The Cock Lane Ghost is the true story of a series of events that took place in London
in the 1760s. Businessman, William Kent fell foul of a powerful Norfolk family when
he eloped with their daughter, Frances Lynes. The couple fled to London and took
lodging in Cock Lane. When Frances died, a mysterious ghostly conspiracy against
Kent began, gathering so much momentum that it almost led to him being hung for murder.
At the heart of the affair was a story of sexual infatuation, conspiracy, accusations
of murder and rape and the alleged return of the victim from beyond the grave to
point out her killer.
The case aroused huge popular curiosity, was subject to the insatiable spinning of
London's early newspaper industry and ultimately involved figures such as Dr Samuel
Johnson. Paul Chambers brings to life the story of the Cock Lane ghost - a scandal
whose effect on society was such that the term Cock Lane was still synonymous with
folly, superstition and corruption 150 years later.
The Cock Lane Ghost
- Paul Chambers -
'Sex, murder and blackmail, a leading author uncovers the scandal that gripped 18th
century London.' The Daily Express
'The story of love, folly and things that go bump in the night is still sketched
out during guided walks in Olde London Towne. In The Cock Lane Ghost, Paul Chambers
has written a documentary account which puts flesh on the skeleton of the yarn. Thanks
to its enthralling details and preposterous goings-on, it reads like a novel.' The