The Smith's front doorkitchen windows (front area)Minnoch's DoorMinnoch's apartmentsBessie's bedroomMadeleine's bedroom windowsJohn's bedroom windowSmiths' drawing roomSmiths' dining room

  [go directly to 1857]
Sep 18 1757 Christening, in Alloa, of (Madeleine's paternal Great Grandmother) Janet Dempster, parents: John Dempster and Janet Laky
May 22 1763 Marriage, in Glasgow, of (Madeleine's maternal Great Grandparents) William Hamilton, mason, and Helen Liddel
May 11 1768 Birth of (Madeleine's maternal grandfather) David Hamilton, parents: William Hamilton, mason, and Helen Liddell.
Apr 2 1778 Birth of (Madeleine's maternal grandmother) Magdalene Marshall, parents: John Marshall, residenter (vintner), and Mary Miller
Mar 1 1772 Marriage, in Alloa, of (Madeleine's paternal Great Grandparents) Thomas Thomson, maltster, and Isabel Morrison.
Nov 3 1780 Marriage, in Alloa, of (Madeleine's paternal Great Grandparents) James Smith, mason, and Janet Dempster.
Nov 8 1781 Birth, in Alloa, of (Madeleine's paternal grandfather) John Smith, parents: James Smith (mason) and Janet Dempster
Feb 6 1785 Christening, Alloa, of (Madeleine's paternal grandmother) Betty Thomson, parents: Thomas Thomson and Isabel Morrison
1787 Publication of The First Glasgow Directory - edited by Nathaniel Jones
May 5 1794 Marriage of (Madeleine's maternal grandparents) David Hamilton (mason) and Magdaline Marshall.
Jan 04 1806 Marriage of (Madeleine's paternal grandparents) John Smith (mason) and Elizabeth Thomson 
Aug 12 1806 Birth, in Alloa, of (Madeleine's father) James Smith, (baptised on 19th.), parents: John Smith (mason) and Elizabeth Thomson.
Mar 10 1812 Birth of (Madeleine's mother) Janet Hamilton, parents: David Hamilton, architect, and Magdalene Marshall
May 1 1817 Birth of Mary Arthur Perry, parents: William Perry and Helen Todd.
Nov 25 1820 Birth, in Wigtown, of William Harper Minnoch, parents: Alexander Minnoch and Susan Harper.
Oct 9 1821 Death, at age 18, of David, son of David Hamilton, Architect
Oct 11 1821 Death, at age 24, of William, son of David Hamilton, Architect 
Jul 17 1822 (1st) Marriage of Pierre Francoise L'Angelier and Victoire Melanie de la Croix 
Dec 24 1822 Death, in Alloa, of (Madeleine's Great Grandfather) James Smith, builder, father of John Smith, builder.
Apr 30 1823 Birth, in Jersey, of Pierre Emile L'Angelier, parents: Pierre Francoise L'Angelier and Victoire Melanie de la Croix.
Mar 24 1833 Marriage, Glasgow parish, of James Smith, timber merchant, and Janet Hamilton. (Madeleine's parents)
Mar 26 1833  Marriage (2nd ceremony) of James Smith and Janet Hamilton, at Buchanan St., Barony parish. (Madeleine's parents)
Mar 29 1835 Birth, at 167 Regent St., of Magdalene (Madeleine) Hamilton Smith
Apr 09 1835 Birth, at Cardross, of Mary Buchanan (Madeleine's best friend)
Jan 25 1837 Birth, at 167 Regent St., of Betsy Smith (Madeleine's Sister)
Feb 07 1839 Birth, at Bedford Place (Renfrew St), of John Smith (Madeleine's Brother)
Oct 02 1840 Birth of David Hamilton Smith.
Nov 12 1840 Death, at Bedford Place, of David Hamilton Smith (age one month).
1841---------- Pierre Emile L'Angelier, aged 18, arrives in Scotland for the first time. 
1842 Birth of James Smith (Madeleine's brother)
Mar 01 1842 Burial, at St Helier, of Pierre Francoise L'Angelier (aged 52 yrs 10m)
1843 Birth of Janet Smith (Madeleine's sister)
Jul 24 1843 James Smith's estate sequestrated
Aug 14 1843  John Smith's estate sequestrated (also around this time - seqn. of estates of sons John Jnr. and Henry, merchants, commission agents).
Dec 05 1843  Death of David Hamilton, architect (age 75) [OBITUARY]
Sep 29 1845 James Smith's sequestration discharged
Apr 20 1846 John Smith's sequestration discharged
1847 L'Angelier returns to the continent, his relationship with the "Lady in Fife" being at an end.
Nov 23 1849  Death, at Columbia Place, of Magdalene Marshall Hamilton (Madeleine's gran)
1851 L'Angelier back in Edinburgh (stays for 6 - 9 months at the Rainbow Tavern)
Jan 12-20th On "Old Hansel Monday" Emile starts work with William Laird in Dundee.
Sep 01 1852  Emile leaves Laird's - moves to Glasgow (lodges with Elizabeth Wallace until December '53)
Dec 1853 Emile meets Miss Mary Perry at church (St Jude's). Miss Perry lived at 144 Renfrew Street. Since 1833, the Smith's had had their workshop at 100 Renfrew Street. During 1853/54, the Smiths lived at 164 Renfrew Street (about 100 paces from Miss Perry's front door).
Dec 25 1853 Emile dines with Wm D'Esterre Roberts - takes very ill - vomiting and purging - generally spoiling the Xmas dinner (first recorded instance of his "cholera-like" symptoms).
Spring 1855 Emile and Miss Perry become more "intimate" (I'm pretty sure it meant that they conversed as friends).
Apr 1855 L'Angelier introduced to Madeleine Smith (by Robert Baird)
Oct 1856 Charles Baird finds Emile very unwell at his lodgings (Franklin Place) - doubled up screaming with pain. This is yet another example of the almost certainly self-inflicted symptoms that would later be attributed (quite rightly) to arsenic poisoning. As he explained to De Mean, it's possible to take arsenic without being injured by it, if it's taken in small quantities. L'Angelier believed he knew how much arsenic he could take without succumbing to the poison.
Wed 28 Jan Madeleine accepts William Minnoch's offer of marriage.

Mon 02 Feb

She finally writes to Emile to end the affair "I felt truly astonished to have my last letter returned to me. But it will be the last you shall have the opportunity of returning. When you are not pleased with the letters I send you, then our correspondence shall be at an end, and, as there is a coolness on both sides, our engagement had better be broken. ...  ... bring my letters and likeness on Thursday eve., at 7."

Tues 03 Feb

L'Angelier receives Madeleine's letter - doesn't reply immediately - tells Thomas Kennedy, with tears in his eyes, that he would "never allow her to marry another man as long as he lived."
Thur 05 Feb Madeleine attends a party at Mrs Janet Anderson's house. 
Mon 09 Feb  Still awaiting a reply from L'Angelier, Madeleine writes again, this time allowing herself the luxury of addressing him with a hint of the contempt she had, in reality, felt for him for some months past (posted today - deliverable Tuesday). "I attribute it to your having a cold that I had no answer to my last note. On Thursday evening you were, I suppose, afraid of the night air. I again appoint Thursday night first - same place - street gate, 7 o'clock."  
This first letter, however, had crossed in the post with his eventual reply in which he threatens to show the letters to her father.

She writes again (Posted Tues morn. - delivered 1.30 - 3.00) "Emile, I have just had your note. Emile, for the love you once had for me, do nothing till Isee you... tomorrow night - one line, for the love of God."

Tue 10 Feb

This, Tuesday 10th February, is the most important and pivotal day of the entire case.

Today, Emile receives both of  Madeleine's letters. He realizes that he has miscalculated. His blackmail threat has not produced the expected result in that Madeleine now fears that she will be thrown out of the house. He knows today, for the first time, that there is no chance of his marrying into the Smith family. He knows today that everything he had dreamed of for the last two years has been snatched away. He was not a man who took disappointment in his stride. This day pushed him over the edge.

Madeleine writes, "Oh, it is kind of you to write to me..."  

Some psychopaths plan murder in such a way as to avoid detection. In Emile's case, just as much thought went into creating the illusion that he was being poisoned. From this point onwards, he was thinking in terms of evidence, testimony and the death sentence. He thought about the motive, the means and the opportunity. He was no genius - he made mistakes - but, as it transpired, speaking literally, there were no geniuses in the courtroom either.

Wed 11th The first entry in L'Angelier's pocket-book: * "Dined at Mr Mitchell's; Saw M. at 12pm in CH Room."
Fri 13th * (Pocket-book) - "Saw Mr Phillpot, saw Mimi, dined at 144 Renfrew St."
Sat 14th * (Pocket-book) - "A letter from M."
Mon 16th * (Pocket-book) - "Wrote M. Saw Mr Phillpots."
Tue 17th Emile dines with Mary Perry - meets Philpot there - (he says he next expects to see Madeleine on Thursday)
Thu 19th Madeleine, Wm Minnoch and his sister at the opera. *  
(Pocket-book) - "Saw Mimi a few moments (1) was very ill during the night."
Fri 20th * (Pocket-book) - "Passed two pleasant hour with M. in the Drawing Room."
Sat 21st  * (Pocket-book) - (2) "Don't feel well."  
(Now, for the 1st time) Madeleine buys arsenic from Murdoch's (Murdoch's arsenic stained with soot )
Sun 22nd  * (Pocket-book) - "Saw Mimi in Drawing Room Promised me French Bible. (3) Taken very ill."
Mon 23rd  Emile tells Thomas Kennedy, (4) "I am very ill," and gets sent home. ..Emile calls on Dr Thomson Thuau visits Emile
Tue 24th Madeleine goes back to Murdochs and asks if arsenic shouldn't be white.  
Dr Thomson visits Emile. * (Pocket-book) - "Wrote M."
Wed 25th  Dr Thomson visits Emile * (Pocket-book) -"M. wrote me."
Thu 26th  Dr Thomson visits Emile 
Sat 28th * (Pocket-book) - "Mimi wrote me."
Sun 1 Mar Dr Thomson meets L'Angelier in Great Western Road 
Mon 2 Mar Emile tells Mary Perry (5) he had been very ill, "Well, I never expected to see you again." (She takes this to refer to the 19th February) 
Tue 3 Mar * (Pocket-book) - "Mimi wrote; wrote Mimi   Saw her in S.S."
Wed 4 Mar  * (Pocket-book) - "Saw Mimi - gave her a note and got one from her"
Thu 5 Mar

* (Pocket-book) - "Saw Mimi - gave her a note and rec'd one."

L'Angelier starts to build up the pressure. He writes to Madeleine: "...Mimi, I insist in having an explicit answer to the questions you evaded in my last. If you evade answering them this time, I must try some other means of coming to the truth. If not answered in a satisfactory manner, you must not expect I shall again write you personally or meet you when you return home. I do not wish you to answer this at random. I shall wait a day or so if you require it. I know you cannot write me from Stirlingshire, as the time you have to write me a letter is occupied in doing so to others. There was a time you would have found plenty of time. Answer me this, Mimi - …Is it true that you are, directly or indirectly, engaged to Mr Minnoch or to any one else but me?"

Fri 6 Mar

In 1857, arsenic was used in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens as a weedkiller and pesticide. L'Angelier used to lodge there.

Either today or on the 5th, Emile visits the Botanic Gardens and, according to Mrs Clark's testimony, he takes away some gold or silver fish. 

Madeleine (with Mary Buchanan) buys arsenic from Curries (Currie's arsenic was stained with indigo). 
The family go to Bridge of Allan.

Mon 9 Mar Emile gets leave of absence...Takes tea with Mary Perry and tells her about (6) a cup of chocolate which had made him ill... "I can't think why I was so unwell after getting that coffee and chocolate from her... And then, later, "It is a perfect fascination I have for her...  if she were to poison me I would forgive her."
Tue 10 Mar Emile arrives at lodgings (6 Elm Row, Edinburgh)
Thu 12th Minnoch and Madeleine fix date for marriage (18th June) 
Sat 14th Emile dines with George McCall (merchant), Forth St. Edinburgh. 
Mon 16th L'Angelier visits the Towers in Portobello to talk about being very ill and to tell them that he believes (7) he may have been poisoned. Tells McCall he had been dining with Colonel Fraser at Portobello.
Tue 17th  Emile leaves (Elm Row) Edinburgh. Madeleine returns from Bridge of Allan.

Madeleine buys arsenic from Curries. 

She writes to L'Angelier making an appointment for Friday (20th). This Friday appointment is much more important than it might seem. It has always been assumed that the appointment was for Thursday.

She returns on Wednesday. She is extremely anxious to see him and it might seem natural that she would see him at the first opportunity, Thursday night, but that was not an option. She can't appoint Thursday because she and her parents already have a Thursday appointment for a dinner party at Minnoch's. The street entrance to Minnoch's flat is right beside her bedroom window. When the party finishes - and she has no way of knowing how late it will finish (the Smiths' dinner parties never finished early) - she, together with her mother and father, will walk out into Main Street exactly at the spot where L'Angelier would normally wait. Her anxiety to see L'Angelier is precisely because she wants to keep him away from her parents. This is yet another piece of crucial evidence that was overlooked and its significance will become apparent when, as happens to many psychopaths, reality doesn't turn out to be exactly as planned.

Thu 19th

Having established his well of suspicion, Emile now puts the last element of his scheme into action. The idea is to go away for a "holiday" and to let everyone know that he will be away until at least the middle of the following week. He also cranks up the pressure on Madeleine, increasing her fears that, unless she can convince him that she is not going to marry Minnoch, he is going to show the letters to her father. As soon as she returns from Bridge of Allan, she will write, begging him to visit her, whereupon he will return "prematurely" from his holiday. When he then becomes ill, her letter will appear to prove that he returned early to see her and therefore it will prove that a meeting has taken place.

He has put a lot of thought into the question of Madeleine's "opportunity" to administer the poison and this thoroughly transparent nonsense of his going away and coming back early was actually necessary to overcome the problem of his not being able to rely on there being any witnesses to their meeting. Her written invitation, set against the testimony of many witnesses who will remember that he intended to remain until Wednesday or Thursday, will be enough to establish that he came back to see her, ergo there was a meeting, ergo she had the opportunity to poison him.

Before he leaves for Bridge of Allan, he asks Mrs Jenkins if a letter he is expecting has arrived. He gives Thuau instructions to forward it to him. He then leaves for Bridge of Allan (via Edinburgh) ... calls at stationers in Leith St Edinburgh, looking for letter... returns to his lodgings - 16:15, Emile leaves Edinburgh for Bridge of Allan. By the time he has arrived at his Bridge of Allan lodgings, Madeleine's letter had arrives at Franklin Place and Thuau has forwarded it to Emile.

In the evening Madeleine and Mr & Mrs Smith dine at Wm Minnoch's.

Fri 20th

Friday Morning - Emile gets Madeleine's letter but something in its contents renders it useless. He destroys the letter, keeping only the envelope. This letter, in which she appoints a meeting for Friday night, is the one which was intended to "prove" that he came back early to visit Madeleine - but something she wrote spoiled it. (Could have been any of a number of things, the most obvious being a reference to her having bought arsenic). Whatever spoiled the letter, it's quite immaterial. The most important thing to bear in mind is that she sent it, that Thuau forwarded it, that L'Angelier received it and that this was the letter that he made the fuss about, the letter that was intended to show that he came back early for no purpose other than to meet Madeleine. Forgive the repitition of these points but it is important to understand the significance of this letter. He intended this letter to be produced in evidence. It was intended to convict Madeleine but placed in its proper context, it has entirely the opposite efeect. Had the letter not been spoiled, he would have returned for a meeting on Friday night. Because it was spoiled, it could not be produced in evidence and, therefore, he could not keep the appointment. Had it not been his intention to have the letter produced in evidence, he would have returned for the Friday night meeting.

He now has to improvise. Friday morning - he writes,as originally intended, to Miss Perry and others, making sure everyone knows not to expect him back before Wednesday but in Miss Perry's letter, he also says, "I should have come to see someone last night, but the letter came too late, so we are both disappointed." This was overlooked by both the Defence and the Prosecution. It was a lie. The letter could only have appointed Friday. By pretending that the letter appointed Thursday night, he can now remain in Bridge of Allan and wait for her next letter but, had he not planned the whole scenario, had the letter not been part of his plan to frame Madeleine for attempted murder, there was absolutely nothing to prevent his returning for the Friday night meeting. The letter arrived on Friday morning. he had ample time to return to Glasgow. The fact that he had to lie, that he remained in Bridge of Allan and waited for her next letter, proves intent. It demolishes the idea that he innocently returned on account of the letter that he received on Sunday.

The central question, therefore, is whether it is possible that the meeting was, as he maintained, appointed for Thursday. If it was, he didn't lie to Miss Perry and it is much more difficult (though not impossible) to prove that he intended to frame her for his attempted murder.

Madeleine, in her declaration, said she waited for him on Friday night. Mrs Smith, in her precognition, said that, "after Miss Perry left, Madeleine admitted that the last letter she had sent to L'Angelier was on Friday." The letter was posted on Saturday morning. Even putting aside the virtual impossibility of a Thursday meeting because of the dinner party at Minnoch's, Thursday makes no sense at all. The only suggestion that the meeting was for Thursday, came from Emile's own hand - the letter to Miss Perry.

It is also inconceivable that Madeleine, now absolutely at her wits end, could have waited for him on Thursday night and then, he having failed to appear, she then waits a full day, until Saturday, to post this second desperate letter. The letter could only have been written on Friday night after waiting for him on Friday night, as arranged. (The key to solving the riddle of the Madeleine Smith Story is to simply to avoid making the assumption that the "victim" is telling the truth).

Friday Night - Madeleine waits for Emile but he doesn't show. She is now desperately worried that his failure to appear means that he has decided to show the letters to her father and to Minnoch. In the early hours of Saturday morning, she writes again: "Why my beloved did you not come to me? Oh, beloved, are you ill? Come to me sweet one. I waited and waited for you but you came not. I shall wait again tomorrow night same hour and arrangement. Do come sweet love, my own dear love of a sweetheart. Come beloved and clasp me to your heart. Come and we shall be happy. A kiss, fond love. Adieu, with tender embraces, ever believe me to be your own, ever dear fond Mimi." Armchair students of the case have taken this letter at face value, believing that the excesssive terms of endearment betoken her fiendish desire to lure the innocent L'Angelier to his death. Only someone who has absolutely no understanding of what has been going on between Madeleine and L'Angelier could make that mistake. For the last few weeks, she has been doing everything in her power to avoid him. She can hardly bring herself to write to him and when she does it is to procrastinate and make all manner of excuses as to why she can't meet him. But now she believes that, unless she can persuade him otherwise, he is about to revert to his earlier intention to show the letters to her father. She appoints a meeting for Friday. He doesn't turn up. She is absolutely terrified. She writes in the most extreme affectionate terms and she appoints a meeting for the following night, Saturday. The subtext of this second letter is nothing other than abject terror.

It was written on Friday night and posted on Saturday morning. It arrives at Franklin Place later on Saturday and it is forwarded by Thuau to Bridge of Allan where it arrives on Sunday morning.

Sat 21st

Saturday night - Madeleine waits for a second time but Emile doesn't show.

Sun 22nd Emile receives Madeleine's second letter. He leaves Bridge of Allan in the early afternoon and returns to Glasgow. At 9.00pm, He leaves lodgings, asking for pass key. He's seen in the vicinity of Blythswood Square around 9.15. At 9.30pm, he arrives at Terrace St and asks for McAlester but the man isn't at home.
Mon 23rd 2:30am, Emile arrives back, "very ill 

7:00:am, Mrs Jenkins calls Doctor Steven.  Emile now makes no mention of "poison" For the last few weeks, he's been telling people that he believes he is being poisoned but now he has to remain silent on the subject. Any mention of poison and the question would have immediately arisen: "but, if you thought you were being poisoned, why did you take more?"  He needs to play the part of the innocent victim and he needs someone else (Miss Perry) to point the finger.
9:00:am, Emile asks to see Miss Perry 
12:00: Miss Perry turns up (too late).

Tue 24th  Stevenson and Kennedy have a (closer) look at the letters. 
Wed 25th Madeleine and Wm Minnoch at dinner party (Rev. Middleton's) 
Thu 26th  2pm, Jack and Wm Minnoch catch up with Madeleine on the steamer.
Fri 27th Madeleine tells Minnoch about some letters in L'Angelier's possession.
Mon 30th Mary Buchanan visits Madeleine
Tue 31st Day of Glasgow election (James Smith). Madeleine tells Minnoch that she has bought poison. Madeleine charged with murder.
Apr-Jun Madeleine in prison awaiting trial
30th Jun  1st day of trial 
9th July Last day of trial
Apr 29 1858 Marriage, in Glasgow, of William Harper Minnoch and Mary Aitken.
Jul 04 1861 Marriage of of Madeleine Hamilton Smith of 72 Sloane St, Chelsea, to George Wardle, artist, of 5 Bloomfield Terrace, at St Paul's, London. Winesses H. Haverlock and James Smith.
May 27-1862 Birth of Mary Wardle, parents: George Wardle and Madeleine Smith
1863 Birth, at Southwold, Suffolk, of Tom Edmund Wardle, parents: George Young Wardle and Madeleine Smith.
Dec 30 1863 Death of James Smith, architect (jaundice)
May 9 1887 Death of James Smith (Madeleine's brother)
May 1899 Death of John Smith (Madeleine's brother)
Mar 8 1910 Death of Bessie Smith (Madeleine's sister)
May 20 1922 Death of Janet Smith (Madeleine's sister)
Apr 12 1928  Death, in New York, of Lena Wardle Sheehy
S I T E     D I R E C T O R Y

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