15th January 1800
Reference Numbert18000115-21
VerdictNot Guilty

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91. ANN PERRY was indicted for the wilful murder of her female bastard child .

She was charged with the like murder upon the Coroner's inquisition.(The indictment was stated by Mr. Alley, and the case by Mr. Const.)

JOHN DUNBAR sworn. - Examined by Mr. Alley. On Thursday the 12th of December, between five and six o'clock in the evening, I received some directions from Mr. Nathaniel Dunbar , in consequence of which, I went to the house of a Mr. Fisher, in Virginia-street .

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar? - A. She lived there, I found her there; I asked her whether she had been ill; she said she had been indisposed with a cold, not very ill; I said, I believed she was about to undergo a very minute investigation with respect to making away with a child that she had been delivered of; she denied it, and said she had not been delivered of a child, and went very freely with me to Mr. Dunbar; I waited there, by the order of the church-wardens, to know what was the opinion of Mr. Judson, the surgeon, who was there; the girl was sent home to her mistress, and I was sent, by order of the church-wardens, to wait to know the opinion of another gentleman, Mr. Pearson; and after Mr. Judson and Mr. Pearson were satisfied of her situation, I was ordered to take her to the work-house; I asked her if she knew the situation she was in; I told her both these gentlemen are of opinion you have been delivered of a child, did you tell them so; she said, no, she had not told them; I asked her if she had not been delivered; she said, yes, she had, in her mistress's parlour, the Tuesday before, this was on Thursday the 12th; I asked her if any person was with her; she said, no, it was born dead; I said, how do you know it was born dead; she said she held it some time, and it was dead; I asked her if it was male or female; she said it was a little girl; I asked her where she had put it, if she had wrapped it up in any thing; she said, no, I took her to the work-house; the privy was searched for a matter of two hours, but we could find nothing that night; the next day, Friday, it was searched again, and I saw a female child taken out.

Court. If you make use of this confession you must take it altogether, unless you can contradict it.

Mr. Const. We certainly cannot contradict it.

Mr. JUDSON sworn. - Examined by Mr. Const. I am a surgeon, in the parish of St. George: I was called in to examine the prisoner on the 12th of December; I afterwards examined the child.

Q. Can you say, from any appearance of the body, whether the child was born alive or not? - A. I cannot.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice HEATH.

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