The mouse bite which caused a Victorian Sunderland tragedy

An old view of Sunderland.
An old view of Sunderland.
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Wearside’s gruesome past has been re-told in a new book by two authors.

As well as buying the book, you can find out more in a talk next week at the Sunderland Antiquarian Society.

Old Sunderland which is the subject of a book all about inquests.

Old Sunderland which is the subject of a book all about inquests.

It will feature members, Sharon Vincent and Norman Kirtlan, presenting the grim facts behind their new book called Death From…

Chris Cordner reports.

When Norman Kirtlan and Sharon Vincent investigated Sunderland’s inquests from 100 years ago, the results were tragic and fascinating.

“Some of the cases are desperately sad, while others are simply hard to believe,” said Norman who, along with Sharon, are no strangers to reporting on Sunderland’s history.

Some of the cases are desperately sad, while others are simply hard to believe

Norman Kirtlan

Death From… follows on from previous works called Fetch the Black Mariah and The Dressmakers of Fighting Cock Lane.

Norman gave an example of the tragedies they examined. “There was a case involving two little boys who had captured a mouse and who, cruelly, decided to torture it.

“But the mouse thought differently, and bit one of the children on the leg.”

The mouse died that same day. Whatever disease it had, it was passed on to the five year old through the bite.

The cover of the new book by Sharon Vincent and Norman Kirtlan.

The cover of the new book by Sharon Vincent and Norman Kirtlan.

He died within three days and his sad demise led to the only inquest result – death from the bite of a mouse.

Sharon and Norman’s talk is on Tuesday, September 19, at Thornhill School Hall, starting at 7.30p.m.

Copies of their book will be available on the night.

The books costing £6 are also available from the Society which is open every Wednesday and Saturday morning from 9.30am to 12pm in 6 Douro Terrace.

Norman Kirtlan.

Norman Kirtlan.

If anyone wants a copy posted, email Sharon at sharonvincent03@hotmail.com.

And watch out for more cases from Death From… next Friday.