Mary Ann Cotton

(October 1832 – 24 March, 1873)

Mary Ann Cotton
Mary Ann Cotton

Mary Ann Cotton (Née Robson) was born in the village of Low Moorsley, County Durham in October 1832

She systematically killed more than a dozen children, several men including her husbands and lovers, her mother and some friends. She is believed to have murdered up to 20 people, mainly by arsenic poisoning.

Mary Ann Cotton’s Nursery Rhyme

Mary Ann Cotton
She’s dead and she’s rotten
She lies in her bed
With her eyes wide open
Sing, sing, oh what can I sing?
Mary Ann Cotton is tied up with string
Where, where? Up in the air
Sellin’ black puddens a penny a pair

In Popular Culture

All Mine Enemys Whispers: The Story of Mary Ann Cottona, music CD released on March 25, 2008, by Attrition
Mary Ann Cotton: Dead But Not Forgotten, 2000, book by Tony Whitehead
Mary Ann Cotton: Her Story and Trial, 1973, book by Arthur Appleton