Murder and misdeed topic for Forbes’ book

Historical murders and misdeeds from the Angus area are the main focus of a brand new book by local author, Forbes Inglis.

Issued by Brechin based publishers, The Pinkfoot Press, the book, ‘Murders & Misdeeds: Angus and Dundee, 1765 -1900’, covers some enthralling cases.

Fascinated by the story of Margaret Shuttleworth, the Montrose woman tried for the murder of her husband and convicted on the most circumstantial of evidence, Forbes embarked on a mission to discover more about the men and women who were accused of capital crimes in Angus and Dundee during the 18th and 19th centuries.

He uncovered many interesting stories, such as the trial of Kitty Nairn for incest and the murder of her husband, a man 20 years her senior, an accused who would have hung had the Crown been more careful in drawing up the indictment. The intriguing case of the Kirriemuir hotelier’s wife who might, like other victims, have been responsible for her own death is also examined.

Compounding the horror of the crimes themselves, public hangings and the added problem that hangmen of the time weren’t always well prepared, there are tales of incompetence and at least one ‘stand in’ executioner.

The author looks at the stories behind the trials and also speculates on how modern forensic science might have changed some of the verdicts.