Author Topic: Bridget Nolan: infanticide and transportation  (Read 879 times)

Offline KitHannay

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Bridget Nolan: infanticide and transportation
« on: Tuesday 11 October 16 22:10 BST (UK) »
Hi all,

I'm researching a woman named Bridget Nolan (b. abt 1824) from Carlow who on December 7th 1847 allegedly strangled her 6-week old baby, Margaret Nolan, to death. She consistently denied this and stated that it died of convulsion but the inquest said otherwise. Anyways, she was tried (the newspaper reports she was sentenced to death by hanging but this was changed to transportation for life later) and she was transported in 1848. In 1854 she married a man named John Dale (also a convict, from England) and they had two sons. What I'm wondering, is if anyone can figure out their names as on the birth record it seems Bridget and John hadn't decided on the boys' name. The first was born on February 26th, 1855 in Hobart Australia and the second on January 8th 1857.

Also, any knowledge on Bridget's early life before Australia would also be great. She was tried in Laois but I think she probably lived in Carlow. She states that both she and her baby Margaret's father were 'attached to the lunatic asylum in Carlow'. One newspaper reported her to be a nurse there however on her convict records she's described as a housemaid. She states that Margaret's father is a man named William James (not sure about that surname but that's all I could make of the handwriting).

I know that's a lot of info but hopefully someone will know something.

Thanks.
Hanna, Donoghue, Johnson, Williams, Glackin, Bradley, Fenlon, Carroll, McGinley, Haughey, Holmes, Cross

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Offline KitHannay

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Re: Bridget Nolan: infanticide and transportation
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 11 October 16 22:16 BST (UK) »
Also, take a look at this: http://search.archives.tas.gov.au/ImageViewer/image_viewer.htm?CON15-1-5,318,114,F,37

It is a page from Bridget's convict report. Hers is the second line from the bottom, the one about the murder of a child 6 weeks old. I'm wondering if you could figure out what it says under 'other remarks' for her line? I think it's a section to include your family, notice above in some other woman's line it says 'hus - Pat' as in her husband is named Pat? I wonder if you can tell who Bridget's relatives are?
Hanna, Donoghue, Johnson, Williams, Glackin, Bradley, Fenlon, Carroll, McGinley, Haughey, Holmes, Cross

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Offline ScouseBoy

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Re: Bridget Nolan: infanticide and transportation
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 11 October 16 22:20 BST (UK) »
She could possibly have been suffering from post natal psychosis.   She may have needed treatment not punishment
Nursall   ~    Buckinghamshire
Avies ~   Norwich

Offline KitHannay

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Re: Bridget Nolan: infanticide and transportation
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 11 October 16 22:28 BST (UK) »
Yes I agree. The following was reported in the Leinster Express. It's the most comprehensive cover of the story: Bridget Nolan was indicted for having, on the 7th of December last, assaulted Margaret Nolan, her infant child, by tying a certain handkerchief and string about its neck, and then, that she feloniously, wilfully, and with malice aforethought, did then fix, tie, and fasten said string about its neck, so as to suffocate and strangle it.
Anne Byron sworn and examined by Mr. Griffih – Witness keeps lodging house at Carlow; the prisoner had a healthy female child; in the morning of 7th December she was feeding it; but it would not swallow the food; about night-fall she left the lodging saying she was going to the doctor with the child; about a lapse of two hours she returned with it; having asked her where the baby was she answered she left it at Tullow-street; with a woman who said it was too sick to take out in the cold; witness then said she should account for the infant; she got her husband to lockup the prisoner, until the police were sent for; saw the same child dead in the police barrack, of Graigue; it was about a month old.
Cross-examined by Mr. Cruise – Some children of a month old are subject to convulsions: infants may be well to-day and dead to-morrow; the prisoner also said on her return that she left the child with its father; always considered the girl to be steady; heard that she lived in the Asylum, where she had the child with a man living there; heard her tell the police that the father of the child was a married man.
Henrietta Colclough examined by Mr. Corballia – She stopped in the same lodging house with the prisoner at Carlow; the child appeared to be a healthy one; on the evening the prisoner left the house witness followed her to a lane, which lead into the fields opposite the church; the child was crying at the time, witness then returned; she afterwards saw the prisoner at the lodging; but the child was not with her then; the child she saw at the inquest was Bridget Nolan’s.
Constable Larke examined – The prisoner was handed over to him by the Carlow police; he found a child in Thompson’s field; she said she had buried hers there; she said it died of convulsions; and that she had buried it there for want of a coffin.
Head-Constable Lowther, of the Carlow station got the prisoner from the first witness, on the evening of the 7th of December; he cautioned her in the usual manner; she then stated that she left the child at a lodging house in Graigue; he went with her to that place, when she stated that it was no use to go farther; as she had thrown the child into the Barrow; she then added that it was born at Leghlin-bridge; and that it was christened Margaret Nolan, by the Rev. Mr. Sinnott; it was about 6 weeks old.
Ebenezer Bolton, Esq., M. D., examined the infant at inquest, on the 10th of December; the child had impression of some handkerchief or some woven substance being tightly pulled round its neck; I should say that it came by its death in consequence of strangulation; the child had been a very healthy one to all appearance.
Mr. Cruise addressed the jury for the prisoner.
The jury having handed in a verdict of guilty.
The prisoner was ordered to be removed, before she was taken away, his Lordship told her it would be his distressing duty hereafter, to pass on her the awful sentence of death.
Hanna, Donoghue, Johnson, Williams, Glackin, Bradley, Fenlon, Carroll, McGinley, Haughey, Holmes, Cross

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Re: Bridget Nolan: infanticide and transportation
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 11 October 16 22:46 BST (UK) »
she was a native of Queens Co, with brothers Andrew Ml (Michael) Sisters Catherine Maria


Offline noland01

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Re: Bridget Nolan: infanticide and transportation
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 11 October 16 23:15 BST (UK) »
Hi,
See where you mention the child possibly being baptised in Leighlin.

http://registers.nli.ie/registers/vtls000634499#page/22/mode/1up

Last entry on left hand page (November 1847) has a child christened to a Bridget Nolan and William James (protestant).Sponsors look like Michael Holmes and Bridget KInsella.Address could be Graigue.Hard to tell without playing around a bit with the image.Graigue would be Co. Laois but beside Carlow town and not that far (5 miles or so) from Leighlinbridge.
McDonnell McDonald Gorman Cronley(Laois) Nolan Byrne O Byrne Brady Brennan Keeffe(Carlow)
O'Neill, O'Connor, Burbridge, Casey (Dublin)

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Re: Bridget Nolan: infanticide and transportation
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 11 October 16 23:32 BST (UK) »
Hard to make out!!
.

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