Imprisoned for Fourteen Days for Shocking Cruelty to her Orphan Apprentice
AT the Middlesex Sessions, Elizabeth Middleton was indicted by the parish officers of Whitechapel for cruelty to Elizabeth Summerfield, an orphan female, nine years of age, placed under her care by the parish. The defendant resided in Plumber's Row, near Commercial Road. The child had been with her two years, during which she had continually ill-used her. The child's cries frequently alarmed the neighbours, many of whom remonstrated with the defendant on the inhumanity of her conduct, but without producing any change in her behaviour. It was customary with her to turn the infant into the yard almost naked, in cold frosty weather, and keep her in such situation half-an-hour. On the 27th of July the defendant beat the child, holding her by the head, while a woman who lodged in the same house held her legs. This act of cruelty was seen by two persons, who looked over the yard wall, and they immediately gave information to the parish officers. The little girl corroborated the above facts; and, after the defendant had alleged in her defence that her conduct was misrepresented by her neighbours, the jury found her guilty, and she was sentenced to be imprisoned fourteen days.