Judith Defour.
27th February 1734
Reference Numbert17340227-32

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36. Judith Defour , was indicted for the Murder of Mary Defour, otherwise Cullinder , by choaking and strangling her with a Piece of Linen , Jan. 29 .

She was a second Time indicted on the Coroner's Inquisition for the said Murder.

John Wolveridge . I live in the Fields leading to Bethnal-green . About a Month ago, I heard an Outcry that a Child was murder'd in the Field. I went to the Place, and found a Child dead; it appear 'd to be upwards of two Years old. I found a black Circle about the Neck, and a Mark like the Print of a Thumb, under the right Ear. Some Gentlemen told me, they had seen three Women coming from the Place where the Child lay; and I afterwards found, that one of these three were the Prisoner, who was the Mother of the Child. I ask'd her, how she could be so barbarous as to murder her own Infant? She said she had only stripp'd it about 7 at Night, and laid it naked in the Ditch; and this was all that I could get out of her for a pretty while; but at last, in a violent Agony of Grief, she said, Then, Sir, I will tell you how I did it; but there was a Vagabond Creature, one Sukey, that persuaded me to it; and was equally concern'd with me. On Sunday Night we took the Child into the Fields, and stripp'd it, and ty'd a Linen Handkerchief hard about its Neck to keep it from crying, and then laid it in a Ditch. And after that, we went together, and sold the Coat and Stay for a Shilling, and the Petticoat and Stockings for a Groat. We parted the Money, and join'd for a Quartern of Gin. The Prisoner made the like Confession before Justice Chamberlain, insisting upon it, that the other Creature Sukey was equally guilty.

Elizabeth Scot . The Prisoner worked with me (at a Throwster's) she came to work at half an Hour past Seven, the Night the Murder was done, and work'd 'till Morning - She said, she had done something that deserved New gate, and at last, told us, she had left her Child in the Field all Night -

We went to the Place, found the Child dead, and then went to the Church-wardens.

Susan Jones . When she came to work, over Night, we ask'd her if she had carry'd her Child back to the Work house (for the Child was kept in the Parish Work-house, and she had got Leave to take it out for 2 or 3 Hours) she told me, she had not, but her Mother had. She worked 'till One in the Morning, and then had a Dram, and would have had another, but I would not let her. Thn she desir'd a Penny to buy a Roll and Cheese. I gave her a Penny; but instead of fetching a Roll and Cheese, she brought in a Roll and a h'p'orth of Gin - Then she said, she had done something that deserved Newgate. I told her I hoped she had not wrong' my Mistress, but if she had, her best way would be to make a plain Confession, and then I believe my Mistress, would be the more favourable to her. She said it was no such thing as that; but she had left her Child all Night in the Field. What? says I, in such a dismal cold Night! How can you be so cruel ? She said she had not done it, but one Sukey persuaded her to it. So I bid Elizabeth Scot take a piece of Bread and Butter, and go with me and the Prisoner to fetch the Child, for the Prisoner had not told me the Child was dead, and I thought it would be a hungry as well as Cold. But when we came to the Place, we found the Child stript and lying dead in a Ditch, with a Linnen-rag tied hard about its poor Neck.

Jane Prig . The Prisoner came on Sunday to take the Child out, but I would not let her, without an Order from the Church-Wardens; so she went away, and came again in half an Hour, and brought a Note, as from the Church-Warden, and upon that I let her have the Child out; but I afterwards found that the Church-Warden had given no such Note - The Child had been New-clothed but the Thursday before.

Job London , Surgeon. About the Fore-part of the Child's Neck, I observed part of a black Circle, like that in executed Persons, and I believe the Violence it was done with, was the Cause of her Death.

Then the Prisoner's Confession, before the Justice, being proved, was read in Court.

Middlesex}, to wit. The Examination and Confession of Judith Defour, taken this 30th Day of January 1733, before me one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County.

' THIS Examinant confesseth, that about ' two Years and three Months since, she ' was deliver'd of a female bastard Child, be- ' got on her Body, by one John Cullender , ' who lives in Spittle-Fields Market, by ' Trade a Weaver; and that the said ' Child was haptized by the Name of Mary, ' and that her said Child, Mary hath been ' for some Weeks past in the Work house, ' belonging to the Hamlet of Bethnal-green, in ' the said Country of Middlesex; and that she ' went on Sunday last, about 9 or 10 in the ' Morning to the Work-house, to see her ' said Child, and found the Child had been ' within a few Days new clothed. And that ' she took away her Child, and kept it with ' her, till about 6 or 7 a Clock in the ' Evening, when being in Company with ' one Susannah - her Surname to her ' unknown; but that she has a Sister now ' in Shoreditch Work-house, who (that is, ' Susannah, not her Sister) pursaded her, ' this Examinant, to sell the Child's Clothes, ' and carry it into the Fields and leave it ' there. That they went both of them together ' into a Field near Joan Harding 's, where ' they stripp'd the said Child, and ty'd a linen ' Rag very hard about the Child's Neck, ' to prevent its crying out, which strangled ' her, and that afterwards, they went together, ' leaving the Child behind in a Ditch, ' near dead, to one Mary Witts , who lives ' in Swan-Yard, in the Parish of St. Leonard ' Shoreditch, and sold the Clothes, that is to ' say, a Coat, Stays, Petticoat, and Stockings ' to the said Witts, and received for them ' Sixteen-pence, and that they parted the Money ' equally between them.

The Mark of Judith + Defour.

Taken before me the Day and Year above written. Anthony Chamberlain .

Prisoner. I did not think to do any thing to the Child, but that wicked Creature Sukey seduced me to it.

Judith Defour , the Prisoner's Mother. She never was in her right Mind, but was always roving.

Mary Favoary . I have known her two Years, and never knew any Harm of her.

The Jury found her guilty . Death .

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