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Margaret Hayes

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Margaret Hayes

Post by Karen on Sun 12 May 2013 - 11:12

Margaret Hayes was a witness who testified at the Emma Elizabeth Smith inquest. I found an article about a charwoman who would have been approximately 34 years of age in 1868.


Mary Williams, a cook in the service of the Hon. Mrs. J. Yarde Buller, 23, Chesham-place, was finally examined before Mr. Ingham, at the Westminster Police-court, on Friday, under the following circumstances: -
Margaret Hayes, a charwoman, employed by the servants at the house without the knowledge of the mistress, was twice detected leaving with broken victuals, and some curried meat, and was found in possession of two or three plates and a basin. She stated that the victuals had been given her by the cook, but that she intended to return the plates
in which the food was brought away. She added that she had taken larger quantities away on other occasions, and on this information the prisoner was given into custody, and remanded from Monday for the attendance of the Hon. Mrs. Buller. The defence set up by the accused was that the broken meat was stock and curried meat which none of the servants would eat,
and that the accused considered that under those circumstances she was doing no wrong in giving it away.
The Hon. Mrs. Buller said the prisoner was a mere temporary servant at 1 pound per week. At the time she was hired, in October last, nothing was said about permission to dispose of any food. She had had occasion to complain to prisoner two or three times of the increased and extravagant consumption of food, but it went on still higher.
In answer to an inquiry from Mr. Ingham, the lady replied that nothing was ever said to the prisoner about refuse food or perquisites.
Margaret Hayes was recalled, and said that she had the broken meat, hash, &c., which she regularly took home, as her only compensation for going to the house of a morning to help the servants. She had been employed 14 weeks, and took something away every morning. She returned plates and basins.
Mr. Ingham said he had been desirous of knowing from the mistress herself whether a distinct caution had ever been given the prisoner not to dispose of refuse food. It was difficult to convict unless distinct prohibition was shown. Cooks considered they had a great latitude unless there was a distinct prohibition. He had sent persons for trial under circumstances like the present,
and the result had always been acquittal. He recommended that the case should be withdrawn.
This was immediately done, the lady's solicitor expressing a hope that the magistrate did not consider there had been any impropriety in bringing the matter forward.
Mr. Ingham said there was not the least. Prisoner had no right to take the things. She had no pretence for giving the food away, and the matter was a very proper one for thorough investigation.

Source: County Observer and Monmouthshire Central Advertiser, 15 February 1868, Page 7

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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