MARY CAIN, Killing > murder, 12th January 1826.

Reference Number: t18260112-16
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

Before Lord Chief Baron Alexander.

197. MARY CAIN was indicted for the wilful murder of Maurice Fitzgerald .

MR. BRODRICK conducted the prosecution.

MARY CASEY . I am the wife of Matthew Casey - we live in Horn's-alley, Liquorpond-street , opposite to the prisoner. On the 26th of December I was going into my own house, and saw her and her husband going into their door; they had a row - I saw them beating one another; I went into my house, and went to bed; Lucknell, who lodges with me, was at my room window, which looks over to the prisoner's house. After I got into bed I heard the prisoner say, "Maurice Fitzgerald, what brought you into my place - I will let you know you have got no business in my place;" Lucknell said something to me; I got out of bed; my husband would not let me leave the room; I looked out of window, and saw the body of a man in the street, being taken away on a shutter, by the prisoner's husband and three more men; I went down, and followed them to Liquorpond-street with the body, then turned back, and went into Cain's yard, and saw the prisoner - I said to her, "What a pity to murder the poor man;" she said, "If there was a row between me and my husband what is it to you - what brought you here." I went away directly. Her daughter was present at this conversation.

JOHANNAH LUCKNELL . I lodge with Casey. I was in her room about eight o'clock in the evening, and heard the prisoner and her husband quarrelling; I looked out of window, and saw them out in the yard; Mrs. Casey was in bed - I could see from the window into their yard; it is on the first floor; there is a gas-light close to the window: the yard is shut in with a gate, but I could see over the gate. I saw Maurice Fitzgerald in the yard, with the prisoner, her husband, and daughter. The prisoner said,"Maurice Fitzgerald, you have no business in my place - you vagabond - I will let you know you have no business in my place;" she then got hold of him; I saw him between her and her daughter - they had no sooner taken hold of him then he fell, and somebody screamed murder - whether it was her daughter or anybody who came down stairs I do not know; I saw no more. I afterwards saw the body taken away - I was at the window - Cain and two or three more took it away, on a shutter or door. I afterwards saw the prisoner come out and shut the yard door. I saw her daughter washing the yard next morning.

COURT. Q. When the two women were holding Fitzgerald where was Cain's husband? A. He was standing at the yard door - they were all in the yard - I do not know how near he was to Fitzgerald; Fitzgerald was not trying to get to the husband, but was standing still in the yard when they laid hold of him.

BRIDGET RILEY . I lodge on the first floor of the same house as the prisoner. On the evening of the 26th of December, Maurice Fitzgerald was sitting by the fire side with me, for three quarters of an hour, till between seven and eight o'clock; the prisoner and her husband lodged on the ground floor. I heard a noise below - the prisoner and her husband were quarrelling; I was going down - Fitgerald prevented me, and went down himself to pacify them. I remained in my room, and in about five minutes Margaret Cain called me down, saying the man was killed; I went down, and the prisoner's daughter was holding Fitzgerald's head up, in the threshold of the door - he was sitting down; the daughter was holding her hand to a wound in his left breast, to stop the blood - there was a great deal of blood; he was speechless; this was at the street door, not the gate; I clasped my hands together, and asked who killed the man; I told her to keep holding the wound, and I would fetch the doctor; I ran to Hatton-garden, and as I returned I met them carrying Fitzgerald on a shutter - he was dead. The doctor, who was with me, said it was of no use, the man was dead. I went home, but do not recollect whether I saw the prisoner - I think I heard her voice. Fitzgerald was perfectly sober when he left my room. I afterwards saw his body, before the Coroner.

SAMUEL CAIGER . I am a patrol. On the 26th of December I was on duty, and heard people quarrelling in Horn's-alley; I went to the outer part of Cain's-yard, and saw the prisoner, her daughter, husband and the deceased - I believe there was another man but am not positive - the prisoner appeared to be trying to get to her husband, who was near the yard gate - she was nearer to the house door - the daughter and Fitzgerald appeared to me to be endeavouring to push the prisoner into the house - she had a slender table knife in her hand, with the blade upwards - she forced herself against Fitzgerald and her daughter, as if she wished to get to her husband, who was about five yards off, standing near the yard door, not doing any thing; there was a cry of "There is the watchman!" and the yard door was directly shut; I think the husband shut it, but am not positive; this prevented my seeing into the yard - the gate is seven or eight feet high - a person at Casey's window can see almost all over the yard, except near the gate - I have ascertained that. After the gate was shut I heard a female voice in the yard exclaim "D-n you, I will stab you;" I cannot swear to the voice, but from hearing the prisoner speak afterwards. I believe it was her voice. I went away thinking it an Irish quarrel, which is very common there, and it did not belong to my beat. In a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, a man was brought by on a shutter, and in a quarter of an hour I went to where the prisoner lived, having got assistance - I found her in bed on the ground floor, with all her clothes on except her shoes; her daughter was in the room, and her husband came in before I left - she was not very tipsy, but certainly had been drinking -

I took her to the watch-house - the flag-stones in the yard appeared as if fresh water had been thrown on them - blood and water together remained between the crevices of the stones, near the door of the house; I accompanied Wainwright to the house next day - two or three knives were found - this table knife was on the dresser (producing it); it is similar to the one I saw in her hand, and appeared to have been recently wiped with a wet cloth - it was turning a little rusty - I saw the body before the Coroner - it was the body of the same man as I had seen in the yard.

MARY CASHMAN . I live in White Horse-court, Turnmill-street. I was in Horn's-alley, next door to the prisoner's house, and heard a quarreling in their yard; I came out directly afterwards, and was passing close to the gate, which was then half open, and saw Fitzgerald standing with his face towards Cain's house door; he was not two minutes there before he turned round, and hallooed out that he was murdered - he spoke twice, but the last expression I could not hear; he turned from the door, took a step or two towards the gate and then fell down. I saw blood coming from him, which made me faint. I waited there till after the body was taken away on a shutter; after that the prisoner and her daughter came out - a woman on the first floor was crying; the prisoner said to her, "D-n your soul, do you think we killed the man?" she made some answer, and the prisoner said, "Well then, what brought him there - that is coming to the point." I then went home.

JOHN CARTWRIGHT . I am twelve years old, and live next door but one to where the prisoner did. On the 26th of December, between eight and nine o'clock, I came out, and heard a noise; I looked in at the gate, and saw the prisoner's husband by the gate; Fitzgerald was with his back against the pig-sty, two or three yards from the house. The prisoner's daughter was holding her hand on his breast, to stop the blood - he said, "Oh! I am dead." She endeavoured to take him into the house; her mother came from the end of the shed, and told her not to take him there; he was standing up, walking slowly, and the daughter behind, holding him. As he was going in he tumbled on the threshold, and fell on his knees - the daughter held him up, with her hand to his breast. the prisoner went in, and fetched out a light; the daughter called Mrs. Riley, who came down, and hallooed Murder! the prisoner said he had a knife in his hand, and tumbled down; I staid till the body was taken away on a shutter - the prisoner was then at her own door, holding a light.

COURT. Q. Was the daughter there when the prisoner said he had a knife in his hand and tumbled? A. Yes, and when Riley hallooed Murder! the daughter told the people that he had a knife in his hand and tumbled down.

PATRICK RILEY . I am fifteen years old. My mother called for me after she fetched the doctor; I went home with her, and saw the prisoner outside the gate, with a child in her arms, talking to some people - my mother said to her, "You villain, you have been and murdered the man" - the prisoner said, "What business had he here - why did not he stay in your place." My mother and I went to the deceased's lodging, in Glo'ster-court, and saw his body there.

STEPHEN SKINNER . I am assistant to Mr. Dynam, a surgeon. On the 26th of December I was called to see the deceased's body, in Glo'ster-court - there was a large wound on the left breast, about the region of the heart; I examined the body particularly before the Inquest, and opened it - the wound had taken a direction downward, towards the heart; an artery was divided. I have no doubt of the wound being the cause of his death. The knife produced would inflict such a wound.

MARGARET CAIN. I am the prisoner's daughter. I was in my place - a little boy came down for me, and said there was a row in the yard; I came up, and observed the deceased in the yard, with his back leaning against the pig-sty - that is the first thing I saw. My mother was in the passage. I laid hold of the man, seeing him bleeding, and called out Murder! to Mrs. Riley, who came down, and told me to hold him till she went for a doctor; I said, "Do go, don't be long," and held my hand to his breast. I saw my mother in the passage, with a child in her arms. I do not know whether she had any thing in her hand - her hand was down by her side; several people came into the yard with my hallooing out. I tried to hold the man up - she said, "Don't bring him here," or something of that sort. I held him till he was put on a shutter, and then went back to my place.

Prisoner's Defence (written). On the night in question I got a cow-heel for supper - I took my child and went out for some onions, and it being boxing-day was made to drink two glasses of gin - when I drink I always loose my reason. I declare I do not know how the man came by his death. I fetched my husband from the public-house - he wanted to go back; a dispute arose, but whether this man was there or not I do not know.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 44.


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