My blog on 19th-century infanticide was published on Geri Walton’s blog.
In 1805, 17-year-old Mary Morgan gave birth alone in the upstairs room of a Welsh manor house where she worked as an under-cook. Abandoned by her lover and facing immediate dismissal from her job once the baby was discovered, she cut her daughter’s throat with a penknife. But she was quickly found out, tried at the assize court at Presteigne and found guilty. The judge could have recommended mercy but feared that baby-killing was common amongst the poor and uneducated in Wales. He wept as he sentenced her but nevertheless held to his conviction that her execution would send a strong message to other young women in similar circumstances. Mary was hanged on a tree a few days later. The words on her gravestone are a testimony to the anger felt by local people at her fate.