--------------.----A FULL EXPOSUltE OF ANN MOORE, THE FASTING HlPOSTOfl.|1813-05-13|North Wales Gazette - Welsh Newspapers Online
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A FULL EXPOSUltE OF ANN MOORE, THE FASTING HlPOSTOfl. About the beginning of the year IS07, Ann or Staffordshire, first excited public attention, by declaring that she lived without food-. Anasser- tion so repugn,-nit to reason and nature, was, of course rejected. She therefore offered to prove the tnHII of her assertion by stilnniifing to.be watched for a considerable time. In order to satisfy the public, she was remov- ed from her own home to the house of Mr. Jack- son, grocer, of the same village, and all the in- habitants invited to join in watching her. A Mr. tile watch- ing, which continued sixteen days, during which finie she was allowed a little water, on the three first days. When the watch had ended, she was removed to her own bouse, and Mr. Taylor pub- lished an account declaring that she had lived for thirteen days, without asking any food, liquid or solid. This account so attested, was believed by numbers, who flocked lo see her, and few visited her wilhout leaving some proof of their creduli- ty or pily. v By this means she had collected in the course of two years about 250/. and since that lime ihe the Eiiii) ;,i skil)l)oseft to amount to four or five hundred pounds; but this is only conjeclare, all that can be proved is,that she has deposited 250/. in Ihe hands of Mr. Hitchcock. In order to give additional weight to her case she professed lo he veiy religious: the Bible was laid on her bed, and l;er conversation such as led the ignorant to her to be a per- son of extraordinary piety. But this Blask wa Ihrovrn off whenever she was pressed too hard by pointed questions from those who si ill doubt- ed. On such occasions she would vent such vi- rulent language as would fully evince the absence of any relig-ions priuciple in her. Previous to this time, hcr moral depravity was noforious. She had been separated from her husband ahout twenty years, and has lived in open adultery with another man, by whom she bad two children.â The eldest is now a young woman of about eighteen years, and the other a boy of about six teen years. As her object appears to be the acquisition of money, she thought proper, in order to make a greater impression on ihe public mind, to assert, that since tlit,, little she was watched, she has not taken any thing whatever. That her case is a miracle wrought -immediately by the power of God, an interference of Divine Providence on her IJ i a If. liy which she is kept alive without ei- ther eating or drinking. She also declared that g'.ie had so far lost ihe po wer of swallowing, that if she was to attempt, it, s;u would be suffo- cated. That she hart no evacuation. That she never sleeps. That if her veins were pricked there would come out blood and water! But .as she evidently [jays no regard to tiuth, her assertions are not entitled to any credit. In- deed the f'ullest and most complete contradiction can now be given to her false assertions. Though the declaration of the persolls who for- nwrlywatche(1 her, in addition to her own asser- tions,had obtained considerable credit, there yet remained many persons who refused their assent: ,fie wiii therefore called upon both by tliose wli,) doubted and those who believed, her testimony, to submit ion second watch. Six years had elapsed since the first watch. She was still in perfect health and free from pain. She looked even better than she had done for some years.â Conscious of her own deception, she would not submit to be watched a second time, although a large sum was offered her. At last a publication I)i-. Henderson, in which he expressed his reasons for withholding his assent, roused her partizans to offer the most effectual answer to his pamphlet. "Yon must be watched," said they, or you will be considered as an impostor." pressed with numerous and repeated solicita- tions, at last she assented. But in order to throw possible difficulty in the way, she refused to be watched by any other persons than ministers of the Church of England, medical men and ma- stratei. This she did, probably supposing ("hat a sufficient number of such persons twilling- to undertake the office) would not be found. At last, however, a committee was formed, at the head of which the uame of Sir Oswald Moseley, Bari. of Rolleston, is found. Circular letters were sent to iniiiiitei-s and medical gentlemen of the neighbouring towns, and a number sufficient for te purpose was at last obtained. The Committee riibt on Tuesday, the 20th of April, 1813, And the length of time which they determined she should be watched was one month. This she vehemently refused to submit to, but as no shorter time would satisfy the medical part of the Committee she at last was obliged to'assent. In order to discover the imposture, it was thought proper that she should first be weighed, and that she should be taken from the bed on which she then was, and placed on one which had a machine for weighing attached to it. This proposition was received by her with signs of the greatest dissatisfaction, and for a time she abso- lutely refused to be weighed. "They may bring Ihe bed (said ihe) and place the machine under it, and 1 will hreak up the watch immediately." Conscious that her deception would undoubtedly be discovered by her daily loss of weight, she nrobably would never have submitted to be weighed, had she not been prevailed upon by a person to whose opinion she seemed to pay some deference. But in order to prepare the public mind for what she knew would follow, she said, "I may lose 2 or 31b. weight; t lost weight before." Now this she could not know, fur he was not weighed before. I'll not be weighed alone (said she) the bed and bedding shall be altogether," supposing there would be room for charging her loss of weight, in part, to them. The bed was filled with chaff, and the clothes examined in the presence of the Committee. The watch entered on their oflice at two o'clock on Wednesday. She received the watchers with as much good manners as she was capable of, though she had been crying bitterly before they came. The first watch, which continued four hours was began by Sir Oswald Mosley, and the Rev. Leigh Richmond, and followed by several other gentlemen. At the end of seven days the public was informed that she had, during that time, taken no food whatever. Great confidence was now expressed by her advocates that she would endure I h ordeal with credit- Though it was very evident to all (he persons who attended her towards the ciose of the week, that she was suf- fering severely from want. And when the ma- chine for weighing her was placed under the bed, it was found that she lost weight rapidly. At last, an the ninth day, she insisted on the watch- ers quitting the room, declaring that she was very iil,, and that her daughter must be sent for. She was now greatly reduced, and the watchers who attendell her were much alarmed, lest she should expire, and apprehensive of being impli- cated in the charge of murder, they quitted the room and admitted the daughter. It was thought that she could not live two hours longer, but after the watchers had left her, and the daughter admitted, and had administered what she thought proper, the mother began to recover, and now no apprehensions are entertained of her danger. One remarkable circumstance was, that on Friday, the 30th of April, after the watch broke up, she desired to take a solemn oath, that she had not (iiii-iiir the time she was watched, taken I any food whatever which oath was administered unto her.-This she did in hope, notwithstanding all, si ill to impose on the public. That such an '111, 9 oath should have been administered, is very as- tonishing. But as her shift with the deep stain of urine and excrement, was discovered in the room, to her utter confusion, she was brought at last to the following confession. I, Ann Moore, of Tutbury, humbly asking pardon of all persons whom I have attempted to deceive and impose upon, and above all, with the most IInreigncd sorrow ancl contrition, imploring the Divine mercy and forgiveness of that God whom I have so greatly offended, do most so- lemnly declare that I have occasioliaty taken sus- tenance for the last six years. W itlless my band this 4th day of May, 1813. AN *N' MOORE, her mark." The above declaration of Ann Moore was made before me, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace fur the county of Stafford, THOMAS LISTER." Witness to the ahove Declaration aud Sig- nature of my mother, Ann Moore, MARY MOORE." Signed by order and in the name of the Com- mittee, JOS. B. H. BENNETT, Secretary.

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