Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

A LOOK BACK IN TIME: Two sorry tales

2 min read

This week we have two sorry tales from the Isle of Wight Observer of 4th March, 1854. The French word enceinte was used at the time to refer to the pregnancy of an unmarried woman.

A gentleman, accompanied by a young woman appeared at the Marlborough Street Police Office, London, on Saturday last, and asked permission for his companion to make a statement of her case. The young woman said she was the daughter of a farmer of respectability, in the Isle of Wight. A person assuming to be a gentleman, living in Warwick Street, had lodged during the summer months at her father’s farm, and had induced her, under promise of marriage, to leave her home, and accompany him to London. She had been in London about five months. Her seducer, finder she was enceinte, deserted her and left her penniless. Had it not been for the kindness of the persons where she now lived, she must have found her way into the streets. Her parents were incensed at her conduct, and refused to assist her. Mr. Hardwick said he had no means of effectually interfering in such a lamentable case. All he could do was to afford some temporary assistance from the poor box until confinement occurred, and then, in the parents continued inexorable, to make interest to get the applicant into some reformatory institution.

John Benton, of West Cowes, was charged with neglecting his children, and allowing them to become chargeable to the parish. It appeared that the defendant is a bricklayer and might if he choose have plenty of work, but, giving way to inebriation, he has become a perfect sot and a perfect brute; in consequence of which the children, four in number, have been continually left with scarcely sufficient food for the whole week as would satisfy them for one day, and, in addition to this, the father, or rather the brute, would in his drunken fits cruelly beat them.

He was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment in Winchester-gaol, and to be kept to hard labor.