PHOEBE ADAMS.
15th August 1836
Reference Numbert18360815-1807
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceTransportation

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1807. PHŒBE ADAMS was indicted for feloniously receiving and harbouring, on the 5th of July, a female child, of the age of seven months, the daughter of John Clatworthy and Diana his wife, with intent to deprive them of the possession of the said child.

JOHN CLATWORTHY . I am the father of this child—it is now here—I am quite satisfied it is mine.

DIANA CLATWORTHY . I am the mother of this child—I was delivered of it on the 9th of December, it is a female child—on Tuesday, the 5th of July, I gave her to Eliza Souter to take it into the air, she did not bring it back—she stood in the road, crying—I saw the child again on the 23rd, it had the same cap and shift on as when I gave it to Souter—I am quite sure this is my child.

ELIZA SOUTER . I am nine years old—I know I shall go to hell if I don't tell the truth—I remember Mrs. Clatworthy giving me her child on the day the balloon went up—some woman came up to me, I was standing by an apple-stall, and she spoke to me about the child—she took the child from me and told me to go to a house and ask for Caroline, I went and came back and the woman and child were gone—this is the child.

CHARLOTTE STEDMAN . I am a weaveress—I am married and have a family. In consequence of what I heard I went to No.2, Bull's Head-court, Fenchurch-street, I knocked at a room on the second floor of the house—the prisoner opened the door, I walked in and her mother was sitting with the child on her lap, washing it—the prisoner called her, mother—the woman lifted up the head of the child, and I said, "That is not your child"—she said, "It is my daughter's child"—the prisoner was present—I then turned to the prisoner, and said, "It is not your child, I know the distressed parents of it, I live nearly opposite them"—the prisoner said, "It is my child, and I have got twins, and this is one, the other is a boy"—I then said it was not hers, and I would have a policeman—her mother said "If you say it is not my daughter's child I will knock you down"—in the court of a minute or two there were two or three persons came up from below stairs—they still persisted that it was the prisoner's child—I said I would not leave the room—the prisoner turned to her aunt who went with me to show me the place, and said to her "Aunty Mary, you have done this," the

prisoner then said, "I will take you to the place where I was put to bed, and they you shall have satisfaction that it is my child"—I went with her above two miles beyond St. George's Church—she went to a house and asked for a gentleman of the name of Poole; a lady put her head out, and said there was no such person there—I had the child with me—I asked her where she meant to take me to—she said, to the father of the baby, and that his mother kept the other baby—I still walked with her to the half-way house at Greenwich—I then began to murmur—she said it was only the third turning further—I went on with her to Greenwich—I then began to murmur, she then said it was the third turning past the Park—I went on to the main road that led to Woolwich—I then began to murmur, and said I would take the child home to its parents—she said if I took her child away she would punish me as far as the law would allow—I said I would take the child home, and if it was not the woman's child I would bring it back and beg her pardon—I then left her and came back to Greenwich—I got a cup of tea and came back by the steamer and brought the child to its mother—her joy was such that I thought she would have fainted away every moment.

MARY MATTHEWS . I went with Charlotte Stedman to the place—I found the child there—she said, "It is not your child"—the prisoner's mother said, "It is my daughter's child"—I have known the prisoner from her birth—she has had no child—I went first into the room—I knew where the child was by my son seeing the bill, and that gave a description of the child—that is all I know—I am her mother's sister.

Prisoner's Defence. A person named Eliza, was in the family-way at the same time I was—I had a child to nurse in the same way, and when I went from nursing Mrs. Castor's child, my mother would not let me in without I brought a child, as she knew I had one; and Eliza told me she would get me a child—I knew that she and a young man lived near Black-heath—this is the child that Eliza gave me—I know she had another one a little boy exactly like it.

JOHN CLATWORTHY re-examined. They disguised the child by letting it have a boy's cap on—we have searched for this Eliza but cannot find her—there was an Eliza, a common girl, in Whitechapel, but she has left that part for two years—an officer went to inquire after her—we went to inquire for Mr. Poole, there was no such person known there.

GUILTY .—Aged 16.— Transported for Seven Years.


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