What does the treatment of Lucy by the authorities show about 19th century attitudes to the crime of infant murder?
Child murder - the case of Lucy Lowe: Task 5
Why did Lucy not die by hanging?
From the court records (ASSI.12.9 and ASSI.11.33), (provide links)
- What was the verdict?
- What was the sentence?
- Was it carried out?
Look at the list of jurors in ASSI.11.33.
- What does this tell you about the position of women in the Courts?
From the Home Office Records (HO45.9413.56783.1) (provide link)
Why did Lucy gain her remission?
- Did the judge wish the Home Office to carry out the jury's recommendation for mercy?
- How did the Secretary of State feel about it?
From the evidence after the trial:
Look at the first
letters written by Lucy to beg for her release. The writing in the margin of each is a summary written by the clerk of the Secretary of State who makes the decision. The gaol record says that she could read and write -imperfectly?.
Back to Lucy Lowe alias Ellis - Child Murder homepage
- Do you think she had help in writing these letters, and the letter she wrote to Mrs Kirkman?
- The two letters from prison are 9 months apart, and almost identical. Why might the second letter succeed when the first failed to get Lucy released?
- How does Lucy explain her action in murdering her child?
- How does this confirm what you have found out about single mothers working as servants?