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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:40 am 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
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Location: Staffordshire
Preston Guardian

27 January 1849

Singular Charge of Wilful Damage to Cotton Warps

On Saturday last, before William Lister Sagar, Esq., Mary, wife of Mr. David Clegg, of Primet-bridge, was charged with having, on the Wednesday night previously, damaged some cotton warps, in the possession of Mrs. Walker, of Primet-bridge, by throwing upon them a quantity of sulphuric acid. -Mary Walker, the daughter of the prosecutor, stated that the cart in which the warps were placed, was standing nearly opposite to her mother's door, at about half-past nine o'clock on Wednesday night; that on coming out of her mother's door, she saw Mrs. Clegg just turning away from the hinder part of the cart in which the warps were placed. -Richard Wilkinson, a servant of Mrs. Walker, stated that he was standing about three yards from the cart, and saw Mrs. Clegg come to the further side of the hinder part of the cart, and appeared to take something like a gill bottle from under her shawl, and pour the contents upon the warps, and then go away; that he followed within three yards of her, and saw her enter at the door of her own house. He might have apprehended her in the very act, but he did not do so (as he said) from fear of being charged with assaulting her. On a light being brought to the cart, it was discovered that about a tea spoonful and a half of sulphuric acid has been thrown upon a package of warps, at the hinder part of the cart. -On the other hand, it was proved that such damage could not have been committed by Mrs. Clegg. Mrs. Baldwin, of Spring House, near Colne, stated that on Wednesday night she called on Mrs. Clegg, and was with her in her own house at Primet-bridge, from half-past eight till half-past nine o'clock, and that Mrs. Clegg was never out of her own house during that time. -Charles Clegg, the servant of David Clegg, deposed that, as he was returning home from Colne, he saw Mrs. Baldwin coming up the path from Mrs. Clegg's door; that he immediately went into Mr. Clegg's (with whom he lives) on Mrs. Baldwin leaving it, and that he went no more out during the night; that Mrs. Clegg was in the house when he went in, and never went out that night afterwards; that he saw Mr. and Mrs. Clegg go up stairs to bed, between ten and eleven; and that he was up the last, and barred the door. -Notwithstanding the small amount of damage alleged to be done, and the positive evidence of an alibi, the magistrate felt it his duty to commit Mrs. Clegg to take her trial at the next Liverpool assizes. Leonard Baldwin, Esq., and the Rev. John Henderson, incumbent of St. John's, entered into recognizances for her appearance, Mr. John Hartley conducted the inquiry on behalf of the prosecutor; and Mr. Wasney, counsel, and Mr. Henderson, attorney, defended Mrs. Clegg.

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