Sunday, 8 February 2015

Baby Dies From Exposure

In 1847 a woman abandoned her baby after repeated warnings about her responsibilities, then was found guilty of infanticide and jailed.

Nineteen year old Ann Curtis gave birth to a female child on 3rd June at the West Derby Workhouse (later Mill Road hospital). She was discharged on 6th August but later that day the baby was found crying nearby.

The baby was taken to the workhouse and cared for, then Curtis returned three days later to reclaim her. She was given a reprimand over her inhuman conduct, but the following night the baby was found abandoned again, this time in Berkley Street in Toxteth Park.

On 27th August Curtis was sent to gaol for one month for child desertion, but on 18th September the child, who hadn't even been given a name, died of exhaustion having been exposed to the cold and wet.

This led to her being further remanded on a coroner's warrant pending trial at the Assizes, It was initially intended to try Curtis for murder but this was changed to infanticide.  She was found guilty at the Assizes on 16th December and sentenced to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour.

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