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1805: A domestic murders her baby


Friar's Oak, interior

The following shocking occurrence, we hear, took place between Brighton and Cuckfield, on Tuesday se’nnight A Nobleman's carriage, containing several of his female domestics, who, from their residence on the coast, were travelling for London, stopped at the Inn called the Friar's Oak, about half way distant from that place to Cuckfield, where they alighted to take refreshment, and to wait until the horses had been watered.


On the time arriving for them to continue their journey, one of the females was not to be found: a search after her immediately took place; and the was, at length, discovered in a garden adjoining the inn, where she had delivered herself of a child; and which, dreadful to relate, it is said, she had destroyed, by cutting its throat, a few minutes previous to her being interrupted.


The Coroner's Jury have returned a verdict of Wilful Murder. The wretched woman still continues in a very dangerous state at the inn.

Westminster Journal and Old British Spy, 26 October 1805


Contributed by Malcolm Davison

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