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Catherine Wilson, aged 40, a good-looking woman, described as a widow, was indicted at the Central Criminal Court, on Thursday, for the wilful murder of j Maria Soiines. Mr. J. Clerk and Mr. Beasley conducted the prosecu- tion, instructed by Mr. Pollard, the assistant solicitor to the Treasury; Mr. Oppenheim, Mr. Montagu Williams, and Mr. Warton, were counsel for the prisoner. This charge was one of a very extraordinary character. The prisoner was tried in this court a few sessions back for the offence of attempting to commit murder by poison, but upon that occasion she was acquitted. In conse- quence, however, of certain facts that became known the Government felt it their duty to direct, further proceed- ings to be taken, and the result has been t.h t the pri- soner now stands committed upon two charges of wilful murder by poison. The prisoner was seated in the dock during the trial, and she appeared to listen to the evi- dence of the various witnesses who were examined with deep interest and anxiety. Mr. Clerk, in opening the case for the prosecution, said the case was one that, would peculiarly demand the must serious consideration of the jury, because the offence was alleged to have been committed several years ago, namely, in the month of October, 1856. The learned counsel then proceeded to give an outline of the evid- nee he proposed to briftg forward in support of the charge. The following witnesses were then examined. Mr. S. W. Barnes said I am the half-brother of the deceased, and reside at Holloway. The deceased was a widow, and resided at No. 27, Alfred-street, Bedford- square, and she died on the 18th of October, 1856. I saw her at my house on the 15th of October, in the after- noon. She was then perfectly well, and had her dinner with my family. Her health was generally very good. She borrowed X9 of me, and I think I gave it her in gold. I had paid her some more money a short time before this for a legacy. I saw her again on Friday, the 17th of October, about half-past nine in the evening. She was in bed, and complaiaed of great pain and sick- ness. I remained with her nearly an hour, and when I left, she was in the same state. I saw the prisoner in the bed-room of the deceased at this time, and she appeared to be attending upon my sister. I was sent for again on the following morning, and informed that my sister was dead. I went to her house, but I cannot recollect whether I saw the prisoner. A coroner's inquest was held on the following Monday or Tuesday, at my instance. I remember a letter being received on the Monday, It was given to me by Miss Rowe. The letter was put ia and read. It was as follows, but bore neither date nor address, nor iname:- Dear Maria,—I hope you was not very hurt at my not being at home on Friday. I was surprised to hear a lady in black wanted me. I can't let you have the £80 now, but if you will let me have ten more., i will by next Monday come into the corner—don't say anything of what you are going to do 10 any body—send me word if you was not well after you got home on Wednesday, as you was unhappy in the afternoon-direct this letter as the first used to be for the old postman found fault in the.street-be cheerful and.conie on Wednesday—i will be there —write by return. Your, Mrs. Anne Naacke said: I am the eldest daughter of the deceased, and at the time of her death I and another sister lived with her. I remember the prisoner coming to lodge at my mother's house, No. 27, Alfred-street. It was about Christmas, 1855. She occupied the first floor, unfurnished, and a man named Dixon came with ber whom sh" represented to be her brother; and they each occupied one of the rooms on the first floor. A Mr. Stevenson and his wife lodged on the second floor. The prisoner became very intimate with my mother soon after she came, and my mother frequently went to her room. I recollect my mother going to see her brother on Wednesday, the 15th of October. She came home between four and five o'clock, and we all had tea together, and my mother appeared quite well. The prisoner came in while we were at tea, and told my mother that she wanted to speak to her, and she went up to her room. I did not notice any sickness or illness in my mother before I went to bed; but at six o'clock the nex' morning she came to mo, and said she was very ill with a bilious attack, and she must go to bed again, and she did so. I SIlW her soon afterwards, and she was very sick, and com- plained of great pain in her chest, and she vomited while I was in the room. During the Thursday I saw the prisoner in my mother's bed-room, and in my presence she gave something to drink to my mother, but she did not tell me it was brandy and egg. My mother continued very ill during the whole of the Thursday, and I pro- posed to her to sit up with her, but I did not do so. On Friday morning, the 17th my mother was still very ill, and always complained of the Stckue s and pain in her chest, and she vomited every ten minutes or quarter of an hour, and appeared to be getting weaker. Dr. Whidborne was a cut for during the day, and some medicine came to the house for my mother, and I saw the prisoner give her a portion of the medicine, and she then took the medicine bottle away with her; and she did so every time she administered the medicine. My mother did not appear to be getting any better of the sickness and pain until just before her desth. I sat up with her on the Friday night, and she died about five o'clock in the morning. About an hour before this my muther said she felt, better, and the prisoner said it was time to take her medicine again, and she gave her some. My mother was very ill and in great pain immediately, and said she would not take any more of the medicine, and the pri- soner said she must do so, and that it would do her good. I went for the doctor, and when I returned my mother appeared very much worse and in violent agony, and she diedin about half anhour. Alady named Miss Emma Rowe lodged at the" other house, and she came in just after my mother died. Soon after the funeral the pri- soner told me that my mother had borrowed £ 1 0 of her, and I told her I was surprised at it. I had never heard of it before. The prisoner showed me a piper which she said had been written by my mother, and I believe it was her handwriting. It was a promise to pay the bearer £ 10. I and my uncle afterwards paicl the prisoner that sum. My mother always paid her bills regularly, but at the time of her death the bills were a few weeks in ar- rear. I had never heard anything about my mother going to be married again.. Sarah Soames, a sister of the last witness, corroborated the above evidence in some particulars, as did also the next witness, Miss Emma Rowe. Several other witnesses having been examined, Mr. G. Whidborne, a surgeon practising in Guildford- street, Russell-square, said :—I attended the deceased on Friday, th& 17th of October, and found her suffering from great sickness and pain in the bowels there were also spasms and great restlessness. I heard that she had vomited, and there had been a great deal of purging before I came. The deceased looked very dejected, and in consequence of the state I found her in I inquired what she had taken, and she said she had taken some pork pie, which she supposed might have disagreed with her. The prisoner was present, and she appeared very kind to the deceased. She said the pork pie was verj' good, and she showed me the remainder of it. I prepared some medicine, which contained a mild preparation of opium, and it was sent to the deceased's house immediately. On the Friday night I remember a statement being made by the prisoner to the effect, that the deceased had got into some trouble and anxiety on account of her connection with some man she had met in an omni bus. I was at the house of the deceased at a very early hour on the Saturday morn- ing, and the deceased was then alive, but as ill as she possibly could be, and I considered that she was near her end. After the death had taken plice an application was made to me for a certificate as to the cause of death, and I refused to give one. I was afterwards examined at the inquest, and made a post-mortem examination of the body, and to the best of my recollection the mucous membrane of the stomach and bowels was inflamed, and I atttributed the death of the deceased to that inflammation. An overdose of colchicum would produce all the symptoms that ware exhibited by the deceased, namely, vomiting, purging, sickness, and pain in the chest and bowels. I was satisiied at the time that the inflammation in the stomach of the deceased had been produced by some- thing she had taken, and any vegetable irritant pcison would have produced all these appearances; and colchi- cum, if administered in brandy and egg, or brandy and water, would certainly have done so. I also have no doubt that such a poison might pass out of the system without leaving any trace. On Friday the prisoner was again placed at the bar, when the following additional evidence was given:—Dr. Whidborne was cross-examined at_ great lepgth. In answer to questions put to him he said:—My impression in the first instance was that the deceased was suffering from an attack of choleraic diarrhoea, and I administered the usual medicine for that complaint without any loss of time. When I found that it had no effect I increased the strength of my medicine, and also ordered an embro- cation and mustard plasters. The symptoms were the ordinary ones of choleraic diarrhoea. I have never known of a case where persons attacked with choleraic diarrhoea, or English cholera, have died within forty-eight or fifty hours. To the best of my belief the administration of an irritant poison would be likely-to produce an appearance of anxiety and dejection in the person who had taken it. The time that elapsed between the death and the post- mortem examination would account for not discoverint; anv vegetable poison in the body. Considering the state I of the patient, her previous good health, and the other cir- cumstances, and the suddenness of the death, I cannot acnount fo4r it bv natural means. Dr. Alfred Swavne Taylor, the eminent professor of medical jurisprudence at Guy's Hospital, was next ex- amined. He said: I have for a great many years paid much attention to the subject of poisons, and I am of opinion that after a body had been buried five years it would be impossible to find any trace of vegetable poison. I also believe that if such a poison was administered in a fluid state it would not be discoverable five days after death. Vomiting and retching are symptoms of English cholera, and sometimes they are accompanied by purg- ing. I never heard or read of death occurring from English cholera in forty-eight or fifty hours. Dis- tortion of the features and clenching of the hands are not. usual symptoms after death in cases of English chtlera.- Cross-examined; I made a post-mortem examination of the remains of the deceased after they were exhumed inJulvlast. 1 found no trace of any poison whatever The cholera disease of 1854-55 was a peculiar malady, and combined the symptoms of Asiatic and English cholera, but the latter disease was ceitainly rendered much more malignant. In the case where a vegetable irritant poison has been administered, the pain generally continues until the last moment, and when once the noison is absorbed by the blood it is impossible to expel it. Some vegetable poisons would, after this, leave a trace in the blood, but that is not so with colchicum, which never has been discovered after a certain period has elapsed. Dr. Nunnelev was the next witness—He said: I am a felJow of the Royal College of Physicians, practising at Leeds. I have paid great attention to cases of poisoning, and having heard the evidence of Dr. Taylor, I agree with him in the opinion be has given in reference to this case Elizabeth Hill said In the year 1855 I lived with the prisoner as her servant at Boston, and I accompanied her to London and went to live with her at Mrs. Soames's. At, Christmas, 1855, the prisoner was in want of money, and she sent me to borrow a sovereign of Mrs. Soames, but she could only let her have half a sovereign. The prisoner also pawned some of her things about the same time, and she likewise endeavoured to borrow some monev from a loan society. This cloied the case for the prosecution, and the court was adjouraed for a short time. Mr. Opp-nheim then proceeded to address the jury on behalf of the prisoner. The jury would not, he was sure, forget in the outset that the death of the deceased took place six years back, and that there was a full inquiry at that period when all the facts were fresh in the recollec- tion of the witnesses, and that the coroner's jury had ex- onerated the prisoner from any guilt in the transaction. After a long interval it had been thought advisable that tha body should be exhumed, and the feelings of the family had been harrowed by being again com- pelled to come forward and give their evidence, but he submitted that the evidence given after so long a period could not be implicitly relied upon, and that it was not entitled to so much weight as that which was given originally, and they ought to pause long before they re- turned a verdict the effect of which would be to consign the prisoner to an ignominious death upon evidence that was so given. He then proceeded to comment upon the other facts that had been given in evidence, and he con- cluded a very able speech by stating that, altho-igh there might be some suspicion against the prisoner, still that the evidence was not at all conclusive, and that the prisoner was therefore entitled to an acquittal. The learned judge postponed the summing up until the following morning.

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