Mr Briggs’ Hat

Kate Colquhoun

Published on: 19/05/2011


The fascinating story of the first ever railway murder.

In July 1864, Thomas Briggs was travelling home after visiting his niece and her husband for dinner. He entered a First Class carriage on the 9.45pm Hackney service of the North London railway. At Hackney, two bank clerks entered the carriage and discovered blood in the seat cushions; also on the floor, windows and sides of the carriage. A bloodstained hat was found on the seat along with a broken link from a watch chain.

The race to identify the killer and catch him as he flees on a boat to America was eagerly followed by citizens both sides of the Atlantic. Kate Colquhoun tells a gripping tale of a crime that shocked the nation.

Praise for Mr Briggs’ Hat:

‘(A) thrilling book, which reads at times like a good Victorian novel… an utterly compelling did-he-do-it’  Sunday Times

‘Deploying her skill as a historian, Colquhoun turns a single curious murder case into a fascinatingly quirky portrait of the underside of mid-Victorian London. I found it unputdownable’  Daily Telegraph

 ‘Kate Colquhoun is a fine, robust writer who makes the most of its every twist and turn’  Mail on Sunday

‘With a storyteller’s instinct for colour and suspense Kate Colquhoun has brilliantly recreated the five-month period from Thomas Briggs’ death to Muller’s execution’ Daily Express

‘Kate Colquhoun’s irreproachable unpicking of the case is meticulous, patient, thorough and measured’  Independent

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About the author:

Kate Colquhoun

Kate Colquhoun’s previous non fiction titles were shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2004 and longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize 2003. As well as writing for several newspapers and magazines, she appears regularly on national radio and television. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.

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