22nd June 1885
Reference Numbert18850622-627
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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627. MARGARET LAMB (40) was indicted for and charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with, the manslaughter of Annie Kimble.


SARAH KIMBLE . I am married, and live at 66, Willis Street, Bromley—on Wednesday, 27th May, about 4 in the afternoon, I was coming along St. Leonards Road with Mrs. Dring—the prisoner was walking towards me—some words ensued between her and Mrs. Dring—I had the child, Annie Kimble, in my arms; she was about three months old—the prisoner hit Mrs. Dring and blacked her eye—I begged her not to do ✗it any more, and she said "Then you take it for her," and she hit me three or four times with her fist on my head, and she struck the child on the left side of the forehead—Mrs. Dring took the child from me before I fell—the blow on the child left a red mark, it was done with her doubled fist—I took the baby home and bathed its forehead, and gave it a powder; it seemed all right until the 31st, when it died at 9 o'clock in any arms.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I was sober—I didn't spit in your face—I am sure you struck the child—I was not drunk or dancing in front of you—I was not drinking with your husband; I don't know him—Mrs. Dring and I had three pints of ale in the public-house from half-past 2 till 4; no man was drinking with us.

MARY ANN DRING . I was with Mrs. Kimble on this afternoon—we met the prisoner—she struck me—Mrs. Kimble said "Don't beat the woman like that"—she then hit me again, and hit Mrs. Kimble also—I saw her hit the baby one blow on the left side of the head; it left a red mark.

Cross-examined. I have known you and your husband 22 years, and we have been more like sisters than anything else—I was in the Hearts of Oak, but not with your husband—I live with my own husband—you never asked me not to send for your husband, and I never have sent for him—the baby was in its mother's arms when you struck it.

ANDREW MCGILL . I am a surgeon in St. Leonards Road—on 31st May, about 9 in the morning, I was called to see the child; it had been dead for some time—I made a post-mortem the following Wednesday—there was no external wound—on removing the skull I found that the dura-mater and the pia-mater were inflamed, also the surface of the brain—all the other organs were perfectly healthy and natural—the cause of death was inflammation of the brain, caused by direct violence—such a blow as described might have produced those symptoms.

WALTER BREEN (Police Sergeant). On 4th June I took the prisoner in custody—I told her she would be charged with causing the death of Annie Kimble, aged three months, by striking it on the head on 26th of

last May—she said "I recollect a quarrel with a woman, but the woman I struck had not any baby in her arms; it was the woman that was with her that had the baby."

The Prisoner. I struck the women when they interfered with me, but I never struck the child.

Witnesses for the Defence.

MARGARET PALMER . Mrs. Dring had the baby; the prisoner never touched it—I told the prisoner to go away and have no more to do with it, and she said "She gave me every provocation for doing what I have done."

Cross-examined. I saw the prisoner strike Mrs. Kimble twice; they both fought—Mrs. Kimble never had the baby in her arms at all, Mrs. Dring had it all the time from first to last—Mrs. Dring didn't fight, but she called the prisoner several abusive names, and the prisoner hit he✗ in the face.

EMILY HAYNES . I was standing in a shop and saw this quarrel—I saw Mrs. Dring with the baby in her arms—the prisoner struck her and Mrs. Kimble while the baby was in Mrs. Dring's arms—Mrs. Kimble didn't have the baby at all—I had never seen them before.


There was another indictment against the prisoner for an assault, upon which no evidence was offered.

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