Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 21 October 2018), April 1740, trial of Elizabeth Evans alias Evans (t17400416-24).

Elizabeth Evans alias, Killing > infanticide, 16th April 1740.

215. + Elizabeth Evans alias Evans , of Ealing , was indicted, for that she being big with a Female-Child, the said Child, she secretly, and alone, (by the Providence of God) did bring forth alive, and which Child by the Laws of this Land was a Bastard: and that she not having God before her Eyes, &c. as soon as the said female Bastard-Child was born, in and upon the said female Bastard - Child did make an Assault, &c. and with both her Hands, her, the said Bastard-Child, in a certain Linnen Handkerchief, value 1 d. did wrap and fold, by Reason of which wrapping, and folding, the said Bastard-Child was choaked and strangled, of which choaking and strangling it instantly died , February 9 .

She was a second Time charged by virtue of the Coroner's Inquest for the said Murder.

Sophia Claxton . The Prisoner and I lay together in the same Bed: she complained of a Pain in her Limbs, and kept her Bed for three Days. I can't tell the Time exactly, when this happened, but one Night, I came home and went to Bed, after I had been out all Day hard at Work; the Prisoner in the Night got upright upon her Knees in the Bed; and I asked her, what she was doing? She told me, she was making use of the Pot. In the Morning I got up to go to my Work, and because the Prisoner had been restless all Night, I innocently went to put the Clothes upon the Bed, to cover her; and under her Gown I saw a Handkerchief; and in the Handkerchief I found a Baby wrapped up. I asked her, why she did not call for Help, when I asked her what she was doing, but she made me no Answer at all . This was about 8 o'Clock in the Morn. ing. - I did not observe whether the Child had received any Hurt in its Body , nor can I tell whether it was at its full Growth. - I never heard it cry. Tho'I lay with her, she never informed me of her being with Child, and when I found it in the Handkerchief, she said nothing to me; - she did not own it was her's. I know no more.

Elizabeth Holman . I am a Midwife and I was sent for about two Hours after the Woman was brought to Bed. I examined the Child, and found it at its full Growth, but it was dead when I saw it, and I can't take upon me to say, whether it was born alive or not. I did not observe any Hurt or Bruise upon it. This was in the Time of the hard Frost; I can't tell what Day it was exactly. After I had seen the Child, I asked, how she came to kill it? She said, she did not kill it; she found it dead, and therefore laid it away from her; and before she would have killed it, she would have gone a-begging with it. I desired her to tell me who was the Father? She said, she could not tell who it was got it, nor where he was, for one of the Men was gone twenty Miles, another thirty, and another four Miles off.

Elizabeth Pearce . The Prisoner lived a Year and a half in my House, and I never saw any Harm by her in my Life; she always kept good Hours, but as to this Fact, - I did not know she was with Child, nor that she was brought to Bed, till Claxton, (the first Witness) came down Stairs in the Morning, and told me what had happened. I asked her, how she came to be so naughty? - And she made me no Answer at all.

The Prisoner had no Witnesses to call; and, in her Defence, only said she did not murder it.

The Jury acquitted her.