Infanticide in the Irish Crown Files at Assizes, 1883–1900



This book presents records relating to 115 suspected infant murder and concealment of birth cases detected in Ireland between 1883 and 1900. The material transcribed in this volume, taken from the Crown Files at Assizes held at the National Archives of Ireland, comprises 1,140 witness statements sworn before coroners and magistrates. Statements from police officers, doctors and the suspect’s wider social circle provide much detailed information about legal, social and women’s history. They also highlight contemporary attitudes towards illegitimacy, single mothers and the extent to which an unwanted pregnancy impacted upon entire households. This text not only records the legal justice system in operation in Ireland in the late nineteenth century, but it also offers a unique insight into the intimate lives of some of Ireland’s inhabitants as well as work, leisure, religion, superstition, education, and institutional and family life of the period.

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Edited by

Elaine Farrell




xxviii + 545 pp



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