Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2023), April 1677, trial of young man Brother Sister (t16770425-6).

Breaking Peace > wounding, 25th April 1677.

The next was a Case wholly extraordinary; and as it was the first President of Punishment on that most necessary Statute against cutting off Noses, disfiguring and maiming his Majesties Subjects; so in the Circumstances, for Malice, Cruelty, and Barbarity, it exceeds all the Presidents of former Ages.

A young man of Enfield , being Fellow- servant with a very pretty young maid , pretended Love to her; but meeting with a Repulse, he consults his Sister, who advised him to get to bed to her, and get her with Childe, and then leave her. This She-devil's Counsel, it seems, the Maid's Vertue hindred him from putting in execution; and therefore finding all his hopes like to wither, they take new measures: There was no body in Family but these two and an aged Master and Mistriss, who being both in bed, on the 20th of February last, as this innocent Virgin and her treacherous Sweet-heart were sitting together, his own Brother and Sister came and Knock'd and call'd him by his name, who open'd the door and let them in; but no sooner were they enterd, but this sister, more like a Fiend than a Woman, fell upon this harmless Maid, and with a Knife, whilst the other Brother held her, and in a most inhumane manner cut out one of her Eyes, the sight whereof she has lost; cut her Nose towards the upper part so desperately, that two bones, produced in Court, were since taken out of it; her Lips they slash'd so, that with much difficulty, and not yet perfectly, she can use them in speech; Two of her Teeth they beat out; gave her a lamentable wound in the Neck, and two stabs, besides a great wound in the Arm; all which was testified by the Chirurgeon: and so leaving her thus mangled as dead , went home; after which the pretended Sweet-heart runs up stairs, wakes his Master and Mistriss, cries out Thieves; the Neighbours come in, send for a Surgeon: The fellow, to colour his Villainy, pretends to have been knock'd down, and complains of a blow on his forehead, but inconsiderable. After some days the Maid comes to her self, and declares the Authors of this Cruelty: One of the Criminals flies, but was afterwards taken. No theft appeared to have been committed; so that it being evident that it was a premeditated act of Malice to render her deform'd and unfit for any bodies Addresses, because she would not consent to his desires, all three of them were found guilty within the Statute, which makes such barbarous Assaults Felony without Clergy, and so deservedly received Sentence of Death .