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Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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30                              BYGONE SUSSEX.
physicians were unable to relieve her, but strongly suspected foul play. After some five days she died, and a post mortem examination revealed the presence of ratsbane and glass "in everie vaine." Inquiries were set on foot, and the purchase of the poison from Fisher was discovered. Glasier hearing of this absconded. Naturally enough suspicion fell upon the husband, and after some denials he confessed, and at the next sessions was tried, condemned, and hanged. Let us first consider the accuracy of the narrative of the poisoning as given by the Tudor pamphleteer. On this point I have to thank Professor J. Dixon Mann for a note on the pathology of the case. The first point is as to the precise meaning of "ratsbane." In Ramsey's " De Venenis" (1660), he refers to "that kind of arsenick which they usually lay for mice (commonly called by us, ratsbane)." There is, therefore, nothing impossible in the narrative. There are many cases on record of persons being-poisoned by the external application of arsenic, as for example, when it has been applied by quacks to cancerous growths of the breast. The intro­duction of the poison into the vagina would be likely to be followed by the general symptoms of
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