<!-- © 2003-2008 Old Bailey Proceedings Online -->
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<p>159. (M.)
<persName id="t17510116-52-defend476" type="defendantName"> Hannah Spires
<interp inst="t17510116-52-defend476" type="surname" value="Spires"/>
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<interp inst="t17510116-52-defend476" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> ,
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<join result="persNameOccupation" targOrder="Y" targets="t17510116-52-defend476 t17510116-52-deflabel244"/>, was indicted on the coroner's inquisition, for the
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<interp inst="t17510116-52-off245" type="offenceCategory" value="kill"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-off245" type="offenceSubcategory" value="infanticide"/> murder of her bastard child </rs>,
<rs id="t17510116-52-cd246" type="crimeDate">Dec. 9</rs>
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<persName id="t17510116-52-person477"> Susannah Cooney
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person477" type="surname" value="Cooney"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person477" type="given" value="Susannah"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person477" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> . The prisoner lived
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<join result="persNameOccupation" targOrder="Y" targets="t17510116-52-defend476 t17510116-52-deflabel247"/> with me. On the 8th of last month, about 8 o' clock in the morning, I heard the prisoner groan; she had complained of the tooth-ach before; I thought she had it again; she lay in the yard upon the stones: I went to her she said she was very bad; I asked her, if she was with child? She said no; I desired her to get up, she would not; said I if you will not go into the kitchen, go up into the one pair of stairs room and lie down on that bed; she did. I sent the girl up to her to see if she would have any breakfast, she said she could not eat any thing. After dinner I went up to her, and said, she must have something to eat or she would be worse; I made her some panado and carried it up: after that I sent the girl up, who gave her some more; and in the evening between 6 and 7 o'clock my husband and I went to a neighbour's house; when we came back, I sent the girl up to know if she would not come down; she sent word she would not come down that night; I went up, and when I came there I saw something I did not like. I thought to myself there must be a child born, I took up a corner of the bed, and under that was a child. I called her murdering slut, or something like it ; she made no answer, I drove her down stairs to her own bed, which was in the kitchen.</p>
<p>Q. Have you had children?</p>
<p>S. Cooney. Yes, I have. This child seemed to be at its full growth, but I did not examine its nails, my lord.</p>
<p>Q. Had she made any provision for it?</p>
<p>S. Cooney. She did say she had things at her mother's for it.</p>
<p>Q. Did there appear any wounds or marks on the body?</p>
<p>S. Cooney. No, there did not, my lord, or any settling of blood.</p>
<p>
<persName id="t17510116-52-person478"> John Cooney
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<interp inst="t17510116-52-person478" type="given" value="John"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person478" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> confirmed the testimony of his wife.</p>
<p>
<persName id="t17510116-52-person479"> Sarah Bull
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person479" type="surname" value="Bull"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person479" type="given" value="Sarah"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person479" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> . I live servant in this family. After my master and mistress were gone out, in the evening I went up to see how she did, and carried her some panado, she drank it; when my mistress came home she went up and made her come down stairs; then my mistress ordered me to bring a candle, and there was a child wrapped up in two cloths, one round the head, the other round the body.</p>
<p>
<persName id="t17510116-52-person480"> Mary Rogers
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person480" type="surname" value="Rogers"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person480" type="given" value="Mary"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person480" type="gender" value="female"/> </persName> . I am a midwife. About half an hour after 10 that evening I was called out of my bed to this house; there sat the prisoner in a chair by the fire; I went to look at the child; there were all things together that should come into the world. It is my opinion the child was stagnated in the birth for want of help. When I came to clean it, there were no marks of violence upon it; the child was at its full growth, nails and every thing.</p>
<p>
<persName id="t17510116-52-person481"> James Atkinson
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person481" type="surname" value="Atkinson"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person481" type="given" value="James"/>
<interp inst="t17510116-52-person481" type="gender" value="male"/> </persName> . I am an apothecary. The child was carried to Shoreditch workhouse; there I viewed the body, I found no marks of violence upon it; I apprehend the child might be suffocated either in the birth or afterwards; but I am apt to think it was born alive, because there were settlings of blood interspersed all about the body.</p>
<p>Q. Could it breath and yet be suffocated in the birth?</p>
<p>Atkinson. Yes, my lord, it might.</p>
<p>Eliz. Spires. The prisoner is my husband's daughter; she had some childbed linen at my house in her box; she had been at my house about a week before. I took the things out of the box. They were produced in court.</p>
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<interp inst="t17510116-52-verdict248" type="verdictCategory" value="notGuilty"/> Acquitted </rs>.</p> </div1></div0>
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