Eliza Fenning

Eliza Fenning was a cook aged 22, hanged in 1815 for attempting to poison her employers with arsenic. On the scaffold, she said: ‘Before the just and almighty God, and by the faith of the holy sacrament I have taken, I am innocent of the offence with which I am charged.’

There was huge public sympathy for her. Her trial had been hasty and quick and evidence coming to light later as a basis for appeal was not used. Thousands were in her funeral procession – the biggest funeral these Gardens ever saw.

In 2021, as part of the Bloomsbury Festival, the Friends told poor Eliza’s story. Watch our 45 minute film below.