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REVIEW OF THE YEAR 1863.

i EXECUTION of a WOMAN-DREADFUL…

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i EXECUTION of a WOMAN-DREADFUL SCENE upon the SCAFFOLD One of the most dreadful and sickening spectacles which has ever been associated with a public ex- ecution was witnessed at Chester on Monday, on the occasion of the execution of Alice Hewitt, for the murder of her mother. Our readers may remember that Hewitt (her mother being ill) induoed a female acquaintance to personate the old woman, and by this means an insurance upon her life was effected in the Wesleyan Life Association for 2bl. The evidence at the trial, before Mr. Justice Willes, on Dec. 8 and !), showed that prisoner, her mother, and a man named Holt, with whom she cohabited, lived together at Stockport. In February last the de- ceased, Mary Bailey, was taken ill, and the prisoner in- sured her life for 26I. at a premium of 6d. per week. She induced a woman named Betty Wood to personate her mother before the doctor, telling her that the agent said Any one would do." The proposal was accepted by the Wesleyan Assurance Society, and from that time the mother became worse. Prisoner called in the parish surgeon and the infirmary visiting officer, both of whom were ignorant of the other's visits, and complained of their medicine not being given. On the 25th and 26th the prisoner bought some arsenicâa quarter of a pound each time, which she put in a jug with some boiling water, and sprinkled about the room where her mother lay to kill vermin. The night of the 26th deceased had some brandy-and- water, and complained of "grounds" being at the bottom Prisoner said, "You ought to have drunk grounds and all." Mary Bailey died in the morning with all the symptoms of arsenical poisoning, and was buried. The personation came to the ears of theotfice, and the body was disinterred on June 12, when the body was found perfectly fresh but "saturated with arsenic," of which no less than 160 gtains were found in the stomach and adjacent parts. The unfortunate woman was not tried at the summer assizes, in consequence of her being enciente, and she was delivered of an illegitimate child, which has since been adopted by Holt's uncle, the only person who has visited her during her imprisonment. She has been sullen, and strongly protested her innocence. On Sun- day, the 27th, the prisoner, however, made the follow- ing statement:â On the Monday before mother died, I brought the in- surance paper home, insuring my mother's life for 261, and mine for 281. He then proposed I should get some charcoal and put it under mother's bed alight when she was asleep, and she would never wake more. On Wednesday night Holt and I never went to bed. He said it would be a great re- leasement if she was in her grave, and he would buy some stretchnine (strychnine) if I would give it her. I said, "Thou'lt be found our." He said," They cannot find it out by that." I said, Thoujhast brought me to destruction, and now thou wants to bring me to the gallows." He then beat me. In the beer of which I spoke I saw, after rry mother had drunk it, a quantity of blue arsenic grounds. I said, "Thou hast given my mother arsenic." He said, "If thou tell aught, I'll have thee up for defrauding the in- surance," and said, nobody will believe but what thou hast done it thyself." This was the only arsenic my mother ever had. Another statement was afterwards made by the prisoner to this effect George Holt offered mother some beer, in which the arsenic was put. Mother was sick and could not take it, ⢠?^t it on the mantelpiece and went out. I said, .Mother can'st notaup this gill of beer ? She (hen took it rrom my hand and supp'n It. When I looked at the iii" I saw the blue arsenic at the bottom. There w is 1V oz l'effc 101 smeUlnff-hottlo. I put the j ug on the top shelf of the cupboard, and thouoht of taking it myself. When Ann Bailey cleaned the oupWd out it was washed out. She says, This is arsenic. That is the jug thy mother had her beer in." T said, Yes, I did not know how it had gotten in." Betty Wood then came in, and our discourse was dropped off. Both these statements were signed. In the middle of the night of Sunday last she was removed from the county to the city gaol, accompanied by thft chaplain, Rev. J. M. Kilner; the city sheriff, R. "Littler and the governor of the gaol. On her arrival she partook of toast and coffee, and listened attentively to the exhortations of Mr. Kilner, joining audibly vruen in chapel in the prayer for murderers introduced in the Burial Service. 1 no execution took place at ten minutes past eight. The -weather was bitterly cold, with a slight fall of snow, yet an excited mob of some 3,000 or 4,000 people were. gathered in front of the gaol. As soon as the cnvninal stepped upon the platform a subdued murmur y Vn through the crowd, which was followed by a death. like silence for a few minutes, broken only by the piteous wailings of the culprit. The cap and rope | having been adjusted, she fell upon her knees, and prayed that her infant child might be spared a similar fate, and that her death might be a warning to others. She then rose, and in the most piteous manner begged the executioner to make haste with his dreadful work. Calcraft then withdrew on one side, and pulled the bolt, but the drop would not fall. A second time the attempt was made, but with the same result. All this time the doomed woman was heard exclaiming, "Make haste!" and each time she heard the bolt withdrawn she gave an agonising shriek. Calcraft went through his work with the coolness of a practised hand, and the third time, with the aid of some of the gaol officials, the drop fell with a dull, heavy thud. The woman fell with a violent jerk about three or four The woman fell with a violent jerk about three or four feet, and the prayer upon her lips was left unfinished. rl She struggled hard, and her sufferings were aggravated by the incomplete adjustment of the rope as well as from her being a very light and slender woman. Calcraft almost immediately went in front of the dying woman and strapped her legs more tightly. A few groans and a few more struggles, and all was over. The condemned woman was thinly and poorly attired.

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