Old Bailey Proceedings:
Old Bailey Proceedings: Accounts of Criminal Trials

24th October 1753

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Currently Held: Harvard University Library

LL ref: t17531024-52

500. (M) Mary Thornton proceedingsdefend This name instance is in set 3483. , widow, was indicted for that the, on Mary Larkin proceedingsvictim This name instance is in set 3485. , an infant about the age of five weeks, did make an assault, and with both her hands, fix'd about the neck of the said Mary, the said Mary did choak and strangle, of which said choaking and strangling the said Mary died , May 31 . +

Francis Bourne < no role > This name instance is in set 3484. . I brought a child of mine from Rochester to London, in last May, in order to get it into the Foundling-hospital.

Q How came it to be called Mary Larkin < no role > This name instance is in set 3485. ?

Bourne. It was called after its mother's name, it was a bastard child, I deliver'd it to the prisoner at the bar, in order to get it in. I was recommended to her by the landlord of a public-house, where I drank. It was to have been put in in May or June, and the prisoner was to keep it till it was got in. I was to give her a guinea when she got it in, and 3 s. a week, so long as it was to be with her, before it was got in. I returned again to Rochester, when I had been there some time, the parish put me to the test, to know what was become of the child. I was obliged to come to London to the prisoner at the bar, to know what was become of it. She told me it was dead, and that she had paid 2 s. and 6 d. for coffin and shroud, to bury it in, and a week's board was owing, both which I paid, which was 5 s. 6 d. but she could not produce a certificate that the child was bury'd.

Matthias Chambers < no role > . I saw the last witness drinking at a public-house, and heard him say, he deliver'd the child to the prisoner at the bar. I did not see him deliver it, but I saw Mrs. Thornton, and heard her say in presence of Mr. Bourne, that it was a foul child, and would hardly live till taking-in day.

Q. to Bourne. Did you hear the prisoner say so?

Chambers. I heard her make some remarks on the child, but I cannot tell what. I think she said it was a poor puney child, and that she believed it would not live till taking-in day.

Chambers continues. After the child was dead, the prisoner came to the public house where she took the child from, and said, that the child was dead, and desir'd the man of the house to write down to let the father know that it was dead. She came several times afterwards to know whether the father was come up, or whether he was acquainted with the death of the child or not.

Acquitted .

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