Cock, Infant - murder

by Sarah Cock, Aston 13/8/1815

Times 11/3/1816 Transcript & other credited newspapers Transcripts

Sarah Cock

On 11/3/1816 Sarah Cock was hanged at Hertford for the murder of her bastard child at Aston on 13/8/1815

The Times 11/3/1816

Hertford Assizes – Friday March 8

MURDER.   Sarah Cock, was indicted for the wilful murder of her male infant child, by throwing it in the river at Aston, in the County, on the 13th August last.

The prisoner was a married woman, but did not co-habit with her husband; she left her home, pregnant, on the 1st August with the avowed intention of going to London, but she was taken into labour at Ware, and was delivered of a male child: she continued at Ware until the 12th August, and then left that place to return to her residence at Watton, which was some distance. She slept that night in a public house at the village of Aston, which she left the next morning. That same day the body of the child was discovered in the river covered in weeds; she was immediately apprehended, and expressed her sorrow for what she had done.

Sarah Wren, the servant of the house at Ware, proved that the prisoner came there on Sunday evening, the 1st of August; that she soon after her arrival was taken in labour, and in the course of the day was delivered of a male child, which she described as a fine healthy child; she staid (sic) in that house until the 12th or 13th, and then went away to return to Watton.

By the evidence of Elizabeth Boultar, servant at the White Hart at Aston, it appeared that the prisoner and the child slept at the house that evening. In the morning early, the witness saw the prisoner, who said she was going down the street to an acquaintance, and that she should return and pay for her bed. A man of the name of Chalklin and his wife who were acquainted with her, met her in the village: she had two bundles with her and something in her lap. The man asked her if it was a child in her lap; she replied yes and she went towards the river way to Watton. Within a few hours afterwards, a country lad passing by the river saw the body of the child; it was in the river near the edge, partly covered by weeds and having several lumps of dirt upon it apparently to sink it. He gave the alarm, and the prisoner was immediately apprehended.

The Rev. Phillip Godfrey, the Magistrate before whom she was carried, stated that the child was in the room and he asked her to look at the body, and say if it was her child. She said at first it was not; that hers was a female child; that she had been delivered at a relation’s of the name of Poulter, in Hertford; that the child had died, and was buried at Hertford. She did not, however, persist with this tale, but without disclosing any of the circumstances said she was sorry for what she had done.

Elizabeth Poulter deposed, that the prisoner did not lie at her house in Hertford; on the contrary she did not know she was with child.

The Jury found her guilty, and the Learned Judge immediately pronounced the sentence of the law, that she should be hanged on Monday morning, and her body delivered to be dissected.

During the whole trial, she appeared callous and insensible to her awful situation, but the Learned Judge was more than once interrupted by his tears.

 

The Morning Post 11/3/1816

Hertford Assizes Friday March 8th

Murder

Sarah Cock, was indicted for the wilful murder of her infant child, by throwing it into the river at Aston, in the County on the 3rd of August last.

The Jury found her guilty, and the Learned Judge immediately pronounced the sentence of the law, that she should be hanged on Monday morning, and her body delivered to be dissected.

During the whole trial she appeared insensible of her situation, but the Learned Judge himself was so much affected at passing sentence, that he was more than once interrupted by his tears.

 

Bury & Norwich Post 20/3/1816

At Hertford Assizes, Sarah Cock, found guilty of the murder of her male infant, by throwing it into the river at Aston, received sentence of death, and was executed on Monday.

 

Lancaster Gazette 6/4/1816

Sarah Cock, convicted of murder, at Hertford, was the first person whom the Judge (Abbott) had condemned. On passing sentence, he was so much affected as to be unable at times to proceed; and the impression on the Court was so great, that there was not a dry eye to be seen. After sentence was passed, the Judge was some time before he could recover himself sufficiently to proceed. The unfortunate woman, seemed the less affected. She was executed on Monday and her body dissected and anatomized.

 

(Note : the date of murder is given by the Times as 13th August 1815, The Morning Post suggests 3/8/1815 and other sources have the 13th December 1815).

This page was added on 02/08/2015.

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *