The murdered woman….

Art by Christine Mallaband-Brown


In 2007 I did a series of murals in The Leopard Hotel, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

One image was based on a story of a woman in the 18th or 19th century who had been murdered in the back rooms of the hotel. Stabbed to death, in one of the small “snug” rooms which the back room was divided into.

In the painting the woman is slumped in an old high backed arm chair, her glass of red wine lying on its side on the floor. At first she just looks like she is asleep, but the pool of wine is slowly mingling with another red liquid. The woman sits in front of a raging fire. But her skin is pale. Almost white. She wears a mob cap and a low cut blue dress. Is she a maid in the hotel, a pottery worker, or a lady of the night plying her…

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  • If there was a murder at the Leopard and the murderer was caught, the trial would have been at Stafford Assizes. Anyone who wants to delve further into this story can check the Assize Court records for the period or look at the reports of trials and executions in the Staffordshire Advertiser. I understand that Burslem History Club meets at the Leopard. Its members might be able to give readers more information and tell them about other ghosts who may frequent the hotel.