7th April 1851
Reference Numbert18510407-872
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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872. MARGARET GRIFFIN , felonionsly cutting and wounding Mary Bryan on the forehead, with intent to disable her.

MART BRYAN . I am a widow, and live at 16, Castle-alley, Whitechapel. I know the prisoner—she came to Mrs. King's house, where I was taking tea; I believe it was ten weeks ago—she rapped at the window outside with a scrubbing-brush, and said she would have the b—h (Mrs. King) out, and she would have her life—Mrs. King went out—I went out and said it was a great shame for her to call a married woman a b—h—she said, "You are a couple of old wh—s," and hit me in the forehead with the brush—a little blood came—I went into the room, and fell on the ground—I was taken to the London Hospital, and remained there five weeks—I suffered much pain.

Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. Is Mrs. King a neighbour? A. Yet; she does not live in the same house with me—she was ill—I did not say to the prisoner, as she was passing, "You Irish b—b, what have you done with your Irish bastards? have you left them all in blessed Ireland? "—I did not hear Mrs. King say so—I know Elizabeth Sampson rod Margaret Leary—Leary was not there—I know Mary Driscoll—she and I did not lay hold of tie prisoner's hair and take off a handfull—Mrs. Leary and Mrs. Sampson did not say to me and Mrs. Driscoll, "You are murdering the young girl"—I swear I did not put my hand near her—I was not shown any hair by Mrs. Leary or Mrs. Sampson—they did not pull the hair out of my hand—I never quarrelled with the prisoner, or blackguarded her—I gave her no provocation.

MARY DRISCOLL . I was living as servant to Mrs. King, at 16, Castlealley. I remember Mary Bryan coming there to tea with Mrs. King—I law the prisoner come up and tap at the window with a scrubbing-brush, wd she said to the mistress if she got her outside she would have her life—my mistress went out, and the old woman (Bryan) followed her—I heard a noise, and went out, and saw the prisoner with the brush in her hand, and she struck Bryan with it just over the nose—she went and sat on a chair, and went into a faint—she was taken to the hospital.

Cross-examined. Q. Were you in the room when this began? A. Yes, clearing the place; Mrs. King is the mistress of the house—Mrs. Bryan bad been there about an hour—they had no spirits with their tea that I saw—I did not hear Mrs. Bryan and Mrs. King call out to the

prisoner, You Irish b—h, where have you left your bastard brats?"—I went outside, hearing them hallooing outside, but I did not hear anything said before the prisoner tapped at the window—I have talked this over with Mrs. Bryan more than a dozen times—I did not see Mrs. Sampson and Mrs. Leary outside—I did not seize the prisoner by the hair—I did not see Mrs. Byran pull her hair out—I saw Mrs. Leary with some hair in her hand, but I do not know where she got it—it was not a handful), nor half a handfull.

MARY ANN KING . I live in Fryingpan-alley. I saw Mrs. Bryan struck by the prisoner.

Cross-examined. Q. Where were you? A. In my own room, sitting at the window—I did not abuse the prisoner the day before this, as she was passing—I was ill in bed—on the day this happened Bryan had come to see me, and we were sitting together very comfortably after tea, when the prisoner came up to the window with the scrubbing-brush in her hand, and said, "You b—y b—h, if I catch you out I will have your life"—I got up, and said, "Margaret, speak in a proper way, and if I have done wrong I will give you satisfaction"—she said, "You b—y b—h, I will;" and I being weak and ill, Mrs. Bryan said, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself to speak so to a weak and sickly woman"—she said, "You b—old wh—, I will give it to you," and she struck her, and down she west—I am an Irishwoman, thoroughbred—neither I nor Mrs. Bryan asked the prisoner where her Irish bastards were—I never bad any quarrel with her—I did not see Mrs. Leary or Mrs. Sampson there—I did not see Mrs. Driscoll attack the prisoner—I and Mrs. Byran and Driscoll have taken tea together since this—we have not talked it over—Mrs. Bryan is a very quiet woman—I was never in gaol.

WILLIAM PRATER . I am house surgeon, at the London Hospital Bryan was brought there on 16th Jan., with a wound on her forehead, such as would be given by a scrubbing-brush—it bled after she came in—she was then insensible—she was in danger for a fortnight from the effect of the wound—she suffered from concussion of the brain—a small artery was divided.

Cross-examined. Q. Is she quite well now? A. She has recovered from the wound, but she is still weak.

THOMAS WEAKFORD (policeman, H 5). I took the prisoner—I went to this alley shortly after, and was shown a lock of hair by Mrs. Sampson—it Was apparently woman's hair, and a good deal of it.

MR. COOPER called

ELIZABETH SAMPSON . I am a general dealer, and live at 3, Fryingpanalley, Petticoat-lane—the prisoner has been my servant nearly twelve months—I am married—Mrs. King lives next door to me. On 18th Jan. I sent the prisoner to get a scrubbing-brush from a neighbour, who had borrowed it—she was gone a very short time when I heard her cry "Murder!"—I hastened down-stairs, and found her in Mrs. King's passage, on her hands and knees, with Mrs. Bryan, Mrs. King, and Mary Driscoll all three upon her—they had her by the hair of her head; they were very savage—I said, "Oh my God! three of you on the girl; you will kill her; loosen her hair"—King and Driscoll did so, but Bryan still kept hold—I said, "Mrs. Bryan, why don't you loosen the girl's hair? you will kill her"—she said, "I will: and I will serve you the same"—

I then got into the passage and loosened her hand off her hair; and here is the hair I pulled out of her hand (producing it)—showed it to the policeman—I went to the police-court, but was not called—the prisoner is a very kind, inoffensive, amiable girl, not at all quarrelsome. COURT. Q. Did you see the blow struck? A. No. MARGARET LEARY. I am the wife of Henry Leary, a labourer—I reside in the first-floor of Mrs. King's house. On this Thursday I was looking out of my window and saw the prisoner come from the court with her mistress's scrubbing-brush in her hand—Mrs. King called out of her door and said to the prisoner, "Go and fetch your bastards from Ireland"—the prisoner turned round and saw!, "Do you mean me, Mrs. King?"—the old woman (Bryan) rushed out of the passage, and caught hold of the prisoner by the hair, and threw her into the passage"—the prisoner cried out "Murder!" and I cried out from my window, "What a shame! don't kill the girl; give her fair play"—Mrs. King, Bryan, and Driscoll fell on to the prisoner—I hurried down-stairs, and found her on her face and knees in the passage, and Mrs. Sampson was undoing Mrs. Bryan's hands out of her hair—I did not see the blow struck—I lifted the girl off her face and knees; she then began to cry, ad went into her mistress's place—I afterwards went to Mrs. King's place, and Mrs. Bryan said to Mary Driscoll, "I have a good mind to break your back, as you did not fetch the candlestick out aid split her head with it, as you did not assist me"—the prisoner was used shamefully—I attended at the police-court, but was not examined.


Before Mr. Justice Maule.

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