This web site is devoted to the Madeleine Smith case. Featuring new in-depth
research undertaken prior to scripting the musical, it sets out the full story
of a bizarre orchestration of evidence discovered 140 years too late.
Thursday, 9th July 1857 - The atmosphere outside the High Court in Edinburgh
was charged to fever pitch as the crowd awaited the verdict at the end of
the most sensational trial of the century. Hanging in the balance was the
life of Madeleine Smith, attractive 22 year old daughter of James Smith, a
prosperous Glasgow architect, (and grand-daughter of David Hamilton, the "Father
of Glasgow Architecture").
Madeleine Smith had been accused of poisoning her lover, Jersey born Pierre
Emile L'Angelier. She had purchased arsenic poison on three occasions.
Over the last few days, revelations of Madeleine's secret romance had been
making headlines in London, Paris and New York. By the end of the trial, in
spite of widespread belief in her guilt, sympathy had swung towards Madeleine
and the crowds cheered when news of the Not Proven verdict reached the street.
Madeleine Smith was free to leave the court but never was she free from
On Friday 4th July 1997 and on Saturday 5th, exactly 140 years after the
trial, the Scottish press reported the results of our research - that the
true facts of the case had been uncovered for the first time:
The Scotsman 4th July 1997:
"EVIDENCE SHOWS ONE OF SCOTLAND'S MOST HATED WOMEN WAS FRAMED BY HER LOVER"
The Scottish Daily Mail 5th July 1997:
"THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WOMAN BRANDED A POISONER - 140 YEARS LATE"
August 2003 saw the World Premiere of "A Most Curious Murder"
at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.