Mary Ann Britland of Ashton-under-Lyne was hanged by James Berry on the 9th of August 1886, the first woman to be executed at Strangeways Prison in Manchester. It began when Mary and her husband Thomas Britland had rented a house in Ashton-under-Lyne, which was infested with mice and she had bought rat poison ostensibly to deal with the problem. The poison contained strychnine and arsenic and she had therefore signed the poison register. Britland's first victim by poisoning in March 1886 was her daughter Elizabeth, whom the attending physician diagnosed as having died of natural causes. Shortly afterwards, Britland claimed her daughter's £10 life insurance. Next, she poisoned her husband Thomas. His death was diagnosed as epilepsy - Britland also claimed on his life insurance. During this time she is thought to have had an affair with her neighbour Thomas Dixon. Dixon's wife, also named Mary, was to become the next and her final victim. This third death raised suspicion in the neighbourhood. Britland was subsequently interrogated by the local police about Mary Dixon's death and the body was examined by the district pathologist. It was found to contain a lethal quantity of the two poisons and Mary was immediately arrested. She was tried for murder at Manchester Assizes on Thursday 22nd July 1886. She was inevitably found guilty, sentenced to death by hanging, as was the rule of the day, but declared to the court "I am quite innocent, I am not guilty at all". She had to be assisted to the gallows in a state of virtual collapse and physically supported by two male warders on the trap doors during the execution.