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Thursday, 18 February 2010


The Regency period was an age of scandal. Cheshire newspaper readers thrilled to the news of the Prince Regent’s very public feud with his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, and the divorce of Lord and Lady Byron – there were dark rumours circulating of Byron’s incest with his half-sister Augusta. Harriette Wilson’s memoirs took the polite world by storm, too. But Cheshire had its own home-grown scandals. There were murders most foul, such as the notorious case of George Morrey (a farmer) and the mysterious death of a Northwich flatman in 1817.

In the early spring of 1826, one scandal made the national news for months on end: the outrageous abduction of Ellen Turner, a Macclesfield heiress. Ellen was taken to Gretna Green by adventurer Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who wanted to marry her and control her fortune. You can find out more about Ellen’s amazing story in Regency Cheshire.
Image: Eloped! Engraving by Hugh Thomson for Coaching Days and Coaching Ways, (Macmillan, 1910).

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