Elizabeth Cole.
17th January 1709
Reference Numbert17090117-20
VerdictNot Guilty

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Elizabeth Cole , of St. Michael Crooked Lane , was Indicted for the Murder of her Female Infant aged 3 Years , by throwing of her into the River of Thames , on the 9th of January last. It appear'd that on the 9th of January in the Evening, the Prisoner took her Daughter out with her, and when she return'd home, she said she had put her Child under the Ice, and sent it to Heaven. It was prov'd plainly that the Prisoner had such a Child, that she took her out with her, and that it hath not been seen since; so that her own Confession, was sufficient Proof of the Fact. But in her Defence it appear'd plain that she had for a considerable time been under a great trouble of Mind, and in a disponding Condition (for Misfortunes relating to her Family) that she would commit many extravagant Actions, and particularly when she lay In three Months ago, would rise out of her Bed and Dance about the Room; which Disorders of Mind continu'd upon her ever since. It further appear'd, that her Mother was for several Years under those unhappy Circumstances, and look'd upon as a Lunatick at the Birth of the Prisoner. It was likewise prov'd that the Prisoner was an affectionate Mother to her Child, and that what she had done she said, was to prevent its being miserable in this World. Several Persons of good Credit depos'd that the Prisoner in her Senses was a very sober, discreet Person, not given to any kind of Vice. Upon the whole, the Jury acquitted her.


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