Mary Ann Cotton's Teapot
For anyone who has recently watched the drama 'Dark Angel' on TV, you will be familiar with Mary Ann Cotton giving her victims a cup of tea and lacing it with arsenic. On view at Beamish Museum yesterday was this teapot which is reputley the one used to carry out the poisonings.
She is believed to have killed up to 21 people including three of her four husbands and eleven of her thirteen children. Cotton was convicted and hanged in 1873 for the murders.
The small Wedgewood pot was donated to the museum in 1972. Initially the musuem did not know about its provenance but in 1989 they received a letter explaining where it had come from.
Several scenes from 'Dark Angel' were filmed at Beamish, including the scenes at the mine, the chemist shop and the house where she went to look after the children of widower James Robinson.
You can read more about her here