Hertfordshire assizes : 1906

Hertfordshire Mercury, 24th November 1906



There were 19 accused persons for trial, concerned in 17 cases, several of which were very serious in character.


His Lordship, in charging the Grand Jury, said he was sorry to tell them that their duties would be heavy in the sense that although the number of prisoners was not greater than usual at these Assizes, the cases were of exceptional gravity. There were two cases of wilful murder, one of manslaughter, two of arson, three of neglect of children, three of wounding with intent to inflict bodily harm, and several cases of embezzlement, false pretences, and fraud, which would require some considerable time to arrive at a verdict. The only cases that he need mention were the two cases of murder. His Lordship then briefly referred to the facts of these cases. With regard to the case against the woman Taylor, who was charged with the murder of her husband, his Lordship pointed out to the Grand Jury that if they came to the conclusion that the charge of murder was not made out, there was the second indictment for administering poison with intent to murder. The only other case that he need mention was the charge against a woman named Alice Rates, who was charged with the manslaughter of her newly-born child. If the Grand Jury were of the opinion that when the child was born it was killed without any wish or intention on the woman’s part, and that under the circumstances she was doing all she could on being taken suddenly ill they would say that she was not guilty and return a no true bill against her.

The Grand Jury then retired to their duties, which lasted until half-past three o’clock. They brought in true bills in all cases, except that against the woman Alice Rates, of Croxley Green, who was charged with manslaughter in causing the death of her newly-born child at Croxley Green, on the 17th October, and she was thereupon discharged.



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