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of any otherwise, after she writ that letter to him. And when her mother asked him, before the Lord Chief Justice Holt, what money he had in his hands, of her daughter's? He said, none; and also said, he thought his reputation would have secured, or carried him above sus. picions or examinations of this kind.
But it may easily be gathered who carried her money away, for a great deal of it was in gold; and that very morning he went away, when he had lodged at her mother's house, he very much importuned her to come to his house at London; and told her, how glad his wife would be of her company, and used many arguments to persuade her to it; and at length said, he would not go out of the house, till she had promised him to come: but she refused to promise him, and said, she did not know when she should come to London. This discourse was in the bearing of one that will evidence it upon oath.
The week before that assize, she received a letter from his wife, which was writ after the usual manner, as she had several not long before, very earnestly inviting her to her house at London, with high expressions of love, and so much the more she desired her company then, because she believed they should not come to lodge at Hertford that summer : and in that letter tells her, that they must expect her husband at their house at the assize; the which she told her mother, and others, who read the letter. This letter Spencer Cowper confessed to the coroner's inquest, that he ordered his wife to write it for his lodging at her mother's house; but, when he was examined by the Lord Chief Justice Holt, he then denied it, and said, his wife writ no letter : but her maid, Sarah Walker, being present, told him, his wife did send a letter, and that she herself took it in of the post-man, and gave it to her mistress ; so then he could not deny that there was a letter sent.
And accordingly he came, and sent his horse thither; and being asked, before he rid from the door, whether he would come to dinner? He said, he was not certain, but would send word: but, her mother and she staying long, and he not sending, they sent her maid, to see whether he would come or no; who then quickly came, and dined there; and when he went from thence, the young woman, S. S. going to the door with him, asked, if he thought to lodge at their house? He said, yes, he would come and lodge at their house. This she said as soon as he was gone; and then bid the maid go get his bed ready. At night, when he came, her mother being in the room with her, he fell into some discourse remote from any thing of her daughter's busi. ness; and, after some time, called for pen and ink, to write a letter to his wife, although it was not post-night, nor did any carrier go next day. When he went to write, her mother and she went out of the soom, and staid a considerable time; but, it growing late, the young woman went in, to see if he had done, and if he would have any supper; and what he desired he had. Her mother went not in again, because she knew her daughter expected he would give her some account of her money, and bave brought her security for it, as he did the sessions before, for her two hundred pounds; and she, finding that he would not speak of it before her, would not interrupt them, but gave her daughter time and opportunity to speak to him. What discourse they
had, is not known; but, sure enough, they differed about it, for he had writ a receipt in full, for use-money he paid her then, which lay on the table, and was never signed by her, although he pressed her to it several times, as he confessed to the coroner's inquest, and asked her, if she was lazy? Yet, still she refused to sign it, which plainly shewed her dissatisfaction, and that there was more due to her, else she would never have refused it.
Between ten and eleven o'clock, she called her maid to make a fire in his chamber, and to warm his bed, in his hearing; and while the maid was doing it, he went out; her mother, hearing the door clap, went into the parlour, to ask her what the reason was of his going out, when his bed was warming, and, to her surprise, found she was gone tvo, and never saw her alive afterwards, She admired what the meaning of this should be, knowing that she never used to go out so late ; neither could she imagine withher they should be gone; but after some consideration, did think he might tell her, that the securities she expected were to be signed and sealed somewhere in the town, and that he had persuaded her to go out upon that account, and so was in expectation of them quickly. The maid, that was warming his bed, staid, expecting him to come up, thinking, when she heard the noise of the door, he was going to carry his letter somewhere; which, it is thought by some, was his pretence in going out, thereby to draw her to the door, to let him out; for there is no ground to believe she went any farther with him willingly; so they sat up all night, both her mother and the maids, expecting them every minute, not knowing where to look for her at that time of night; but, if they had, would never have gone to the river, where she was found floating the next morning, for there was no manner of circumstance, either in her words, or actions, that did give them any cause to think, she would drown herself, or that she ever had any thing of that nature in her thoughts.
No sooner was she taken out of the river, but it was spread, by his party, both in city and country, that she was with child, and had drowned herself to avoid the shame. That she was not drowned, is clear unto all, who are impartial, and have had a true account of the case, either at the trial, or otherwise, as it plainly appeared by those settlements of blood, and bruises, about her head and neck, and on one of her arms; and her having no water in her, but was empty and lank, when she was first taken out of the water. • The evidence was very full and plain against them, and the judgments of the doctors stand firm and good, and is not, nor ever can be, disproved, by all the evasions and distinctions of voluntary drowning, and drowning by accident; nor by all those little tricks made use of by those on the other side, by drowning, and half drowning of dogs, and other such like experiments, whereby they have only exposed themselves. But when she was taken up again, after she had been buried six weeks, in order to be cleared of that infamous report, which then was given out, for the only reason, why she drowned herself, to wit, her being with child ; then nothing could be more plain, than that she was not drowned, but came by her death some other way, as the
doctors and surgeons did give their opinion, upon oath, before the Lord Chief Justice Holt, and at the trial also.
And it is very probable, that these three gentlemen, J. M. E. S. W. R. knew very well how she came by her death, whose lives Spencer Cowper seemed to be more tender of, than of his own, by their dis. course that night her death was, about an hour after she was missing; for, as soon as they came into their lodgings at John Gurrey's, they could not forbear, but began to ask him several questions about her. Although we do not understand, that either of them had any former knowledge of her; yet Marson pretended, that he had made love to her, and that she had cast him off; but, said he, a friend of mine is even with her by this time; 'then one of the others asked him, if the business was done? If it is not,' said he, it will be done this night: Yes,' says the other, her business is done : Sarah Stout's courting days are over. What could have been spoke plainer, except they had said, she is dead? This was positively proved against them. Also, the said Marson, when he came into his lodging, was in a great sweat, and called for a fire to dry his feet and shoes, they being wet both without and within; and pretended, that he was just then come from London, it being then between eleven and twelve o'clock at night, whereas it was proved, that he came into town two or three hours before. And, when Marson asked the other two, what they had spent that day? One of them asked, what was that to him ? He was to have forty or fifty pounds for his share. The said Marson, also pulling out money out of his pocket, swore that he would spend it all next day, for joy the Þusiness was donc.. And whereas they say in their case to the parliament, they are men in good business at London; if they are so, it had been well, if they had staid in it; for, sure enough, they had no good business at Hertford, neither did they pretend to any at all, but said, they came only to see fashions, to the woman where they lodged.
And it is very observable, how highly displeased Spencer Cowper was, at her being taken up, and how he carnestly besought the judge, that what the doctors did, and said then, might not be allowed, or taken for evidence, alledging, that she ought not to have been taken out of her grave without legal authority, for private inspection of parties, altogether amongst themselves; whereas there ought to have been some on both sides, he says, lest they should have broke her skull, and so the gentlemen should have been trepanned; and yet Dr. Camlin, Sir William Cowper's doctor, was with them all the while, as Dr. Coatsworth told the judge, and was sent for on purpose to take off any such objection; and did set his hand to the certificate, of her clearness of that scandal, with the rest of the doctors: which is as fol
WE, whose names are here-under written, having examined the body of Mrs. Mary Stout, deceased, do find the uterus perfectly free and empty, and of the natural figure and magnitude, as usually in virgins;
we found no water in the stomach, intestines, abdomen, lungs, or cavity of the thorax.
John Dimsdal, sen.
Daniel Phillips, M. D.
When all mouths were stopped, and put to silence in that matter, and no reason could be given why she should drown herself; then S. Cowper was at a loss, and knew not what to pretend, why she should do so; till, to use his own words, some heads were laid together, to contrive, that she was in love with him.
In order to this design, those letters were invented, which were produced in court, for not a word was ever heard of them, before she was taken up again, and a witness was provided, to prove the receiving of them both; but his witness had forgot the year, when the first was writ
, and said, it was March was twelve-month, üll his memory was refreshed by the second, which was dated but four days after, and it seems they had forgotten to date that letter, so as to give it any credit at all
. This was that which he calls that importunate letter, by which he was invited down to lodge at that gentlewoman's house, which was dated the ninth of March.
Now, if her maid Sarah Walker's evidence is observed, she begins with— My Lord, on Friday before the last assize, my Mistress Stout received a letter from Mr. Cowper's wife, to let her know we must expect Mr. Cowper at the assize; and accordingly we expected him, and provided for his coming.'
This was the same day, on which he says he received her letter of invitation, that she received his wife's, by which he invited himself down; so that, if she had really writ that letter, his wife's must needs be writ and sent the day before her's could come to his hands.
And, how those letters should be known to come from Sarah Stout, is very unaccountable; for, if there had been such a person as Mrs. Jane Ellan, at that coffee-house he mentions (which, upon inquiry, we cannot hear there was) what had he to do to open her letters? And how could he tell tbat they were for him, and came from Sarah Stout? Seeing they were not directed to him, nor either S. Cowper, or S. Stout, within them, but only Sir.
To prove these letters to be her hand, he brings his friend Marshall to shew letters, which he pretended she writ to him, as false' as the other; in one of which there was thanks for his songs. It is very unlikely that she should desire, or accept of songs, one, who was never heard to sing a song in her life; and from Marshall too, whose courtship she never received. For he himself said, at the trial, that, upon very little trial, she gave him a very fair denial; and Spencer Cowper
also said, to the coroner's inquest, that Marshall told him, she always gave him the repulse.
This confirms the falseness of that story which he brings to introduce his letters; and, although she is gone, and not in a capacity to defend herself, yet the woman, who, he says, walked with them, is alive, and doth affirm it is not true; which is as followeth :
He says, It happened, one evening, that Mrs. Stout and another, and Mr. Marshall and he, were walking together; and, Mr. Marshall and the other being a little before, she took that opportunity to speak to him, in such terms, as he confessed it surprised him; and said, she did not think he had been so dull. He desiring to know wherein his dulness did consist, she asked, if he thought she would marry Marshall ? He said, yes ; else she had done ill in what she had done. She said, . No; she thought it might serve to divert the censures of the world, and favour her acquaintance with him.
This discourse, if it had been true, would have argued, that she kept Marshall company, and made him believe she would have him; whereas, it seems, she had never seen him in all her life but once, and that was but two or tbree days before, and they were not so much acquainted then, as to speak one to the other; and therefore there could be no ground for such discourse, if she had walked alone with S. Cowper; which she did not; for, the two young women having been taking a walk in the field, as they were coming home, they met Spencer Cowper and Marshall; and they both turned, and walked back before, and the two young women together behind them; and she had no private discourse at all with S. Cowper ; neither had they four any walk together afterwards in the field, or elsewhere.
These letters, which were ushered in by this discourse, he would have it thought, that the shewing of them was so tender a point with him, and that he did it with so much reluctancy and compulsion, that nothing else should have forced him to have brought them on the stage, if-be had not those three innocent gentlemen to defend (surely they had greatly obliged him): and he solemnly protested, That, if he had stood there singly upon his own life, on that evidence, he would not have done it; when, at the same time, and with the same breath, he himself proved it false : For he says, upon the receiving of them, he shewed one to his brother, and both to Marshall, and they both saw it and read it; that was the last, the Friday before that assize, when neither his own life, nor his three gentlemen's, was in any danger ; for she was then alive. And, if there had been such letters of her’s, he could not have shewed them to one that, in all probability, would have exposed or defamed her more than Marshall, a repulsed lover, a kinsman of his wife's, unto whom he endeavoured to betray her: who, upon some slight or disgust she gave him, told Spencer Cowper, that, if he was his friend, he would shoot her: this she told both' ber own, and her mother's maid. And also, as it is observed in the Hertford, letter, the printers, who, with the trial in short-hand, not having taken