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1-106 (Original)

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author,male,Broadside,un addressee
Newspaper Article
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Public Written
Newspapers & Broadsides
Ingleton, 1988
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Monstrous Offence of Child Murder.
SYDNEY Monday, June 15, 1807
The horrible case which we are about to relate is all the more remarkable for the fact that from the first institution of the Colony until the present moment such a crime of child-murder has never before disgraced humanity in these parts.
It appears that on Wednesday night the horrid crime, - the murder of a male infant was discovered in the following manner: - A young man in charge of a gentleman's house had the day before perceived what he considered to be the shell of an egg floating in the privy, and the day following his attention was more minutely attracted by the second appearance of the same kind; which induced him from mere motives of curiosity to inspect more closely in to the reality of what he saw; when dreadful to relate, these appearances proved to be the little naked elbows of an unfortunate innocent, whom he naturally conjectured to have been devoted at the very moment of its birth to a short existence, by one whose duty it was to have cherished and preserved it.
The little body was taken from its loathsome place of concealment, an Inquest was summoned on Thursday morning, whose verdict was wilful murder against the mother of the babe.
At this very period a young woman whose name is Sermon, was at the house on a friendly visit, and in a dangerous state of illness. On her suspicion fell. Several Gentlemen of the Faculty inspected the body and declared that the child, which had every appearance of having been a fine infant, was born alive.
The suspected woman was then visited by one of the Gentlemen, in whose presence she acknowledged herself the wretched parent, and made a confession of her guilt; but such was her dangerous state of illness as to prevent her immediate removal to prison; wherefore it was determined that she should remain where she was until sufficiently recovered to undergo the necessary forms essential to the ends of justice.
From her incautious conduct it would scarcely be thought she had any wish to preserve her own life; the morning after her delivery, which had taken place between 7 and 8 in the evening, she rose at an early hour, and went bare-headed and thinly clothed to a surgeon, from whom she received some medicine, saying she laboured under severe dysentery.
From this she contracted a cold, and was confined to a bed of anguish, in which the excruciating pains of bodily affliction must have been slight when compared with the dreadful sensation which her mind endured from the conscious guilt of the most abominable of crimes, the dread of detection, and the fear not only of punishment, but of the infamy and detestation that must for ever accompany her memory.
In this state she continued until two o'clock Saturday morning; when she expired.
The remains of this depraved woman who confessed herself the murderess of her poor infant, were interred that night at the place of execution, and the shouts and revilings of a number of spectators who expressed a regret that she had not survived to atone for her monstrous offence by public execution.
This unhappy victim to depravity did not appear to exceed four or five and twenty years of age; she was tall, slender and of pleasant and obliging manners.