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Palmer the poisoner and me

Big Al Whittle 26 May 12 - 10:16 PM
Mo the caller 27 May 12 - 10:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 27 May 12 - 11:23 AM
Steve Parkes 27 May 12 - 04:34 PM
Paul Burke 27 May 12 - 05:41 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 May 12 - 08:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 27 May 12 - 08:24 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 May 12 - 04:03 PM
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Subject: Palmer the poisoner and me
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 May 12 - 10:16 PM

As some of you may know - I undertook to record a version of The Ballad of William Palmer for Paul Slade's Gallows Project. Basically contemporary folksinger recording 19th century broadside ballds. I have a lot of time for Paul and his work - so I wanted to contribute something.

One of the things Paul asked us all to do was to write about how we came to be interested enough to take on such a project. So I wrote an essay - explaining how I related to this ballad with its archaic language, and not exactly sparkling doggerel. The essay has proved too long at 1100 words to fit onto Paul's website. However I enjoyed writing the essay so much that I wanted to publish it in its entirety.

So I've given it its own web page here:-

http://www.bigalwhittle.co.uk/lifehistoryandsongsof/id64.html


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Subject: RE: Palmer the poisoner and me
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 May 12 - 10:45 AM

Your article quotes Sherlock Holmes.
"When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge"

Everyone's nightmare, from then to the present day. Or do you think someone will be calling 'miscarriage of justice' on the recent case? (who immediately sprung to mind - but I can't remember his name)


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Subject: RE: Palmer the poisoner and me
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 May 12 - 11:23 AM

I think so - its part ofthe adverserial systems fault - no one is looking for the truth. Everyone is defending their corner - excluding the evidence for the other point of view whenever possible.

perhaps it was Shipman you were thinking of.

Here is the Palmer song

http://soundcloud.com/planetslade/death-of-william-palmer-by-big


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Subject: RE: Palmer the poisoner and me
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 27 May 12 - 04:34 PM

For those who don't know, the 'Ruge' in Rugely rhymes with 'budge'. Those who don't know include a lot of the incomers who live there. (I'm from Walsall, just down the road.) After the execution, the locals petitioned the Prime Minister to change the name of the village, as it had become so notorious. The PM is supposed to have suggested they name it after him: Palmerston!

WP was a bit of an eedjit: he ought to have known he'd be found out eventually. He was lucky to get away with it so long. I tell people he started an abortion clinic, and then provided the clients himself.


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Subject: RE: Palmer the poisoner and me
From: Paul Burke
Date: 27 May 12 - 05:41 PM

Nicely done Al- but Rugely ain't Arkansas.

I'd have sung it to the tune Martin Carthy used for I Was a Young Man. But then if I could sing and play like you who knows what I'd do.


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Subject: RE: Palmer the poisoner and me
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 May 12 - 08:08 PM

I used to gig in Rugely quite a lot. I used to look around for the pub where its said Bill used to poison people for a bit of a laugh - apparently used to piss himself with amusement as they threw up. Theres a picture of the pub in Robert Graves book - and they hanged my Saintly Billy - but I never could see it.

Some people say the Palmerston story is not true.

I know when I was doing my O levels nearly fifty years ago - I mentioned the Palmerston legend to our history teacher. We were learning about Palmerston and gunboat diplomacy, of which he was apparently a great practitioner. I said to my history teacher - well he may have been a great man with the gunboats, but he must have been out of touch -not to understand a bout the most famous murder trial in England.

Mr Weaver, the history teacher said - on the contray -the story shows that Palmerston had an amazing sense of humour.

I think - maybe Mr Weaver was right.


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Subject: RE: Palmer the poisoner and me
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 27 May 12 - 08:24 PM

I think Rugeley is quite near Abbots Bromley, where they do the folk dance with stags horns. You could fit in a visit to the garden of Remeberance at Alrewas, Tamworth Castle, Tutbury Castle, and Abbots Bromley and visit Rugely in one day - if you've never seen that part of the world. Not to mention Dr Johnson's birthplace statue in Lichfield and the cathedral. There a great michelin type restaurant in Tutbury.


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Subject: RE: Palmer the poisoner and me
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 May 12 - 04:03 PM

Its not an area on the tourist rail, but I think its worth a day.


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