Newgate Calendar - REBECCA LEE


A Cruel Mistress to her Servant Maid

            AS soon as many an innocent buxom lass in the country, through strict frugality, has saved a few pounds out of her scanty wages, she sighs to visit dear Lunnan, where she has been told, many a time, for truth, "that the streets are paved with gold, and the houses studded with diamonds." Let such take heed from the fate of Ann Hayman; a case, cruel as it was, not near so hard, by many degrees, as some which we could adduce; let them further beware lest they fall into the hands of old bawds, who are constantly prowling about, seeking the misery of country girls, by seducing them into the houses of infamy, where,


"Ruin ensues, remorse, and endless shame;
And one false step for ever damns her fame."

            Rebecca Lee was indicted on April the 5th 1810, for assaulting and otherwise ill-treating Ann Hayman. It appeared that the prosecutrix, who was a native of the county of Devon, had been hired there and brought to town by the defendant, as her servant. That after she had been some time in her service, she used her extremely ill, constantly beating her, and treating her with great severity; that on the 9th of June last, she beat her, cut her face, and turned her out of doors, giving her only a seven-shilling piece and a loaf, to take her down to Exeter; that being turned into the street, the neighbours interfered, and she was prevailed on to take her into the house again; but the very next day she repeated the same cruelties to her, beat her, bit her cheek, and cut her face most desperately, and then turned her out of doors. All these facts were proved by several witnesses. The case being gone through on the part of the prosecution by Mr. Gurney, that on the part of the defendant was undertaken by Mr. Alley, who addressed the jury at considerable length ; but, without retiring, they found her guilty; and the Court, after expressing their abhorrence of such conduct, sentenced her to pay a fine of 40l.


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