Nash infant 1882 November 4th Swindon
Mr Baker on Monday held an inquiry at the Locomotive inn, Swindon, as to the death of the newly-born female child of Mary Ann Nash, of Villett-street. The evidence went to show that on Thursday evening, about twenty minutes to nine o’clock, George Baldwin, stone-mason, of 1, Catherine-street, went into his garden to feed his tame rabbits, and hearing a noise he called for a light. The light was brought, and a babe was seen lying on the ground at the end of the garden, and among a quantity of bean sticks. The police were at once communicated with, and PS Rebbeck with a constable soon arrived. Baldwin’s wife and a neighbour washed the child, rubbed some brandy on its chest and back, and gave it a little to drink. She kept it until about half-past twelve that night, when she took it to Mary Ann Nash, the mother. She told Mrs Nash she had brought her baby, suspecting it to be hers, and the woman – who was in bed – did not answer her. Mrs Nash afterwards acknowledged to her that the child was hers, that she had been confined in the closet, and that she put it in her apron and then over the wall into Baldwin’s garden. She noticed several marks on the body, which was covered with garden dirt and ashes.
The coroner said that Mr Supt North had applied that the inquiry be adjourned, the woman being in custody, and the inquiry was accordingly adjourned for a week.
Adjourned Inquest 1882 November 25th
On Wednesday, Mr Coroner Baker held at the “Locomotive” inn the adjourned inquiry into the death of the newly-born female child of Mary Ann Nash, of 14, Villett-street. It will be remembered that on last Monday week the inquiry was adjourned, on the application of the police, the mother not being well enough to attend.
George Baldwin, of Catherine-street, his wife, and lodger (Iver Thomas) gave evidence, the only additional facts from their evidence being that the first and last mentioned persons had two props in their hands when searching for the child, but they both stated that they did not touch the ground nor “poke” the bean sticks with them.
Thomas said he thought the noise came from some “vicious” animal – a cat – and he got ready to strike with the prop, but on finding it to be a child he dropped the prop. Mrs Baldwin spoke as to the props also, corroborating the statement that they were not used in poking about the bean sticks.
PC Goodman and PS Rebbeck also gave evidence, the former to being called to see the deceased, as to a quantity of dirt being on its body, and to advising Mrs Baldwin to send for a doctor, and the latter to the confession of the woman Nash that the child was hers, and that she had been confined in the water closet. On being told by the sergeant (and duly cautioned) that he should charge her with concealment of birth, she replied, “I known I have done it;” and after the child was dead the sergeant told her that made matters more serious, she replied that she had done all she could since the child had been brought back to her.
Mr John M Nicolls, assistant to Messrs Swinhoe and Howse, New Swindon, said he saw the child previous to death, and it had several marks on the body. A few days afterwards he made a post mortem examination, and found that the deceased was a perfectly formed child, and all its organs were healthy. Death, in his opinion, resulted from shock to the nervous system, consequent upon the exposure.
The jury returned a verdict to the effect that death resulted from exposure to cold, consequent upon the wilful act of the mother, and the coroner intimated that that amounted to a verdict of “Wilful murder.”
Unfortunately, I found no further reports of this case – ED.