• Rosemary Cook

The Wickedness of Dr Warder - my new talk!

I discovered Dr Alfred William Warder while researching for my book 'The Crimes of Dr Gramshaw'. In fact, he was on a long list of doctors who have done very nasty and mostly criminal things with their medical expertise!

Digging into his story through the fantastic National Newspaper Archive online and the usual genealogy websites, I was able to piece together his life and find out why his wife's doctor refused to give a death certificate, and what had happened earlier in his life as a prelude to his wicked doings in Brighton. I also found out that Dr Warder had spoken up in defence of a fellow medic Dr William Palmer - known for obvious reasons as Palmer the Poisoner - at the time of Palmer's murder trial at the Old Bailey. Warder was a lecturer in medical jurisprudence (forensic medicine) at St George's medical school in London, so was regarded as something of an expert in the topic of poisons. As one newspaper said later, Dr Warder seemed to have considered Palmer's crimes 'not as a warning but simply as a study ...'

It was great fun tracking down Dr Warder's children as well - there were four of them, all under 'full age' at the time of their father's death. They became wards of their maternal aunt and went to live in Germany where they married and had families of their own. A happy ending for some of the family, anyway.

I'm now giving talks about Dr Warder's story - check these

out on SpeakerNet at

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