By Anne-Marie Kilday
This paintings presents a close historical past of infanticide in mainland Britain from 1600 to the trendy period for the first actual time. It examines continuity and alter within the nature and features of new-born baby homicide in Scotland, England and Wales over a chronology of greater than 4 centuries. along delivering a comparative research of the categories of people suspected of the offence, and a close appreciation of the various ways that the crime was once performed, the paintings additionally exposes the huge nexus of causal elements which underpinned its enactment. moreover, the paintings investigates the evolving perspective in social, scientific and criminal contexts to the killing of younger babies in Britain over a noticeable period of time. hence the paintings as a complete is either compelling and cutting edge because it offers the reader with even more than a trifling background of infanticide. The ebook additionally contributes a lot to our figuring out of felony historical past, gender historical past, criminal heritage, clinical historical past and social background in its analyses of different contexts allied to the offence. It does this additionally via its exploration of the advanced features of accusers, commentators and perpetrators throughout cultures, borders and time.
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Extra resources for A History of Infanticide in Britain, c. 1600 to the Present
The midwife, after her inquiry, declared that Ann Price had recently been delivered of a child. Initially, Ann ‘stoutly denied’ the accusation against her, but eventually confessed that it was true, but that as the child had been still-born, she had locked it away in her box. 9 Whether the child had been born dead or alive was 23 24 A History of Infanticide in Britain not contested in court and no associated medical testimony was provided. 10 After all of the evidence for the prosecution had been heard, Ann alleged in her defence that she had tried to call for assistance during her delivery.
35 A simple calculation reveals that, on average, less than one case of new-born child murder a year was brought to the courts’ attention in these North American and European jurisdictions. The only evidence from mainland Europe which contrasts with the general picture of minimal infanticide accusations relates to Otto Ulbricht’s work on eighteenth-century Germany. 2 99 0– 89 17 9 0– 79 0– 17 8 69 17 7 0– 59 17 6 0– 49 17 5 0– 39 17 4 0– 29 17 3 0– 19 17 2 0– 17 1 17 0 0– 09 0 Indictments and convictions for infanticide in London, 1700–1799 Notes: All female, except for five individual male indictments in 1727, 1745, 1752, 1766, and 1788.
100 Moreover, across Europe and North America from the sixteenth century to the 1800s, 38 A History of Infanticide in Britain wherever the occupation of the accused can be discerned, servant women predominated in indictments for new-born child murder. Of the 480 cases of infanticide indicted at the Scottish Justiciary Courts between 1700 and 1820, for instance, 93 per cent of those accused were employed in domestic service. 101 The high incidence of domestic servants as leading protagonists in recorded episodes of infanticide is the third typical characteristic of this offence which will be examined in this chapter.