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The Newgate Calendar - JANE COX


Executed at Exeter Summer Assizes, 1811, for poisoning a Child with Arsenic

   JANE COX was indicted at Exeter Assizes, on the 9th of August, 1811, for the wilful murder of one John Trenaman, an infant, sixteen months old, and Arthur Tucker was charged as an accessory. The latter was a respectable farmer, living at Hatherleigh, in this county, and the infant was his natural child. It appeared that Jane Cox had, an the 25th of June, 1811, administered to the child a quantity of arsenic, by putting it into the child's hands. The child put the arsenic in its mouth, in consequence of which it died in about two hours. The prisoner, in her written confession, had implicated Tucker, as having persuaded her to do the deed, and stated his having taken the arsenic from under the roof of a cottage, and given it to her, and promised her a one-pound note if she would adminster it to the child. This was not believed.

   The prisoner, Jane Cox, after a trial of seven hours, was convicted, and hanged on the following Monday. Tucker was acquitted. He called a number of respectable witnesses who gave him a very high character.

   On Monday, the 12th of August, 1811, pursuant to her sentence, this unfortunate woman was brought to the "new drop," the place of execution, and underwent the dread sentence of the law.

   She addressed the spectators at some length, and lamented that the person who had instigated her to the commission of the horrid deed was not also to suffer with her.

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