Elizabeth Waldron aged 35

"Elizabeth Waldron, aged 35, daughter of a reputable ropemaker at Ridgeway, with whom she always lived, was never married, but had two bastard children by married men. The first died 5 years since, at 5 months old. Her last was by an exciseman, and, on her trial, it appeared, that she had concealed her pregnancy as much as possible, and had provided no clothes for the infant. On Sunday, Feb 24, 1782, being alone, she was delivered of a male child, and buried the living babe in a dunghill in her father's yard; her father coming home, and passing by it, heard it cry. He called a neighbouring matron, who took the almost expiring infant to the fireside; a midwife was sent for, but it died in a few hours. On top of the child's head was a circular bruise of the size of a crown-piece; another bruise blackened all one side of the head; there was a cut to the bone on one eyebrow, two smaller ones below the eye, and a fourth nearly thro' the gristle of one ear. In opinion of a surgeon who examined the body, the bruise on the top of the head was sufficient to occasion its death, which however must have been hastened by the other wounds, and its being laid in so improper a place. In defence of the prisoner, it was insinuated that all these injuries were occasioned by the child's dropping from her on a stone. The surgeon declared that the varied situation of the wounds and bruises shewed the impossibility of their being received from one fall or blow; besides, the smooth lips of the cuts proved them to have been made by a sharp instrument; a stone would have jagged edges. This testimony added to her concealment of pregnancy, and neglect to provided any clothing for the child, induced the jury to pronounce her guilty. After her condemnation, she confided she had two knives in her pocket when delivered, but denied her guilt. She, however, (as is common in lyars) varied from what she had before said. ...."

"The night before her execution, the turnkey advised Eliz. Waldron to increase her straw bed with that another woman just removed to Bridewell. She declined his advice, expressing her fears of catching the itch, knowing that woman to be infected with it."

EXETER E Brice near the East-Gate