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1850.

Evidence.

REG. v. Bird feloniously, wilfully, and of their malice aforethought, did make an ET UXOR. assault, and that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, with

a certain stick of the value of a penny, which they the said Robert

Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife in their right hands then and there Murder had and held, the said Mary Ann Parsons in and upon the head, chest,

shoulders, back, arms, legs and thighs of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, then and there feloniously, wilfully, and of their malice aforethought, did strike and beat, they the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife giving to the said Mary Ann Parsons then and there, thereby, to wit, with the stick aforesaid, in and upon the head, chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs and thighs of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, divers mortal bruises, of which said mortal bruises the said Mary Ann Parsons, from the said 5th day of November in the year aforesaid, until the 4th day of January in the year of our Lord 1850, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did languish and languishing did live, on which said 4th day of January, in the year last aforesaid, the said Mary Ann Parsons, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, of the said mortal bruises died. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, the said Mary Ann Parsons, in manner and form aforesaid feloniously, wilfully, unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against the peace of our Lady

the Queen, her crown and dignity. Second count. Second Count.-And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid,

do further present that the said Robert Courtice Bird, late of the parish of Buckland Brewer, in the county of Devon, and Sarah his wife, late of the same parish, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the 5th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1849, and on divers other days and times between that day and the 3rd day of January, in the year

of our Lord 1850, to wit, on the 1st day of December, in the year of our Lord 1849, and the 1st day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, respectively, with force and arms, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, in and upon one Mary Ann Parsons, in the peace of God and our said Lady the Queen then and there being, feloniously, wilfully, wickedly, unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did make divers, to wit, ten assaults; and that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, with a certain stick, to wit, of the value of one penny, which they the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife in their right hands, then and there, to wit, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, had and held, the said Mary Ann Parsons in and upon the head, chest, shoulders, arms, legs and thighs of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, then and there, to wit, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, and county aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, wickedly, unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did strike and beat, they the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, to the said Mary Ann Parsons then and there, thereby, to wit, with the said stick, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, giving to the said Mary Ann Parsons in and upon the head, chest, shoulders, arms, legs and thighs of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, divers, to wit, ten mortal bruises, of which said mortal bruises the said Mary Ann Parsons, from the said 5th day of November, in the year aforesaid, and the several other days aforesaid, until the 4th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did languish and languishing did live, on which said

Evidence.

4th day of January, in the year last aforesaid, the said Mary Ann Parsons, Reg. v. Bied at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, of the said mortal bruises ET Uxor. died. And so the jurors aforesaid, on their oaths aforesaid, do say

that

1850, the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, the said Mary Ann Parsons, in manner and form aforesaid feloniously, wilfully, unlawfully Murderand wickedly, and of their malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against the peace of our Lady the Queen, her crown and dignity.

Third Count.And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do Third count. further present that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the 5th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1849, and on divers other days and times between that day and the 3rd day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, to wit, on the 1st day of December in the year of our Lord 1849, and Ist day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, respectively, with force and arms, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, in and upon one Mary Ann Parsons, in the peace of God and our said Lady the Queen then and there being, feloniously, wilfully, wickedly and unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did make divers, to wit, ten assaults; and that the said Robert Courtice Bird, with a certain stick of the value of one penny, which he the said Robert Courtice Bird in his right hand then and there, to wit, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, and county aforesaid, had and held, and the said Sarah the wife of the said Robert Courtice Bird, with a certain other stick of the value of one penny, which she the said Sarah in her right hand then and there, to wit, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, and county aforesaid, had and held, the said Mary Ann Parsons in and upon the head, chest, shoulders, arms, legs and thighs of her the said Mary Ann Parsons then and there, to wit, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, and county aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, wickedly, unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did respectively strike and

beat, they the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, respectively, to the said Mary Ann Parsons then and there, thereby, to wit, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, with the several sticks aforesaid, so held by them respectively as aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, giving with this, that they respectively, then and there, thereby gave to the said Mary Ann Parsons in and upon the head, chest, shoulders, arms, legs and thighs of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, divers, to wit, ten mortal bruises, of which said mortal bruises the said Mary Ann Parsons, from the said 5th day of November, in the year of our Lord aforesaid, and the several other days aforesaid, until the 4th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did languish and languishing did live, on which said 4th day of January, in the year last aforesaid, the said Mary Ann Parsons, at the parish aforesaid, and county aforesaid, of the said mortal bruises so given as aforesaid died. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, the said Mary Ann Parsons, in manner and form aforesaid, by the means aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, unlawfully, wickedly, and of their malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against the peace of our Lady the Queen, her crown and dignity.

Fourth Count. And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do Fourth count. further present that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and

Reg. v. Bird seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the 5th day of November, in ET UXOR.

the year of our Lord 1849, and on divers other days and times between 1850.

that day and the 3rd day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, with

force and arms, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, in and Murder upon the said Mary Ann Parsons, in the peace of God and our said Lady Evidence.

the Queen then and there being, feloniously, wilfully, unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did make divers assaults ; and that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, with a certain scourge, to wit, a scourge made of certain leather thongs, to a certain stick affixed, of the value of a penny, which they the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife in their right hands then and there, to wit, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid and county aforesaid, bad and held, the said Mary Ann Parsons in and upon the head, chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs and thighs of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, then and there feloniously, wilfully, and of their malice aforethought, did strike and beat, they the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife giving to the said Mary Ann Parsons then and there, thereby, to wit, with the scourge aforesaid, at the several times aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, in and upon the head, chest, shoulders, back, arms, legs and thighs of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, divers mortal bruises, of which said mortal bruises the said Mary Ann Parsons, from the said 5th day of November, and the said other days and times, until the said 4th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850 aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did languish and languishing did live, on which said 4th day of January, in the year last aforesaid, the said Mary Ann Parsons, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, of the said several mortal bruises died. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife the said Mary Ann Parsons, in manner and form aforesaid, by the means aforesaid, feloniously, wilfully, and of their malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against the peace of our Lady the Queen, her crown

and dignity. Fifth count. Fifth Count. And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do

further present, that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the 1st day of January, in the year our Lord 1850, with force and arms, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, in and upon the said Mary Ann Parsons, in the peace of God and our Lady the Queen then and there being, feloniously, wilfully, wickedly and unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did make an assault; and that the said Robert Courtice Bird, with both his hands, and the said Sarah Bird, with both her hands, the said Mary Ann Parsons to and against the ground, then and there feloniously, wickedly, wilfully, unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did cast and throw, by which said casting and throwing the said Mary Ann Parsons to and against the ground, the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah Bird, then and there gave the said Mary Ann Parsons divers mortal bruises in and upon the head, stomach, sides and back of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, of which said mortal bruises the said Mary Ann Parsons, from the said 1st day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, until the 4th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, to wit, then and there, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did languish and languishing did live, on which said 4th day of January, in the year last aforesaid, the said Mary Ann Parsons, at the parish afore

of

1850.

said, in the county aforesaid, of the said mortal bruises died. And so the Reg. v. BIRD jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say that the said Robert

ET Uxor. Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, the said Mary Ann Parsons, in manner and form aforesaid, by the means aforesaid, feloniously, wickedly, wilfully, unlawfully, of their malice aforethought, did kill and murder, Murderagainst the peace of our Lady the Queen, her crown and dignity.

Evidence. Sixth Count.And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do Sixth count. further present that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the 1st day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, with force and arms, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, in and upon the said Mary Ann Parsons, in the peace of God and our Lady the Queen then and there being, feloniously, wilfully, wickedly and unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did make an assault; and that the said Robert Courtice Bird, then and there, with both his hands, and the said Sarah the wife of the said Robert Courtice Bird, then and there, with both her hands, the said Mary Ann Parsons to and against the ground then and there feloniously, wickedly, wilfully, unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, respectively, did then and there cast and throw, and that the said Robert Courtice Bird then and there, with both the feet of him the said Robert Courtice Bird, and the said Sarah the wife of the said Robert Courtice Bird, then and there, with both the feet of her the said Sarah, whilst the said Mary Ann Parsons being so then and there cast and thrown to and against the ground, then was then and there upon the ground, the said Mary Ann Parsons in and upon the head, stomach, back and sides of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, then and there feloniously, wickedly, wilfully and unlawfully, and of their malice aforethought, did respectively then and there strike, beat and kick, they the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, then and there, respectively, as well by the casting and throwing of her the said Mary Ann Parsons to the ground as aforesaid, as also by the striking, beating and kicking the said Mary Ann Parsons in and upon the head, stomach, back and sides of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, in manner and form aforesaid, while on the ground as aforesaid, then and there thereby giving to the said Mary Ann Parsons divers, to wit, twenty mortal bruises in and upon the head, stomach, back and sides of her the said Mary Ann Parsons, of which said mortal bruises so caused as aforesaid, the said Mary Ann Parsons, from the said Ist day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, until the 4th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1850, then and there, to wit, at the parish aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, did languish, and languishing did live, on which said 4th day of January, in the year last aforesaid, the said Mary Ann Parsons, at the parish and in the county aforesaid, of the said mortal bruises so given as aforesaid died. And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say that the said Robert Courtice Bird and Sarah his wife, the said Mary Ann Parsons, in manner and form aforesaid, by the means aforesaid, feloniously, wickedly, wilfully and unlawıully, and of their malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against the peace of our Lady the Queen, her crown and dignity.

In his opening to the jury, Rowe relied for a conviction upon proof of a series of ill-usages between the 5th of November and the 26th of December; and he concluded thus:--The prisoners

1850.

REG. v. Bird were charged with the capital offence. No doubt, by the law of ET Uxor. England, if persons, by a series of acts of ill-usage and ill-treat

ment, done wilfully, produced the death of another, that, in the eye

of the law, was murder. But the question, whether they did it Murder

wilfully-whether it was a premeditated act—was entirely for the consideration of the jury, looking at the facts, and under the direction of the judge.

The material facts proved were as follow :

Evidence.

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Evidence for Grace Parsons.-I live at Bideford, and am the mother of the the prosecution. deceased. I saw her after her death on the 4th of January ; she was 14

years old in November last. Mrs. Bird had told her that she ordered the child to go down into the kitchen for water the Thursday, and with that she came down, and fell down twice. Then when the child falled down again, they sent the little boy up stairs; and as he was going up with the light, the girl called out, “Don't bring up a light, for I can't bear it in my eyes.” Then the little boy came back, he did not go up; but Mrs. Bird went up after to see what she wanted. She said she asked the girl what she wanted, and if she wanted to come out of the bed, and then Mr. Bird went up himself, took the child out, and put her on the chamber utensil. When he lifted her up again, they said they heard something running down, and found that the place the child had in her arm had broke, and there was a discharge. That when Mrs. Bird asked the child how she was, she replied, “Very sleepy-when its all quiet, missis, I shall be able to sleep a bit, by and by.” That then both went dowr stairs ; how long they staid Mrs. Bird did not say, but after that she went up stairs again, and found the child's feet and legs very cold. That she then went down stairs again—took a jar, and filled it with the boiling water, and put it to the child's feet and legs. That then she went down stairs again, and on afterwards returning up stairs, found the child's feet and arms cold, but her face quite warm. With that she went down after another jar of water, which she carried back and put upon the child's

Some time in the night she told me that she called out to her husband to go up and see if Mary was dead. That then Mrs. Bird went into the room—that she spoke to the girl, and she did not answer ; she was looking smiling—she had not moved, and where she had left the jars she found them. That she spoke to an old man, who slept in the same room, three times before he spoke to her. She said, “I think Molly's dead, for she's very quiet;" and then the old man said, “I think her is, for I've spoke to her several times, and there was no mouth speech.”

Cross-examined by Mr. SLADE.—When witness asked her why she had not sent for the doctor, Mrs. Bird replied, “Well, that's the only thing I know I'm in fault.” When Mrs. Bird said she had flogged her several times, witness observed there was a mark in the head, Mrs. Bird replied, there had been a tumble, and then gave her the account of the fall by the settle.

William Johns, mason, of Buckland Brewer. Lives about a mile and a half from Gawland, which is a lone farm standing by itself, the nearest house being more than half a mile off. In the month of November last, witness was at Gawland, knew the Birds, Courtice, the uncle, and the deceased. No one but these persons lived in Gawland in November, besides the prisoner's children, the eldest of which is about six or seven years old, Witness was at work there on the 5th of November. Heard

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