, etc., via Newspapers.com™)

Mary Ann Cotton (18321873) is considered one of Britain’s most prolific female serial killers. She is suspected of poisoning up to 21 people, including 11 of her children and stepchildren, 3 of her 4 husbands, her mother, and others. 

Despite having so many alleged victims, Mary Ann Cotton was convicted of only one murderthat of her young stepson Charles Edward Cotton, whom she poisoned with arsenic in 1872. She was hanged to death for the murder on March 24, 1873, in County Durham, England.

Learn more about the Mary Ann Cotton Murders through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about the Mary Ann Cotton Murders

Mary Ann Cotton is apprehended and formally remandedMary Ann Cotton is apprehended and formally remanded 20 Jul 1872, Sat The Newcastle Daily Journal (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) Newspapers.comInquest is held on body of Charles Edward CottonInquest is held on body of Charles Edward Cotton 30 Jul 1872, Tue The Birmingham Daily Mail (Birmingham, West Midlands, England) Newspapers.comPoisoning case is partially investigated & Cotton charged with murderPoisoning case is partially investigated & Cotton charged with murder 22 Aug 1872, Thu The Newcastle Daily Journal (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) Newspapers.comSurgeon gives evidence & Cotton is formally committed for trialSurgeon gives evidence & Cotton is formally committed for trial 24 Aug 1872, Sat The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, West Yorkshire, England) Newspapers.comSummary of suspicious circumstances in death of Charles Edward CottonSummary of suspicious circumstances in death of Charles Edward Cotton 30 Aug 1872, Fri Coventry Standard (Coventry, West Midlands, England) Newspapers.comBody of Joseph Nattrass exhumed and examinedBody of Joseph Nattrass exhumed and examined 16 Sep 1872, Mon The Evening Gazette for Middlesbrough, Stockton and District (Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England) Newspapers.com"Three More Bodies to Be Exhumed" 02 Oct 1872, Wed The Newcastle Daily Journal (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) Newspapers.comLife of Mary Ann Cotton as reported by newspapersLife of Mary Ann Cotton as reported by newspapers 05 Oct 1872, Sat The Newcastle Daily Journal (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) Newspapers.comList of Mary Ann Cotton's suspected victims, published October 1872List of Mary Ann Cotton's suspected victims, published October 1872 05 Oct 1872, Sat The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) Newspapers.comBodies of two children exhumed; Body of husband cannot be locatedBodies of two children exhumed; Body of husband cannot be located 16 Oct 1872, Wed The Evening Gazette for Middlesbrough, Stockton and District (Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England) Newspapers.comIllustration of Mary Ann CottonIllustration of Mary Ann Cotton 16 Nov 1872, Sat The Illustrated Police News, etc. (London, Greater London, England) Newspapers.comMary Ann Cotton's pregnancy delays her trialMary Ann Cotton's pregnancy delays her trial 23 Nov 1872, Sat The Yorkshire Herald and the York Herald (York, North Yorkshire, England) Newspapers.comGrand jury returns Grand jury returns "true bill" against Cotton for murder of stepson 12 Dec 1872, Thu The Newcastle Daily Journal (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) Newspapers.comMary Ann Cotton gives birth to daughterMary Ann Cotton gives birth to daughter 13 Jan 1873, Mon Daily News (London, Greater London, England) Newspapers.comCotton brought before magistrates so more charges can be investigatedCotton brought before magistrates so more charges can be investigated 22 Feb 1873, Sat The Newcastle Daily Journal (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) Newspapers.comCotton committed for trial on two further charges of murderCotton committed for trial on two further charges of murder 26 Feb 1873, Wed The Bradford Observer (Bradford, West Yorkshire, England) Newspapers.comAd for Ad for "Mary Ann Cotton's Defence Fund" 27 Feb 1873, Thu Northern Echo (Darlington, Durham, England) Newspapers.comDay 1 of Mary Ann Cotton's trial for murder of Charles Edward CottonDay 1 of Mary Ann Cotton's trial for murder of Charles Edward Cotton 06 Mar 1873, Thu The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, West Yorkshire, England) Newspapers.comDay 2 of Mary Ann Cotton's trial for murder of Charles Edward CottonDay 2 of Mary Ann Cotton's trial for murder of Charles Edward Cotton 07 Mar 1873, Fri The Daily Telegraph (London, Greater London, England) Newspapers.comDay 3 of Mary Ann Cotton's trial: Guilty verdict & death sentenceDay 3 of Mary Ann Cotton's trial: Guilty verdict & death sentence 08 Mar 1873, Sat Sheffield and Rotherham Independent (Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England) Newspapers.comMary Ann Cotton's execution date is set for March 24, 1873Mary Ann Cotton's execution date is set for March 24, 1873 14 Mar 1873, Fri The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, West Yorkshire, England) Newspapers.comMary Ann Cotton sends letter to her 3rd husband, James RobinsonMary Ann Cotton sends letter to her 3rd husband, James Robinson 17 Mar 1873, Mon Manchester Evening News (Manchester, Greater Manchester, England) Newspapers.comPetition prepared asking for commutation of Cotton's death sentencePetition prepared asking for commutation of Cotton's death sentence 19 Mar 1873, Wed Manchester Evening News (Manchester, Greater Manchester, England) Newspapers.comMary Ann Cotton chooses a guardian for her baby daughterMary Ann Cotton chooses a guardian for her baby daughter 20 Mar 1873, Thu The Newcastle Daily Journal (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) Newspapers.com"Execution of Mary Ann Cotton" 24 Mar 1873, Mon The Pall Mall Gazette (London, Greater London, England) Newspapers.com"Execution and Confession of Mrs. Cotton" 25 Mar 1873, Tue The Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England) Newspapers.com"Cotton Statistics" 25 Mar 1873, Tue The Charleston Daily News (Charleston, South Carolina) Newspapers.com Illustrations of Mary Ann Cotton and her execution Illustrations of Mary Ann Cotton and her execution 29 Mar 1873, Sat The Illustrated Police News, etc. (London, Greater London, England) Newspapers.com
"Mary Ann Cotton Murders," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/crimes-mysteries/mary-ann-cotton-murders/ : accessed June 21, 2024)