From time immemorial, wrongdoing – whatever its origin or description – has been generally considered as unacceptable and to be punished.

The sixth Commandment is 'You shall not murder' and murder has always been seen as the most heinous of crimes, until recent years meriting the death penalty.

Kendal has generally been a relatively peaceful town but there were a few notable suspicious deaths over the years.

In 1904 the 63-year-old John Gilpin died in a house in Woolpack Yard in suspicious circumstances. Arsenic was found in his body and his housekeeper, Elizabeth Nicholson, and a lodger, Thomas Metcalfe, were charged with his murder.

Gilpin's family had disowned him when he took up with Elizabeth more than 20 years earlier and, when he became senile, Thomas moved in with and formed an alliance with her.

He forged Gilpin's signature on cheques and with one bought arsenic from a chemist. At the trial it was alleged that it was to have been put into Gilpin's rum.

After only six minutes deliberation the jury pronounced Elizabeth guilty of murder and Thomas of aiding and abetting.

Public interest was high and when they were taken by to the Lancaster Assizes. A Crowd waited for three hours, lining the whole road to Oxenholme station, to see them pass.

There was an unexpected twist to the tale. The case against Thomas was dropped and the judge decided that it was not fair for Elizabeth to be hanged while Thomas got off, so her guilty verdict was rescinded.

Eleven years later, in 1915, the greens keeper at Kendal golf course found the body of milliner's assistant Lily Hadwin lying dead at the foot of Scout Scar.

Her boyfriend, Private Musweek, was arrested and charged with pushing her over the edge of the escarpment. He said that she had probably slipped or even taken her own life but he could not say why she would have done.

As the evidence was inconclusive he was cleared but police felt that he had only got away with the crime because, as a soldier, he was of more use as cannon fodder on the Western Front!

As they so often do, morbid crowds flocked to the place where Lily's body was found but there was nothing to see.

A road accident revealed a crime by Dr Buck Ruxton, from Lancaster, who murdered his wife and a maidservant, dissecting their bodies and taking the remains to Moffatt in Scotland, where he dumped them in a remote ravine.

Believing that his actions could never be discovered and that he had got away with murder, he returned home through Kendal.

In a strange quirk of fate, while driving along New Road, he knocked a man off his bicycle and failed to stop, hoping not to have been noticed.

But a passer-by took down his car registration number and reported it to the police when they came to the scene. This was followed up and he was arrested, tried and hanged.