Sarah Allen, Killing > infanticide, 12th October 1737.

Reference Number: t17371012-2
Offence: Killing > infanticide
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

3. Sarah Allen , was indicted, for that she Oct. 6 . being big with a certain Male Child, in the Dwelling House of John Fryar , in the Parish of St. Gile's in the Fields, the said Child she did bring forth alive, which Child so born, was a Bastard by the Laws of this Realm; and she not having God before her Eyes, &c. - on the said Bastard Child as soon as it was born, did make an Assault, and being in a certain Garret three Stories high, with both her Hands, she the aforesaid Bastard Child did cast and throw down from the Window, to and against a certain Stone Pavement in the Street, giving it, by such casting and throwing down, a mortal Bruise on the back part of the Head, of which it instantly died .

She was a 2d Time indicted by Vertue of the Coroner's Inquisition for the said Murder.

Eliz Scott . Last Thursday Morning I was coming down Holborn about 6 o'Clock, and between the Bull and Gate and Great Turnstile, I saw something lie in the Kennel, which surprized me. I call'd to my Partner, - Lord, Betty (says I) come hither! when we came to look at it, we found it was a new born Child; - it lay in the Kennel, just against Mr. Fryar the Baker's Door. We took it up, and found it was dead, so we laid it on a Bulk two Doors from Mr. Fryar's, and being very much 'frighted, I went to Mr. Birkhead's over the Way for a pint of Purl, while I was drinking the Purl, News came that the Mother of the Child was found. I ran out, and found the Child had been brought into Mr. Fryar's House, he bid me be easy, but I said, I would not stir from the Door till the Constable was fetch'd; then I went up to see the Child again, and I found the Prisoner in Bed, and the Child in the Room with her, - in a Garret up 3 pair of Stairs. I asked the Prisoner, how she could be so barbarous to

throw her Child out of the Window? All I could get from her was, - the Lord knows. Why, says I, it will certainly cry in your Face, she said nothing, but the Lord knows.

Q. Did she own it to be her Child?

Scott. I can't say whether I asked her if it was her Child or no; she only said, - the Lord knows.

Eliz White . I was going to the New Market with my Partner, and she call'd me to look at something that lay in the Kennel. We soon saw 'twas a Child; so I took hold of the Head, and she - of the Heels, and we laid it upon a Cork-cutters Bulk, 2 Doors below Mr. Fryar's. A Woman that was by, gave us a Piece of Sacking, and we cover'd 'it with that, - for it was stark naked. Then we went to Mr. Birkhead's for a Pint of Purl, and while we were there, we heard that the Mother was found, and that the Child was carried away.

Sarah Lack . I lodge in Mr. Fryar's House, but I never saw the Prisoner from the Time she came to our House, 'till the Morning the Accident happen'd. My Husband hearing a Noise, look'd out of the Window, and seeing something in the Kennel, he told me, he feared something was amiss, and desired me to go up Stairs. I went' up, and rapp'd at the Door, it was lock'd, and no Body answer'd: Upon this, I went to her Aunts Room, (one Mrs. Woolham) and told her she must get up, for I feared something was amiss with her Kinswoman. I told her, I was frighted out of my Wits, for there was a Child found in the Street, and I was afraid it was her Kinswoman Sarah's. We went up together to the Prisoner's Garret, and knock'd at the Door, the Aunt call'd to her, and bid her open the Door; and as she stood at the outside of the Door, she asked her, - how it was with her now? The Prisoner said, she was pure, to what she had been, and then she opened it. As soon as I came in, I saw something unusual on the Floor, upon which I ran to her, - with my Hands so, - and cry'd, O Lord, Sarah, - what have you done! This must be your Child, and you have thrown it out of the Window She made a very silly Answer, - it is so, or it must be so, or something to that Effect; but I was so frighted, that I can't remember the particular Words, and the People flock'd up Stairs so fast, that I could hear no more. There was a Bed in the Room, but I did not examine it. I remember I asked her who got the Child? And she told me 'twas Horatio Walpole's under Coachman's, who goes by the Name of Black Will .

Mary Giles , Midwife. I live next Door to Mr. Fryar's, about 6 o'Clock the Morning the Accident happened, I heard a Noise in the Street, so I got out of Bed and look'd out of the Window, I saw a couple of Women in the Street, in a great Flurry of Spirits about a Child. I thought it was only a Child that had been dropp'd, so I went to Bed again, and slept 'till about 8 o'Clock; then I was called up by the Mob, and I went (without my Stockings) to the Prisoner's Garret, there I beheld a Male Child, lying upon the Table; and I imagine it wanted about a Fortnight or 3 Weeks of its Time. There was a small Bruise on the left Side of the Head. When I had view'd the Child, I went to the Prisoner, - and oh you wicked Creature, says I, how could you do this wicked Deed to the Body of your Body, and Flesh of your Flesh? She said, she did not know what she did, or something to that Purpose. I laid her in Order, &c. - and said, - come, if she has been wicked don't let us be so too, let her have something warm; but Hussy, says I to her, how could you do this? this Child I am sure was born alive; she said, yes it was I asked her if it cryed? she said yes Then I went away, because the People said, I must not touch her 'till the Coroner came.

William Brumfield , Surgeon. I was sent for to examine the Child, I found a large Bruise on the back Part of the Head, which we call the Os Occipitis. The Scull was not fractured, and the Reason it was not I think is this; that in a Subject to young, the Bones are of too fine a Texture to break. I took off the Cranium, and found a large quantity of Blood upon the Brain, which I suppose was occasioned by the Fall. There was likewise a great deal of Blood in the Belly and Breast, which proceeded from the Rupture of some Blood Vessel, and these Things were the Occasion of its Death. I try'd the Experiment of the Lungs in Water, (which I take to be very certain) and they floated; this in my Opinion, was a sure Sign that the Child had breath'd; for if it had not, they would have subsided in the Water.

Jane Raikes . The Prisoner complain'd of the Cholic the Tuesday Night before this happen'd, and I carried her up some burnt Gin. On Wednesday Morning I went up to her again, and found her Aunt with her, she said she was still very ill of the Cholic, and the next Morning the Child was found in the Street. Upon this I went up to her Garret, and found it in great Disorder, there were Signs of a Womans having been deliver'd, and the People told her, that it was her Child;

She did not deny it, but told us, that Horatio Walpole 's under Coachman was the Father; and that was all I heard.

A Witness. The Prisoner always was a silly, giggling Creature -

C. You must be sworn, if you have any Thing to say.

Witness. As to swearing - I will swear any thing - of that Matter - but my Lord, I have known her ten or a dozen Years; she was not so silly neither, but she was capable of Business. I know she liv'd two Years, or two Years and a half, with Mr. Howard, that belongs to the Crown-Office, and always was a giggling, silly, empty Creature.

The Prisoner in her Defence had nothing material to offer, only that she was out of her Senses when she committed this Fact.

The Jury found her Guilty . Death .


View as XML