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In spring 1827, British society was all aflutter at the excitement and intrigue surrounding the trial of British diplomat Edward Gibbon Wakefield and his brother William at Lancaster Castle. Driven by financial gain, in 1826 they hatched a daring plan to abduct fifteen-year-old Ellen Turner. Ellen was the sole heir of William Turner, the wealthy owner of a calico printing business in Blackburn. Ellen was taken from her school near Liverpool under the false pretence that she had been summoned home to attend to her ill mother.

Museum of Lancashire





oil on canvas


H 67.7 x W 59 cm (E)

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Irene Ackroyd Hardman, 1977

Work type


Inscription description

H Wyatt Pinxt


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Normally on display at

Museum of Lancashire

Stanley Street, Preston, Lancashire PR1 4YP England

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