Mary Ann Cotton was born October 1832 in County Durham , Northern England .
Possibly the greatest female mass murderer Britain has ever known, she left a trail of death throughout her life, killing between 16 to 21 of her children and former husbands over many years by arsenic poisoning .
She was eventually arrested, tried and hanged in Durham Jail on the 24th March 1873.
The Police officer that arrested Mary Ann Cotton was a Sergeant Tom McCutcheon.
Coincidentally, his daughter, Louisa McCutcheon, had worked for a while for Mary as a seamstress..
On departing for Durham jail Mary gave Louisa her prized sewing box as the only way she could now pay her for her work…
The sewing box was kept in Louisa’s family and passed down through the generations.
Rather uneasily considering what it represented…
My own father met a by then very old Louisa when he was a young child in the 1940’s
– He recently recounted this story and passed on the box on to me.
Louisa McCutcheon was my great great great aunt….
Martin Bowes. 2007
released July 18, 2008
Originally released on Projekt records in 2008.