Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 21 August 2014), January 1675 (16750115).

Old Bailey Proceedings, 15th January 1675.

A True and Perfect ACCOUNT OF THE Proceedings at the General Sessions of the Peace, holden for London and Middlesex,

Upon the 15. and 16. of January Instant.

OR THE

Tryals, Examination and Confession of the Woman that Burned her Child, and the Bailiff that Killed another of his Fellow Bayliffs at Soehoe.

WITH

The Tryals of the Merchants Prentice, who Robb'd his Master, and his Masters Brother, of the Value of 3210.

Also a True Account of the Number of Persons that are Condemned to Suffer at Tyburn, and how many Whipt at the Carts Arse.

LONDON, Printed in the 1674

A True and Perfect Narrative of the Proceedings at the General Session of the Peace holden for London and Middlesex, upon the 15th and 16th of January instant.

IT would be neither easy to the Wrighter, nor very satisfactory to the readers of these remarques, to have a precise account given of every particular business at the Sessions, in every of which, are tryed so many Petty felonies, and other common offences as would be little worth the observation of those that should read them, theobjects of mens curiosityes being things rare and portentous, and not common and Vulgar; I shall therefore pretermit (in this narrative) those tryalls that were of less note, and consequence and only give you an account of those that were most remarkable at this Sessions.

And they were in three notorous mischances, first of a Barbarous Murther acted by an unnatural Mother upon her own Child. 2. for a Villanous Robery

committed by a Treacherous Servant upon his Master. Thirdly of a brutish act of beastliness done by a petulant Letcher upon the Person of a Child.

The first of these was a Woman of the Parish of St. Martins in the fields , a Married Woman , and one whose Husband is accounted a Person of good repute, and credit, and with him she lived, to the seeming of those that know them, contentedly and well, it pleased God (whose Judgments are unaccountable to his Creatures) so for to suffer the Devil to prevail upon this poor wretch, as to cause her to perpetrate that horrid action whereof she was not indicted.

The fact upon the Evidence given into the Court appeared to be thus; this woman had (not long before the fact) been delivered of the Child, which she after Murthered , and was then but newly Siting up after her labour, she was observed for some time before to be some what discomposed and distempered in her mind; the ground of which is Variously reported but not certainely known, but was so far taken notice off, that those that were about her were feareful at any time to leave her alone, and it had been well if they had continued true to their own feares

The day whereon this tragedy was acted, this unnatural Mother Orders her Nurse to make her a Sea-Coal fire in her Chamber, and to blow it up well pretending she was cold; this being done, she sends the aforesaid Nurse upon some arrand out of doores; and then takes her little Infant in her hands, and having first opened a place in the top of the fire, by removing some of the Cools, she cruelly thrust the poor Innocent into it, and then threw the Coals upon it, where it was burned to Death; A little while after the Nurse returning and perceiving some of the Child cloths upon the fire, snatching to take them off, caught hold of some part of the Child that was not then consumed, whereupon Surprized with the horror of the sight, she shreikt out and askt who had done it, which the Cruel Mother presently confessed to be her self, and was thereupon taken into the hands of Justice, and at this Sessions tryed for her Life, as I have before told you, she was at last Cleared by the Jury who juded her not to be of sound mind before, and at the time of doing the fact, and therefore brought her in not Guilty .

The next tryal of remarke was that of the Merchants Servant , one Rookewood Servant to one Mr. Rowland Lee the Elder a Marchant of London, he was arraigned upon two severall Indictments; the one of a felony, for Robing his said Master of several Sumes of money in all to the value of 3000 Pound , the other of Feloney and Burglary for breaking up the House of his said Master, and Felonious takeing away of 210 Pound of the moneyes of Rowland Lee the younger.

The first Indictments for Felonious taking away of the 3000 Pound, he Pleaded Guilty; To the 2 Indictment, whereupon (besides the Feloney) he was indicted of Burglary which he might know was a Crime that exempted him from the benefit of Clergy he was so much a friend to himself as to put himself upon his Tryal by Pleading not Guilty.

Upon his Tryal upon this second Indictment it was proved against him by the Attestation of Several Witnesses, that Mr. Rowland Lee the Younger Sojourning in his Fathers house and having a Little Room therein for the keeping of his account, the Prisoner being then Servant to his Father took his opportunity when the said Mr. Lee was one day out of Town, broke into the said Room, and thence took a way the aforesaid 20 Pound.

The fact was Clearly proved against, him both by Witnesses and his own confession in a letter of his own wrighting, which was read in Court, and wherein he owned the fact, and said moreover, that he stole the key wherewith he opened the door out of the said Mr. Lees Pocket; but the witnesses tonement varyed in their Evidence as to that, whether the said doore was broken open or opened by a key.

There was some dispute in the Court whither the Indictments was well laid for the burglary, for that the fact although the same yet related to several persons the house that was broken open being Mr. Rowland Lees the Elder, and the Money that was taken away was Mr. Rowland Lees the younger, and therefore it was advised whither another Bill should not be drawn up to indict him severally of the burglary, but this Court not being agreed upon; the whole matter was left to the Jury, who brought him in guilty upon the first Indictment by his own Confessions, and upon the Second they at first brought him in not guilty, but the Court not being satisfied with that Verdict they went out again and brought in a Special Verdict , which is to be argued at another time.

There was a woman at the same time tryed for being accessary with the said Rookewood, And receiving the monyes that he had Stollen; But although it appeared to the Court that she was a person likely enough to be guilty of such a crime, yet no direct Evidence coming in against her, she was acquitted .

[Branding. See summary.]

The next was one Edward Coker who stood indicted for the ravishing of a Child of 11 yeares old, the Child was there and gave her Evidence in Court that the said Coker coming into her Aunts house where she lived, did get her into a Room and did there force her: The Ant attested that she hearing the Child cry out, came into the Room where he was in the dark with her, and found by evident tokens that the Child had bin abused, but although the fact appeared very foul against him yet the Circumstances thereto not being so direct as to prove a Rape, according as the law directs on those case, he was brought in not guilty upon that Indictment, but that he might not go Scot-free the Court directed another Bill to be drawn up for an Assault upon the said Child , which Bill was found, and upon his tryal thereupon was found guilty , and was fined 25 Markes by the Court for his offence.

There was also tryed the Bayliff that killed his fellow Bayliff at Soehoe , he was found guilty of Murther

[Death. See summary.]

The Merchants Servant had the Allowance of his clergy and was burned in the hand, together with 5 other.

There are Seven men are all condemned to Die whereof the aforesaid Bayly was one.

And 8 to be Whipt at the Carts Tayle.