That's when more than 200 people around Bradford got sick and at least 20 died. Peppermint. On October 30, 1858, William “Humbug Billy” Hardaker inadvertently poisoned over 200 people. A particular kind of candy called a humbug… After only one day of sweet sales, over 200 people became rat-poisoned, including Humbug Billy, who always got a sugar high off his own supply. Sometimes, they're a terrible, tragic mistake, and one such a mistake happened in Yorkshire in 1858. The Bradford sweets poisoning was the accidental arsenic poisoning of more than 200 people in Bradford, England in 1858; an estimated 20 people died when sweets accidentally made with arsenic were sold from a market stall. Humbug Billy – William Hardaker (1805-66) The events that occurred when William Hardaker known locally as Humbug Billy sold his arsenic loaded peppermint lozenges at the Green Market (in the area where Rawson Market now Stands) on 30 October 1858 will go down in history as the worst case of accidental poisoning in Victorian history. Appleton suggested that the finished sweets looked a little darker than usual, but Neal said that they were quite satisfactory. The tainted candy trail began with Bradford, England, confectioner Joseph Neal. Back in 1858 a Bradford confectioner known as ‘Humbug Billy’ was buying his mint humbugs … Dying for a Humbug, the Bradford Sweets Poisoning 1858. His peppermint humbugs were laced with arsenic. The incident reflected the state of Victorian pharmacology and led to law reform. The peppermint humbugs in question were made by James Appleton, an experienced sweet maker, who was employed by Neal. That’s when a Texas man named Ronald O’Bryan gave cyanide-laced pixie sticks to five children, including his son. The event contributed to the passage of the Pharmacy Act 1868 and legislation regulating the adulteration of foodstuffs. The 1858 Bradford sweets poisoning involved the accidental arsenic poisoning by humbug of … The culprit? In October of 1858, some of Hardaker’s customers started becoming sick. History of Britain. Peppermint humbugs are a simple treat, typically flavored … Not all poisonings are done on purpose. Young urchins started dropping like flies, with 21 humbug-related deaths being recorded in the aftermath. One of my personal favourites, if that’s the right word, is the story of the Bradford Sweets Poisoning. The most infamous Halloween poisoning took place on October 31, 1974. William Hardaker (aka Humbug Billy) sold candy out of a stall in an outdoor market in the town of Bradford, England. There are many, many interesting stories associated with arsenic. 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