Thursday, 23 May 2013

Insane Woman Cuts Daughter's Throat

One of the last murders to take place in the 1800s saw a mother cut the throat of her four month old daughter in Toxteth.

Rose Earle lived in Chesterfield Street with John Fletcher, a commercial traveller, and their four month old baby, also called Rose Earle. On the morning of Monday 14th August 1899 Rose, who had told John a few days earlier that her mind was going, called her domestic servant Ellen Woolley down to the cellar. When Ellen arrived Rose told her that she had 'done it' and took her to the front bedroom where baby Rose was lying on the bed in a pool of blood.

Ellen ran for assistance and Mrs Campbell, a resident of Upper Parliament Street, came into the house. When she asked Rose what had happened she replied that she had been unable to leave her baby with anyone when she had gone. A police officer was called and as she was arrested Rose replied 'Yes, Yes, I am very very sorry.' A doctor arrived at the house whilst Rose was having a fit and carried out a post mortem, concluding that the baby had died after having the windpipe cut.

Whilst on remand at Walton Gaol doctors had serious concerns about Rose's ability to enter any pleas or understand the court proceedings. She often refused food as she believed it had been poisoned and said that she had been called upon by God to destroy herself. Dr Wigglesworth from the Rainhill Asylum said that she was unfit to plead and the judge directed that she be detained during Her Majesty's Pleasure.

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