Mudcat Café message #3634354 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #154724   Message #3634354
Posted By: Fergie
18-Jun-14 - 02:08 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Aussie versions of Child ballads?
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Aussie versions of Child ballads?
A version of The Cruel Mother (Child 20) perhaps?

Transcribed from a piece in the Riverina Recorder. Page 6. Wed 5 Feb 1896

Some curious specimens of composition and printing of the order once known as Grub-street have recently found their way into our possession in a collection, made by a curious individual, of those once familiar sheets which were sold outside Newgate and other prisons on "hanging Mondays" and were by courtesy supposed to contain a full, true, and particular account of "the life, trial, and execution" of one of the many poor wretches who in the early years of the century almost weekly paid the last penalty of the law. A Mr, Carpue, of Old Montague Street, Osborn Street, Whitechapel, seems to have been responsible for a good many of these productions, and perhaps was the author as well as the printer of them, as they all give evidence of being written by the same person. In the majority of cases at the head of these sheets there is an illustration of the 'horrible deed' which brought about the trial in question, drawn by some gentleman who evidently had wonderful ideas of proportion and perspective, and a love of details in bedroom furniture, truly amazing. The particular bill now before us deals with the murder of an infant by a certain Ann Clarke, who is represented in the drawing as carving the head off a doll like child certainly not more than ten inches long opposed to her own ten feet of height. The inquest, we learn, was held at the sign of the Norfolk Arms in Hart's Lane, Bethnal Green, on January 9, 1835, when the sixteen gentlemen who formed the jury had no difficulty, after hearing the evidence, in finding a verdict of wilful murder against poor Ann. Then follow details of further proceedings, and the whole concludes with the following "affecting copy of verses," the poet's name, how ever, being withheld.

Oh, listen to this mournful tale, it's the worst you e'er did hear,
Will cause each Christian to bewail and draw from them a tear.
It's of a base and guilty wretch, her hands with blood imbrued,
Each feeling heart must be amazed when they hear this tale of blood.
In Pollards Row, Bethnal Green, the truth I will explain,
How a cruel mother her infant she has slain ;
She took a razor in her hand, without any fear or dread.
She cut its throat from ear to ear, and severed off its head.

When the husband he came home at night, and at the door did knock,
And on entering into the room how dreadful was the shook
To see the infant laying on the bed all weltering in its gore
Such a blood-thirsty deed as this was never heard of before.

The wretch who could stain her hand with her own infant's blood,
Such actions when discovered is for the public good,
Each feeling heart must now lament this sad atrocious deed,
Committed by a female hand on her own infant seed.

Then mothers all a warning take from this unhappy tale,
And whatever follies you commit never have it to bewail,
But she is now taken for this crime and is to Newgate sent,
And there she must lay, her trial to take, and in sorrow to lament.

It may be as well to add that the lady referred to in the above lines did not meet the fate usually awaiting persons so charged in her day, but, found guilty, was confined as a criminal lunatic during the please of the authorities.