<!-- © 2003-2008 Old Bailey Proceedings Online -->
<TEI.2>
<text>
<body>
<div0 id="17370420" type="sessionsPaper" fragment="yes">
<div1 type="trialAccount" id="t17370420-18">
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="173704200009"/>
<xptr type="preceedingDiv" divtype="trialAccount" id="t17370420-17"/>
<xptr type="followingDiv" divtype="trialAccount" id="t17370420-19"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18" type="collection" value="BAILEY"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18" type="year" value="1737"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18" type="uri" value="sessionsPapers/17370420"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18" type="date" value="17370420"/>
<join result="criminalCharge" id="t17370420-18-off88-c104" targOrder="Y" targets="t17370420-18-defend145 t17370420-18-off88 t17370420-18-verdict91"/>
<p>20.
<persName id="t17370420-18-defend145" type="defendantName"> Mary Wilson
<interp inst="t17370420-18-defend145" type="surname" value="Wilson"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-defend145" type="given" value="Mary"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-defend145" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> , of
<placeName id="t17370420-18-defloc87">St. Andrew Holborn</placeName>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-defloc87" type="placeName" value="St. Andrew Holborn"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-defloc87" type="type" value="defendantHome"/>
<join result="persNamePlace" targOrder="Y" targets="t17370420-18-defend145 t17370420-18-defloc87"/>, was indicted, for
<rs id="t17370420-18-off88" type="offenceDescription">
<interp inst="t17370420-18-off88" type="offenceCategory" value="kill"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-off88" type="offenceSubcategory" value="infanticide"/> that she being big with a Male Bastard Child, by the Providence of God the said Bastard Child, did privily bring forth alive,
<rs id="t17370420-18-cd89" type="crimeDate">March 22</rs>
<join result="offenceCrimeDate" targOrder="Y" targets="t17370420-18-off88 t17370420-18-cd89"/>. And for that she the said Mary, on the said Child did make an Assault, and with both her Hands, the said Child, in a certain Flannel Petticoat, did wrap and hide, (the said Child being then alive) by Reason of which wrapping and hiding the said Child was smother'd, and of which smothering it instantly died </rs>.</p>
<p>She was a second Time indicted on the Coroner's Inquest for the said Murder.</p>
<p>Mr. - Jodrell. This unfortunate Affair happening in my Family, Justice Chamberlen bound me over to prosecute.</p>
<p>Before the Prisoner at the Bar was taken into my Service, we endeavoured to make what Enquiry we could into her Character. She was recommended to us, as having been a
<rs id="t17370420-18-deflabel90" type="occupation">Servant</rs>
<join result="persNameOccupation" targOrder="Y" targets="t17370420-18-defend145 t17370420-18-deflabel90"/> to Mr. Young, an eminent Druggist in Cheapside. I found she had been five Years in his Service, and that during all that Time, she had behav'd honestly, soberly, and as became a good Servant. On this Character I took her into my Family, and she continu'd in my Family 13 Months, and answer'd Mr. Young's Character in every Respect. I entrusted her with Money for the Service of the Family, which she always regularly and duly accounted for, and behaved soberly and virtuously, and was a diligent and industrious Servant. My Health calling me into the Country, I left her and a Man-a Footman, in the House; 'twas during that Time that she was seduced by this Servant left in the Family with her. She having behav'd in this Manner, gave me less Reason of any Suspicion that she was with Child. But on the 23d of March last, my Wife brought me Information that a dead Child was born, and that the Cook-Maid, the Prisoner, was the Mother. I was surpriz'd at it, in Regard that neither I, nor any of the Servants, nor my Wife, had any Suspicion, that she who behav'd so well, would have been guilty of such a Fact: But the Child being dead, I thought it incumbent on me to consult a Justice of the Peace; and I went the same Day, the 23d of March; it was discover'd the preceeding Day that the Child was born. About 12 o'Clock the following Day, when it was told to me, I discover'd it to Mr. Justice Chamberlen; he came to my House, and thought it proper to send for the Coroner, to make Enquiry. Accordingly the Coroner and Justice Chamberlen, went up and took her Confession in Writing, which I believe will be given an Account of. It was always related in the Family, before the Coroner's Inquest, and afterwards, that she constantly declared the Child was born dead, and that she never heard it cry, and there was no Marks of Violence upon it. The Justice and the Coroner went up to see it; some Time afterwards I went up and saw it, and on a View of the Child, there did not appear the least Marks of Violence. And since I have nam'd Justice Chamberlen, I think I ought to declare, he behav'd with the greatest Justice as a Magistrate, and with the greatest Tenderness and Compassion as a Christian; and if my Judgment on Oath may avail, I think from the Character of the Maid while she liv'd with Mr. Young, and during the Time she liv'd with me, and from other Circumstances of the Case, the Child was born dead, and it had no Marks of Violence upon it.</p>
<p>
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="173704200010"/>Q. From the Character and Behaviour of the Prisoner, do you think she would be guilty of the Murder of her Child?</p>
<p>Mr. Jodrell. I declare I think she would not, on any Account whatever.</p>
<p>Mrs. Jodrell As Mr. Jodrell has said before, she behav'd with that Manner, that we had not the least Suspicion, till Wednesday the 23d of March, when on a little Rumour I heard in the Family, I went up into her Chamber, and by looking into her Bed, I thought a Child had been born: I came down and acquainted Mr. Jodrell with it: He desired me to take Nurse Carpenter (who has liv'd 23 Years in our Family) with me, I asked her if she had had a Child born; she fell on her knees and said, For Christ's Sake forgive me, there has been one, but 'twas born dead. I asked her, what she had done with it? She told me, it was in that Box: Upon which I order'd Nurse Carpenter (I think) to look into the Box, and she took it out, and put it into my Lap: I look'd it carefully over my self, and found no Marks of Violence, in no Manner of Kind. I asked her if she was marry'd? She said, no. I asked her who was the Father of the Child? She told me, the Under Footman,
<persName id="t17370420-18-person146"> John Gosling
<interp inst="t17370420-18-person146" type="surname" value="Gosling"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-person146" type="given" value="John"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-person146" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> , who was left in the House with her. I order'd her to be put to Bed, and Mr. Jodrell sent for Mr. Justice Chamberlen and the Coroner. I was inform'd it was proper to see if she had made Provision for the Child, so I looked into her Box, and there found a Bundle of Rags done up together, which, in my Opinion, may be useful on that Occasion; but there was no Work perform'd upon them; for she said she came three Months before her Time: I look'd farther, and found five Guineas in Money. There were proper Pieces for Shirts and Night-caps; she said she was mistaken in her Reckoning, and by what I have heard, many an honest Woman had been mistaken in such Cases.</p>
<p>Q. How long before you saw the Child, did you apprehend it might be born?</p>
<p>Mrs. Jodrell By her own Confession, the Day before, at 12 o'Clock. She always behav'd in so modest a Manner, that I was greatly deceiv'd in her.</p>
<p>Q. Do you think she would be guilty of so great an Offence as killing her own Child?</p>
<p>Mrs. Jodrell. Farthest from it of any one: as I am on Oath I think so.</p>
<p>Mrs Carpenter. I can give no juster an Account than what my Master and Mistress have done: I question'd her about it, and she said the Child was dead born, and that was the Reason she call'd no Assistance. I examin'd the Child, and not the least Mark of Violence, or any Thing to give Suspicion that she had done any Thing to take its Life away. I think the Child that was at its full Time, but I never saw a Child that was born before its Time, so I am not a proper Judge.</p>
<p>Mrs. Jodrell. I was at a Labour, where a Gentlewoman came 2 or 3 Months before her Time, and the Child is alive now, and a Man grown; it was her first Child; and this is the only Instance I ever saw. I have been mistaken six Weeks in my own Reckoning my self.</p>
<p>Mr. Justice Chamberlen. As Mr. Jodrell has been telling you, he came to me, and informed me of this Misfortune, and I went to the House and saw the Child, and the Coroner's Inquest sat upon it: The Surgeon is in Court, and he will give a better Account of it. There is her Exation; she wrote her Name to it, and confessed it to be true.</p>
<p>The Examination and Confession of
<persName id="t17370420-18-person147"> Mary Wilson
<interp inst="t17370420-18-person147" type="surname" value="Wilson"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-person147" type="given" value="Mary"/>
<interp inst="t17370420-18-person147" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> , taken this 23d of March 1736.</p>
<p>'' This Examinant confesseth and saith, That '' yesterday she was deliver'd of a Male Bastard '' Child, which was born dead: That she wrapped '' it up in a Flannel Coat, and put it into a '' deal Box, and designed to get a Friend to bury '' it privately, that it might not be known to the '' Family. Being asked, why she did not discover '' her being with Child, saith, If any one had '' question'd her about it, she would have own'd '' the same; that she had made no Provision, nor '' told any one of her being with Child; and that '' she expected it would have been three Months '' longer before she should have been deliver'd.</p>
<p>Mr. Young. The Prisoner at the Bar was my Cook-Maid five Years; during which Time she behav'd soberly, honestly, and as virtuously as any I ever had in my Life; and I believe is very unlikely to be guilty of so cruel a Thing.</p>
<p>The Surgeon. At the Request of Mr. Jodrell and the Coroner, I view'd the Body of this Child; 'twas as fairly born as any Child in the World, and had no Marks of Violence upon it. The Coroner desired me to try the Experiment on the Lungs, which is commonly done on such Occasions 'Tis the Opinion of some, That if the Lungs float in Water, 'tis a Sign the Child was born alive, and had breathed; if they do not float, the Child was born dead. On trying the Experiment upon the Lungs of this Child, they
<xptr type="pageFacsimile" doc="173704200011"/> floated on the Water. But I think the Certainty of this Experiment may have Objections to it. As for instance, where a Child hath stuck in the Birth a few Minutes, if it comes in the natural Way, it may respire and breath a little; which Respiration may make the Lungs specifically lighter than the Water, yet the Child may die before 'tis born. And without some other Circumstances to corroborate this Experiment, I should be loth to determine thereby positively. I think the Experiment (where a Person's Life is at Stake) too slight to be built upon. The Child was perfectly fair; and I think the smothering a Child can't be effected without some external Marks.</p>
<p>Prisoner. I never liv'd in any Family where any Woman lay-in, and had no Knowledge what was to be done in such Cases. I expected I should not be deliver'd in 3 or 4 Months; and when my Master and Mistress was gone into the Country, I intended to make up the Things I had by me.
<rs id="t17370420-18-verdict91" type="verdictDescription">
<interp inst="t17370420-18-verdict91" type="verdictCategory" value="notGuilty"/> Acquitted </rs>.</p> </div1></div0>
</body>
</text>
</TEI.2>

View as Text