Friday 28 August 2015

Coleraine Chronicle joins British Newspaper Archive
Another newspaper making an August debut at the online British Newspaper Archive is the Coleraine Chronicle and Ballymena Weekly Advertiser.

All editions of the weekly paper from January 1845 to December 1851 have been uploaded to the database. The BNA notes that the archive will eventually hold editions from 1844 to 1871.

While taking a look at the 4 January 1845 edition of the paper, I came across the following sad story, billed as 'Infanticide':

Being as nosey as any other family historian, I had to find out what became of the unfortunate Margaret Holland, so I searched for a later occurrence of her name in the newspaper database and found a report of her trial, held three months later at LondonDerry Assizes.

By this time, a decision had been made not to charge Margaret with infanticide. Whether or not it was concluded that the baby had not been born alive isn't clear. Either way, Margaret was indicted for 'concealment of pregnancy and secretly disposing of the dead body of her female child.' She was sentenced to 'five months' imprisonment and to be kept to hard labour suited to her sex'.