Figure depicting William Palmer
- Object Number: 1982.P.454
- Simple Name: figure
- Production Place: Stoke-on-Trent
- Production Place: Staffordshire
- Production Place: England
- Production Period:
- Summary: Figure depicting William Palmer. Earthenware with overglaze painted and gilded decoration. 'WILLIAR . PALMER' inscribed to the front of the base. Palmer is leaning on a podium with a hand across his abdomen.
- Terms:heroes & villains
- Terms:crime & punishment
- Terms:18th & 19th Century Staffordshire
- Credit: P D Gordon Pugh Collection. Purchased with grant in aid from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, The Art Fund and The Friends of The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.
- Additional Notes: William Palmer (1824 - 1856) was born in Rugeley, Staffordshire. He studying medicine in London but returned to Staffordshire to practice. However, he had more of a reputation as a ladies' man and gambler than as a doctor. Several unexpected deaths became associated with him including friends, his wife Ann, his mother-in-law, his brother and four children in infancy.
- Additional Notes: Palmer was eventually tried for forgery and murder after the death of his wealthy young friend John Parsons Cook. He was found guilty and sentenced to hang on the 14th June 1856. His mother always maintained his innocence and no modern jury would have been able to convict him and such circumstantial evidence. Of 13 deaths associated with him, there have never been concrete proof against Palmer. He was guilty of fraud, seduction and forgery, but did he deserve the title, 'Prince of Poisoners'?
- Contact: Potteries Museum and Art Gallery