[Sca-cooks] OOP OT Sweeney Todd

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Thu Nov 29 22:38:29 PST 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "otsisto" <otsisto at socket.net>
> There is record of a Sweeney Todd, Sondheim just embellished a bit but
> novelist of the 1800s embellished it first which turned him into an 
> English
> bogeyman. His shop was at 186 Fleet Street. Alledgedly arrested in 
> 1801(?).
> Allegedly his first murder was in 1785 when he was residing near St.
> Dunstan's Church. The surname of his accomplice was Lovett but it is 
> unsure
> whether her first name was Sarah or Margery. She was a widow and a pie
> maker. When she was arrested she pointed to Todd as her accomplice.
> Lovett took poison while incarcerated in Newgate. Todd was on trial for 
> one
> murder as they could not identify the large number of bodies found in the
> catacombs under his shop. The jury said he was guilty and he declared
> himself innocent.
> He was hung January 25, 1802 at Newgate.

>From this, I would say you are using Peter Haining's books on Sweeney Todd 
as the source.  There are some questions as to the validity of Haining's 
citations and I have not found any other authors supporting Haining's 
claims.  On the otherhand, I haven't seen a point by point refutation of 
Hainings claims, nor have I had the opportunity to research them for myself. 
While I tend to think the evidence is shakey at best, I could be wrong.

If anyone ever decides to chase Sweeney Todd's shadow, they might want to 
start with the London directories in the Guildhall Library to see if a 
barber named Sweeney Todd ever plied his trade in London.


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