Offence: Killing > murder
Punishment: Death; Death > executed
207, 208. (M) Sarah Metyard , widow , and Sarah Morgan Metyard , spinster , were indicted for the wilful murder of Ann Nailor , an infant , about the age of thirteen years, by shutting up and confining her from the 29th of September, in the 32 d year of king George II. to the 4th of October , and starving her to death *.
Q. Why did she do that?
P. Dowley. Because she was used so ill. She used to be beat by the mother, and go without her victuals. We used to have bread, and bread and butter given us.
Q. What did she use to beat her with?
Q. What had she never any victuals?
Q. How do you know that?
P. Dowley. I was in the passage and saw it.
Q. Had this been for any considerable time, that she had been kept without victuals, before she attempted to run away?
P. Dowley. Yes.
Q. What condition was she in for health?
P. Dowley. She was in a very weak condition for want of victuals.
Q. How did she come to be stopped?
Q. Did she make use of the word starved?
P. Dowley. She did. The daughter received her from the milkman, and pulled her up stairs: she was taken into the room where they lay, and beat with a broomstick (I was in the room); the mother was present, and she held the girl by the head while the daughter beat her; the mother was in bed, and the girl upon it: then she was carried up stairs, and tied to a two pair of stairs back room door, by the daughter, the string went round her waist, and her hands were tied behind her; she could neither sit nor lie down.
Q. How long did she continue in that manner?
P. Dowley. She continued in that manner three days.
Q. Did the mother know of it?
P. Dowley. Yes, I remember the daughter called to her mother one day to come and help her tie that girl up. The mother said, No, if you will have your crotches, you may do them yourself.
Q. What did the girl do on nights.
P. Dowley. The daughter came and untied her at nights, that she might go to bed.
Q. How had she her food or victuals during that time she was tied up?
P. Dowley. She had none.
Q. How do you know that?
P. Dowley. I was at meals all the three days, and saw she had none.
Q. Where had you your meals yourself?
P. Dowley. In the kitchen in the summer; she had no victuals with us; and when we had done we used to go up to her, where she was tied up, and work by her. I saw none she had.
Q. Did the girl speak to you at them times?
P. Dowley. No. She used to stand and groan. At the end of three days she did not move, I did not see any life in her: when we told the daughter she did not move; she said, I will go and make her move.
Q. Did the mother see this?
P. Dowley. She did, I believe; she was in the dining room when I spoke to the daughter about it; we did not go down, but called to her.
Q. What posture was the girl in?
P. Dowley. She hung double.
Q. What did you say when you called to her?
P. Dowley. Miss Salley! Miss Salley! come up stairs, Nanny does not move; we called out aloud; the other apprentices were with me. The daughter came up and beat the girl with her shoe on her backside; she did not move then; she said she would make her move; she beat her hand; as soon as the beating was over the mother came up, The mother laid the girl cross her lap, and called Sall, my fellow apprentice, to bring up some drops: they were brought: the girl seemed dead to me: then we were all three sent down into the dining room immediately; that is me, my fellow apprentice Mary Nailor , sister to the girl, and one that is not living, named Ann Paul .
Q. Who sent you down, the mother or daughter?
P. Dowley. I do not remember which it was.
Q. Was it usual for you to be sent down into the dining room?
Q. Had you never any account given you of her where she was gone?
P. Dowley. No.
Q. When did you go into the garret after this?
P. Dowley. Sall, my fellow apprentice, was sent up to fetch her down from the garret; we usually went up into the garret every day before this to wash our hands, but we had not been there for two days.
Q. Did any body bid you not go there?
P. Dowley. The mother bid us wash our hands in the kitchen; sometimes we had a bason of water brought up in the dining room, but this was not usual before. About two-days after she was sent for to come down to dinner. Sall came down, and said the garret door was open, but nobody there. Then the mother made answer, she is run away; I suppose she ran away when we were at dinner; that they both said. They said there is a noise, but we heard no noise. Sall Hinchman said, if she is run away, she has left her shoes behind her. The mother said, she would not stay for her shoes?
P. Dowley. We had each of us three; her three were pretty newish.
Q. How many pair of shoes had you?
P. Dowley. We had only one pair at a time.
P. Dowley. Yes, the biggest girl Sally had them afterward; my mistress gave them to her.
Q. How did you do to know that?
On her Cross Examination,
She said the girls did not use to go out so often as once a fortnight, and then it was on a Sunday, and that never by themselves; that she went once to the committee of the workhouse, and declared that she and the rest were used ill; that the mother and daughter frequently quarrelled; that the mother frequently beat the daughter; that the daughter once left the mother, because she was ill used by her; that once she cut the string, by which the deceased was tied, and the daughter beat her for it; that a lodger that they had, one day asked what was because of Nanney? which she understood to be the deceased; the deceased's sister answered Nanney is dead; when this came to the mother's ear, she asked the sister, who told her that Nanney was dead. She said the witness told her so. Then the mother said to the witness, Miss Death! I will call you miss Death!
Q. from the mother. Did not Ann Nailor tell you, that if she was ever so well, she would go with a milk boy?
P. Dowley. There was a milk boy that gave Nanney some milk, and after that I have heard her say so.
Q. from the mother. Whether you have not said, in case you were taken away from your mistress, you would go back again?
P. Dowley. Yes, I have, because you bid me say so
Sarah Hinchman. I am sixteen years of age. I was apprentice to the mother at the bar, when Ann Nailor was; she was an apprentice about two or three months before me. I remember the time she was missing, about three or four years ago.
Q. How was she treated?
S. Hinchman. She was treated very ill; she had sometimes one meal a day, and sometimes two, and beat-sometimes.
Q. Do you remember the time of the milkman stopping her?
S. Hinchman. Yes, she run away once before that, and was brought back again, that was about a month before; the time the milkman stopped her, was about Michaelmas time; the daughter called out to stop her; I believe she was hardly got over the step of the door when the milkman laid hold of her; she was carried up stairs, and beat with a piece of a broomstick by the daughter; then she was carried up stairs and tied to a door, and continued so for three days, during which time, she had no victuals. One night when we were with her, her sister cut the string.
Q. Had you your victuals regularly those three days?
S. Hinchman. We had.
Q. How do you know she had no victuals?
S. Hinchman. I never saw any carried up to her.
Q. Did you speak to her?
S. Hinchman. The last day she could not speak, she was senseless; that day she hung double, as she was tied by the waist. The daughter went up to her; she hawled her, and beat her with her shoe.
Q. Did she give any reason why she beat her?
S. Hinchman. No, she did not; the girl did not move then, and she called her mother up; the mother came up; I do not know which untied the girl; the mother sat down on the garret stairs, and laid her across her lap, and sent me down to fetch some drops; I brought them up; then they sent me down, and I never saw her afterwards.
Q. How did the girl appear when you brought the drops up?
S. Hinchman. She lay in the mother's lap. I saw no signs of life; but I did not know but that she was in fits. I never saw her afterwards.
Q. Did you see any use made of the drops?
S. Hinchman. No, I did not; I gave them to the mother.
Q. Where did you use to wash your hands before this accident happened?
S. Hinchman. Up in the garret always; but then we were bid by the mother to wash our hands below, which we did for two days, sometimes in the kitchen, and sometimes in the dining room.
Q. Do you remember being called up in the dining room one of those two days?
S. Hinchman. That was in the morning for two or three hours; that was the same day they told us the girl had run away.
Q. Who were called up there?
S. Hinchman. The girl that was examined before me, and the girl's sister that i s dead: after that we went to dinner; my mistress bid me go up stairs into the garret, and fetch Ann Nailor down to dinner;
Q. How many shifts had the girl?
S. Hinchman. We had all three a piece; her shifts were all marked No 4. She had three new ones and one very ragged one; she had one of her new ones on at that time. The milkman stopt her.
Q. How often had you clean shifts?
S. Hinchman. Once a week, and sometimes once a fortnight.
Q. What day of the week did you put them on?
S. Hinchman. On the Monday morning.
Q. Was she lame in one hand?
S. Hinchman. She had had a whitloe, and that finger was cut off.
On her cross examination,
She said, that she was once before the committee of the parish of St. George, Hanover-square, and there was asked how her mistress behaved to her; and she said she behaved well to her; but that was because her mistress had bid her say so. That the mother and daughter often quarrelled, and she beat the daughter many times. That her daughter left her, and went to live with Mr. Rooker as a servant; and that the daughter had given her sometimes a halfpenny roll; and sometimes a halfpenny; and sometimes other victuals unknown to the mother.
Jer. Brown. I served the prisoner's house with milk. I remember about Michaelmas time in the year 1758, I saw the prisoner's door open, and the deceased girl come out at it: I took her in my arms. She desired and pressed upon me that I would let her go, and said she should be starved if she staid there. I said, my dear, you will not be starved. She said, pray, milkman, let me go, for I have had no victuals for so long a time (the time I cannot recollect). The daughter and the mother came running down stairs, and desired I would stop her. The daughter came to the door, and took the girl round the neck, and dragged her in, and put the door to.
Q. from the mother. Whether I did not take milk sufficient of you for my family?
Brown. I used to serve her a quart every other morning, sometimes every day, sometimes two quarts a day.
Richard Rooker . I lived in the prisoner's house about three months, which is long since the child has been missing. I went there a little more than two years ago. I observed the children were very ill used with respect to their food. I have frequently heard them call down to the kitchen for their dinners; and if they had any food, they had never time to eat it, for they never were allowed above five minutes.
Court. Confine yourself to the matter relating to the deceased child.
Rooker. After I quitted her house, I went and took a house at the upper end of Hill street, Berkley-square; the old woman came almost every day, and insulted me and the daughter almost without intermission day and night; her behaviour was such, it was almost incredible; I put up with it expecting time would remove it; thus she insulted me and the daughter. I have often heard the daughter, when they have been scolding together, beg of her to let her alone in quietness, that she might get her living in peace. This the old woman paid no regard to, but went on making riots by my house daily. When she found I was going into the country to a little place that fell to me, she continued the same till I did go; and said once to me, that if I took her daughter along with me, I should have as little comfort there as in town; she kept her word pretty punctually: after I had been there but a few weeks, she came and behaved in the same manner. She once broke in, when I was with the gardener: I heard an extream crying out, which I took to be murder; I went immediately, and bid the gardener follow me: I found the girl in agonies in the little room, with the old woman, with her cap and handkerchief torn off; I found this was done by the old woman; she had drove the girl up into a corner, and had got a pointed knife in her hand; she had given the daughter a blow over her eye, which turned black, and scratched her face. I told her, if she would come to my house with a good tongue in her head, she should be welcome to see her daughter. She had mentioned some odd things about the Cock lane story. I heard the daughter say to the mother, Mother, you are the Chick-lane ghost; remember the gully-hole. The old woman used to call me old perfume tea dog. The daughter would say, Mother, remember you are the perfumer.
Q. What were the mother's answers?
Rooker. They were with desiance (if any) to the daughter. This behaviour was often repeated and was continued till the 9th of June last, when she was there early in the morning; I told her I was sorry for her own sake that she would not behave better. In the afternoon I received a letter full of abuses: it was wrote to my sister in Bloomsbury-square by the old woman.
Q. Can you prove she wrote it?
Court. You must give no account of it.
Ann Nailor died first, whom the mother would not bury; and the reason the mother gave for it, she said, was, because it would be clear evidence that she was starved to death, by the appearance of the body: That in a few hours after the body was carried up stairs into the garret, and locked up in a box, where it was kept for upwards of two months, till it purrefied, and maggots came from her. The mother then took it out of this box, cut it to pieces, cut her arms and legs off, burnt one of the hands in the fire, cursing her that her bones were so long in consuming, saying, the fire told no tales: Then (I believe the same night) she tied the body and head in a brown cloth, and the other parts in another, being part of the bed furniture: that she carried them to Clnck-lane gully-hole: that her mother told her, as she was coming back, she saw one Mr. Inch, that keeps a public house near Temple-bar; when she came in there, the man cried out, What is the matter there is such a stink in the house? That she said he had it all to himself, for she smelt none: that she called for some brandy, and drank it, and went away immediately; in consequence of this I wrote a letter to the officers of the parish of Tottenham High Cross.
On his Cross Examination, he said, It was pure compassion that he took the daughter to be his servant, on account of the ill usage of the mother: that the daughter said she did not know where to go, and she would make away with herself in some pond: that the daughter was always in the power of the mother, who was often scolding at her, and he has frequently seen scratches in the daughter's face.
Thomas Lovegrove . In the year 1758 I was overseer of the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn; on the 5th of December that year, near 12 o'clock at night, the constable of the night came to me with two watchmen, and told me there were some parts of a dead body lying at the gully-hole in Chick-lane; he desired I would come and take it away, or cause it to be done. I went along with him; we called at the workhouse and got a shell, and carried it with us; when we came within a little distance of the body, it smelt so very strong, that the watchmen did not care to take up the parts; the first that were taken up was the trunk of the body; then I ordered them to take their lanthorns and look about; and when we had picked up all the parts they could find, the hands were wanting to make the body complete. The body was carried to the workhouse that night; the next morning I went and acquainted Mr. Umfreville the coroner of it; he desired I would get the parts washed and put together in the best manner we could; they were washed in a tub of water, and laid upon a long board. The coroner came and took a view of the body, and gave me his warrant to bury it, and in consequence of that it was buried.
Q. Did it appear of what sex the body was?
Lovegrove. I took it to be a female; I could not see distinctly the sex; it appeared to be the body of a young person.
The Mother's defence.
The child was ill, she had been in an ill state of health a good while, green-sickly; she was ill at that time when I first went to her; she had sainted away; I gave her some hartshorn and water in a cup or glass, I don't know which. She came better to herself; we took her and laid her on the bed in the garret, and I let her lie on the bed because she was weakly, that was the reason I kept her up stairs; the children were kept from her only on the account she was not very well. She had victuals carried her up every day, to the day she ran away. As to the shift, she had slabbered that with hartshorn; and whether she had changed the shift or not, I cannot say; she was not kept without victuals, I scorn the word. When I sat at dinner, one of the three children said she heard a noise; and, upon some of them going up to look for her, and the other going down, they found her gone, and the door open below; I am positive and sure she went alive out of my house. They used to say, if they complained they were starved, and had not victuals enough, they might get out of their apprenticeship when they pleased. She always said she would go with the milk-boy; neither me nor my daughter's cruelty made her ill. She was pretty well the day she went away: her fainting away was owing to constitution; and the children being little was the reason I kept them away from her, because she was not very well.
The Daughter's defence.
The night before this unfortunate accident happened, I begged of my mother to let her have some supper. She made use of very bad oaths, and said she should have none; that neither she nor I should conquer her. She said I lived in laziness myself, and wanted them to live so too. About eleven o'clock she ordered me to go up for her to go to bed; I did not see any more of her till the next morning: IAnn Nailor sitting on the stairs, with her back to the wainscot; my mother said to her, Nan, ask my pardon, and I will forgive you. The girl held her hands up together, and looked up to her mistress, but could not speak; she then carried her up stairs and undressed her, and laid her on the bed in her shift; I was busy below a washing: I went down stairs, and left my mother with her, after I had been down a little while, my mother came to me, and told me she believed she would die; I don't know that I went up stairs till the afternoon; in the afternoon my mother had been up stairs, and came and told me she was dead.
The Mother. She never died in my house.
The Daughter. My mother then told me to come up stairs and look at her. When I came up, her eyes were open: I said she was not dead; she told me she was dead, though I did not know it. She took off her shift, and the sheet from the bed, and gave me them to wash, and gave me a strict charge not to let the girls know any thing of the matter; and she herself carried up some victuals, to make the children believe she had her supper.
The Mother. She never died in my house.
The Daughter. She lay in the back garret that night: My mother went up by herself the next day after breakfast, and came down and told me she had put her into the other garret, that the girls might not see her: She told me also, that that day at dinner she would say to me, There is a noise, Sally, go down; and do you say there is none; and do not you go down, and she would send Sarah Hinchaman to fetch her down; and she had opened the garret door, to make the girl believe she had opened it, and she had set the street door a little open. This was all done accordingly: Sally Hinchman came down frighted, and said, Madam, Nanny is not there; then my mother said, Girls, did not you hear a noise? The children answered, Lee, Madam, so we did; some of them went down, and found the street door open. My mother said to me, the first time the children were out of hearing. How cleverly they took it in! This girl lay in the fore garret; I desired my mother to apply to the proper people of the parish to have her buried: She said I was a fool; for, if she did, every body would see she was starved; and if the girls were asked, they could not tell how long she went without victuals. I then asked her to see if she could not get the other girls not to say how long she had been without victuals, in order to have her buried? She said, if the people were determined to know, they could know by opening her, for, upon opening her, every-body would know she was starved: She said I need not be so desirous to have her buried, for though you was not guilty, every body would say you was, because you was in the house: She said, if I would but be a good girl, and keep it a secret, it was no more than was my duty, she being my mother; and if I did keep it a secret, it was no more nor so much as many children have done, if I did but know it; and if I would but stay with her till she was out of danger, I should then go to service. When I thought she was out of danger, I begged to go to service, as she had proposed: She said, No, I should not, I should stay with her while she was in the house: She said I might tell it and be d - d, for, if I did, she would swear that I killed her, and that she secreted my crimes; and that she would swear first, and they would believe her before they would me, and that I could find no witnesses, for nobody would believe me. I have often spoke to her to let the children have victuals; we have had many quarrels on that account behind their backs; she was always very angry with me if I ever spoke any thing in the girls favour; and because she would not give them victuals enough, I have often done it unknown to her. She has said, they should see what they got by Miss Sally giving them any thing; she often made them go without two meals, because they have had one of my giving them; and she used to lock them up in the garret, and order me not to let them out, which I used to do when she was gone; and I used to give them the key when she knocked at the door, to lock themselves in, that she might not know it; when she found it out, she used to take the key with her: If I have taken a halfpeny in the shop, I have bought them a roll, and put it in through the window; and if I have had a halfpeny that I dared to touch, I have given it to them. The body never was buried: She wanted me one night to help her in parting the body to pieces, and said, I need not to be afraid of her now she was dead, for it would not bite me; this was two or three months after she died; I do not know the exact time; I told her, indeed I could not; I was then with her up in the room; I offered to go out; she told me I must help her. I got out of the room; she catched hold of my cloaths behind; I cried; she said, What would the girls think, seeing me cry so? She said, How could I be such a cruel brute to leave her? I said, She had brought herself into it, and she must get herself out. After that, she told me she had done the limbs up in one bundle,
The Mother. Indeed, my Lord, whatever story she may have made, if she has told it to the world, she must carry it on; as God is my judge, the story is false; God must be my judge; she may have made up the story, but it is not true; if the story had been true as to the hand, saying, the fire will make away with every thing, I might as well have done it with the whole body: If that had been the case, if I had put the body there, I should have looked into the advertiser. I suppose she has made up this story, and she cannot get off it; it is false, as God may be my judge.
The Daughter. She said she wished she could have destroyed it all by fire; she would, but it would have made such a stink, that would have alarmed all the neighbours.
The Mother. As God may be my judge, that thing was never acted in my house; if I could be admitted to take an oath, I could make oath of it, that the child went alive out of my house.
For the Mother.
Conquest Jones. I have known the old woman about six or seven years; she was my tenant when taken up; I have seen good provision in her house, but was not there on meal times; I never saw the children have any of it. I have desired to see the children, and I have seen them consined in a little close room to work; and really I think it is a cruel consinement to be consined in a little slip of a room from week's end to week's end; it is too close a consinement for any children.
Q. Describe the room.
Jones. It is a little slip about two yards wide at one end, and comes off like a penn worth of cheese; it is too close a place for four girls to sit and work in.
Thomasine Carrier. I have dined with the old woman four times within these four years; we had a goose once, and some stewed beef, the best of provisions that hands could buy; the children eat sufficiently, and were asked to eat more; there were but two children.
Mrs. Goodwin. I have been two or three times at her house, she treated me very well: I never was there at meal times; I saw a quartern loaf, and the best part of a shoulder of mutton; I have seen the room where the children worked, it is a small room, but not so small but they might work there if the door was open.
Mr. Garr. I know nothing more of her than her coming to our shop to offer goods for sale.
Burket Pen. I have known her four or five years; she makes and sells mitts and purses: I know nothing of her character.
Mr. Inch. I live in Bell-yard, at the haunch of venison, near Temple-bar; I have known the old woman above 12 years.
Q. Do you remember in December 1758, or any time thenabouts, on a night, when you smelt a particular strong smell?
Inch. I never did; I have called in at her house to see her and her daughter, and she has called at my house frequently, by night and by day, with a bandbox; I was examined about this. There it was said she called for a quartern of brandy; she never had a quartern of brandy, except it was mixed with water; she used to have a pint of twopeny. I never was in her house but when I have seen butter and bread plentifully: I have seen her cut victuals for the children, I thought she used to help them to a sufficiency. Her way, after she had done tea, was to pour out a bason of tea, and give it to the children; she is the last person that I should have suspected.
Mr. Mullin. I have known her seven years: I keep a perfume shop; she has dealt with me, and I have been at her house; I can't say I have seen the children to take any notice of them.
Inch (again). She called at my house with the deceased girl: She had been with the girl to be cured of a whitlow; the girl told me she believed her finger must be cut off, but she would not consent to it, and the old woman seemed to take the tenderest care a woman could do.
Both Guilty , Death .
They received sentence to be executed on the Monday following, which was the 19th of July, and they were executed accordingly .