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extracts of some of the more curious old laws of Scotland, pleasis ; and the gait may be eschete be him, sva that he may chile it was yet a separate and independent kingdom, slay and eit the samin at his pleasour." which we intend to transfer to our pages, to such as involve
The doing skaith to a man's dog seems to have been a either of these subjects. It may be proper to premise, that very serious matter :we quote from President Balfour’s Practicks of Scots Law. and aganis the law, slayis ane uther man's dog, he sall walk his
"Item, It is statute and ordanit, gif ony man of set purpois, Will the reader believe that in 1494, so little was edu-midding (dunghill | be the space of wij monethis, and ane day, cation attended to the Schoolmaster, it appears, was not or than sall content and pay to him all his skaithis sustenit be then even “at home "—that it was found necessary to pass him within that xij monethis and day, for want of his hound or
dog: an act requiring that “all baronnes and freeholders of sub
With how much gravity is the following case put! Yet stance sould put their airis to the schulis,” under a penalty it is tameness itself when compared with that which imme. of “twentie pound." Yet in 1579, nearly a century later, diately follows, and which the worthy President, in a an act for what nowadays may be deemed even a more marginal note, justly entitles, “a merrie questioun anent singular purpose, received the sanction of James VI., “ and the burning of a miln.” his thre estatis,"_to wit, that, “ All gentilmen, houshaldaris, and utheris, worth 300 markis and ane horse, or uther beist, in his hand, or leidand the samin
"Gif ony persoun havand na burding nor uther thing, is hald. of zeitlie rent or abone, and all substantious zemen or burgessis, on ane brig, or ony strait passage, or ony uther perillous or likewise househaldaris, estemit worth 500 pundis in landis of dangerous place, meitis and rancounteris ony other persoun, gudis, be halden to have ane bybill and psalme buik in vulgair calland or drivand twa or ma horse or beistis befoir him, or leidlanguage in thair housis, for the better instructioun of thame and in his hand ane horse, or uther beist, chargit with ane laid selfis, and thair famileis, in the knawledge of God, within zeir or burding, upon the samin brig or place, in the quhilk, throw and day efter the dait heirof, ilk persoun under the pane of ten the straitness of the passage, the ane may not pass by the uther paadis."
without damnage and skaith ; in this cais, he quha has na uther The old system of “burrow lawis," as we have them di- thing bot ane horse, or uther beist, sould return back aganc, and gested by the President, presents many curious particulars. said horsis or beistis, or the said laidnit horse or beist : And gif
give place to the uther to come fordwart quha is drivand the The bakers and brewers seem to have been under the special he dois not return, bot cumis fordwardt, and thairthrow ony surveillance of the law:
harm or skaith happinis to be done, he is haldin of the law to “ Gif ony Baxter in baiking of the breid, or ony brouster in amend and repair ihe samin; because he quha is chargit with brewing of the aill, committis ony fault, na persoun sould mell
ane beist allanerlie, sould saif himself, and give place to him thair with bot the Provest and Baillies ; and gif ony of thame goba has care of divers beistis, or of ane beist laidnit with ony
thing." fulzeis twyse, thay,sall be twyse correctit thairfoir ; and gif thay faill the third time, they sall suffer punishment in thair bo
“Gif it happin that ony man passand in the King's gait or die : that is, the Baxter sall be put to the pillorie, and the passage, drivand befoir hím twa sheip festnit and knit togidder, Broaster upon the tumbrell or cokstuill."
be chance ane horse, havand ane sair bak, is lying in tlie said
gait, and ane of the sheep passis be the aue side of the horse, and At a time when the necessaries of life were scarce, and the uther sheep be the uther side, swa that the band quhairthe supply uncertain, it would seem that a greater punish with they are bund tuich or kittle his sair bak, and he thairby ment than & pecuniary loss was necessary for the govern- thair, untill
at last he cumis and enteris in ane mile havand ane
movit dois arise, and carryis the said scheip with him beir and ment of those to whom the supplying of the citizens was fire, without ane keipar, and skatteris the fire, quhairby the intrusted.
miln, horse, sheep, and all, is brunt : Quæritur, Quba sall pay
the skaith? Respondetur, The awner of the horse sall pay The very number of assistants which a baker should the sheip, because his horse sould not have been lying in the employ at his oven was rigidly laid down. We fear, in the King's hie street, or commoun passage ; and the miller sall present day, more than the legal number of knaves are too pay for the miln, and the horse, and for all uther dampage and
skaith, because he left ane fire in the miln, without ane frequently allowed.
keipar." “Gif a man hes ane oyne (oven) cf his awin, he sall keip in
How strongly does the following enactment resemble the the samin the Kingis lawis maid thairanent be the the honest and wyse men of the burgh, viz. he sall not hald ma servandis barbarous policy practised toward the poor negro in our or four, viz. ane maister, twa servandis, and ane knaive. The slave colonies in the present day! maister or lord of the oyne sall have for his oyne, at ilk tyme,
“Gif ony man is fund within the King's land, havand na aze peny; the twa servandis, ane peny; and the knaive ane farding."
proper lord or master, he sall have the space of xv. dayis to get
him a master : And gif he, within the said time, findis na lord On the subject of a wife's dowery, “ the wisdom of our nor master, he sall give ane unlaw of vij ky to the King's Jus. ancestors" seems to have taken a very common-sense view. tice : And, mairover, the King's Justice sall put his persoun in In an act passed to oblige “ilk husband to give ane reason- and master.
presoun, and keip him to the King's behovo, till he get ane lord able dowrie and tierce to his wife,” it is declared that “the A man from whom it was possible to levy a fine of eight qahilk (that is the dowery] is gevin to the wife, to the
cows might have passed, one would think, pretty well for his Efect that gif it happen hir husband to deceis before her own master. scho may the mair casilie be maryit with ane uther man. Shade of Croker- the land-surveyor, we mean, not the We presume a modern dower is ostensibly giveu for a dif- Secretary-with how much ingenuity is the passage to be
A very singular enactment was made in allowed at the centre of a stream, marked out in the fol. the reign of William, with regard to the damage or lowing enactment! The idea is excellent. We question i. 6 skaith” done to the property of ane person by the hens, the Boundary Commissioners the fabricators of schedule geese, or goats of another. Does not the provision regard- M of the great charter of our liberties were aware of ing the goat point out that it must at that time have been such a mode of admeasurement. 3 much more common animal in Scotland than at present ? « It is statute and ordanit be King Alexander at Perth on The object in “stikking the nose in the zeird,” [earth] we Thursday, beloir the feist of Sanct Margaret, with consent of
the Erlis, Baronis, and Judges of Scotland, that the midst of can scarce comprehend:
the water sall be fre, in sa mekill that ane swine of thre zeir Gif ony man findis and apprehendis ane uther man's hennis, auld and weill fed, is of lenth, and may turu. him within it, in geis or gait, doand him harm and skaith, he may tak and sic ane maner, that nather his grunzie (mouth) nor his tail túich aut off the heid of the geis and of the hennis, and stikth the nose ony of the sides of the cruives that ar biggit on ilk side of the to the zeird, and may tak and eit the bodies thairof, gif he water."
The “ Chalmerlane of Scotland ” in the “ Air,” (or cir- tuiching the buikes contenand the lawes of this Realme" cuit court ?) which he is directed to hold, is enjoined to will be found at the end of Skene's " Exposition of the summon before him the various functionaries connected with termes and difficill wordes conteined in the foure buikes of the burgh, and to “ challenge them on particulars which Regiam Majestatem.” are set forth at length. From the challenge which he is directed to make, as well as from various enactments in the
STATISTICAL VERSES. course of the statute-book, it appears that there were persons appointed as “gusteris and tasteris,” and “prysouris," TAE following verses were sent to Sir John Sinclair by the to see that the “ baxters,” “ brouster-wiffis,” and “flesh- eccentric, benevolent, and pious minister of Lochcarron on ouris” not only offered for sale goods of proper quality, but the west coast of Ross-shire: a man of whom many droll that they (the prysouris) should also fix the price at which stories are told, and who is most affectionately remembered such articles were to be sold, and to which price the traders by his parishioners by the name of “ The Good MR. LAUCHwere obliged to agree “ under the pane of ane unlaw.” The LAN.” After stoutly resisting the “Whig Ministers," as the sign or signal by which the “ brouster-wiftis” gave notice Evangelical preachers were long called by Highlanders, this to the “gusteris and tasteris of aill that they come and parish submitted, about the middle of the last century, or taist it," appears to have been a stick or staff denominat- rather earlier, to an apostle militant, named ExEAS SAGE ; ed an “aill wand," which they were obliged to display whom, after attempting to burn, they came almost to wor. whenever their ale was ready for the inspection of the ship. He attacked the vices of his parishioners with the “ guster.” The guster and taster” was then bound to arm of flesh ; fought Seaforth’s factor on a Sunday with repair to the said “brousteris," and to remain on the “mid-claymore and dirk, and put him to flight ; and expelled, streit," and send ane of his company into the house along with the strong hand, the mistress whom Malcolm Roy, with “ thair serjand to elect and cheise the barrel or pitcher another of his flock, kept in the house with his wife. He quhairof they will taist.” From the form of challenge, it was very passionate, but made his parishioners “vrarm appears to have been matter of complaint against the “gus-Christians.” His successor, the eccentric poet we are about teris” that “ they drank in ilk hous quhair they sould bot to quote, says quaintly of the people,“ They have a strong anis taist, quhairthrow they tine their gust and ar maid attachment to religion, yet would be the better for a little drunke.” The particular manner by which the “ baxteris more. They are hospitable, charitable, engaging and obligand fleshouris" gave notice to the “prysour" is not men- ing; but it must be owned, very few of them would refuse tioned
a dram." Mr. Lauchlan was at deadly feud with female As a specimen of the “ challenges,” it may perhaps he neck-frills, and with the combs with which the girls began sufficient to select that of the tailors, shoemakers, and wea- to tuck up their hair, instead of the primitive snood. CHALLENGE OF TAILZEOURIS.
This same statistical account In the first, thay mak refuse and skreidis in men's claith, sum
Is sent to please Sir John, times for haist, and sometimes for ignorance. Item, That thay
And if it not elegant, tak pieces and skreidis to sleives, and uther small thingis.
Let critics throw a stone. Item, That thay mak men's garmentis and claethis utherwayis
We have not fine materials, than men biddis thame. Item, That they sew with false tbreid
And our account is plain ; and graith.
Our purling streams are well enough, Item, That thay keip not thair day to ilk man.
But we have too much rain. Item, That thay mak thame masteris or thay can kpaw the craft, in greit skaithing of the King and pepill.
In Humbay there's a harbour fine, Item, That thay work on haly-dayis, aganis the law of
Where ships their course may steer ; God.
Such as are building villages
Might build a village there.
From Castle Strom there is a road law will; that is, thay buy not sic hides as bas the horn and the
Straight down to Kessock Ferry," eare of equal lenth.
And by this road the men of Skye Item, That thay mak schoone, butes, or uther graith, of the
Do all their whisky carry. ledder besoir it be barkit.
Our girls are dressed in cloak and gows, Item, That thay sew with false and rotten threid, throw the
And think themselves right bonny ; quhilk the schoone ar tint befoir thay he half worn.
Each comes on Sunday to the Kirk, Item, That quhair thay sould give thair ledder gude oyle or
In hopes to see her Johnny. taulch, thay give it but water and salt. Item, That thay mak schoone and work of it or it be wrocht
A drover, when the sermon's done, or curreit, in greit prejudice of the King's lieges.
Will ask the price of cows,
Will stick to Gospel news.
We call for tea when we are sick, Iten, That quhair thay, tak in with weichtis, quhen thay
When we want salt we grumble;
When drovers' offers are not brisk, gire out the claith thay mak it donk and wet, castand water on it, and uther thingis, to cause it to wey, and thairthrow haldand
It makes our hopes to tumble. to thameselfis ane greit quantitie out of it.
The parson has no horse nor farm, Item, That thay tak ane man's zairn, and puttis in ane uther
Nor goat, nor watch, nor wife: man's web for haist.
Without an augmentation, t too, Tailors have been long proverbial for the fidelity of their
He leads a happy life. promises; but we were not aware that it dated so far
Now, good Sir John, it was for you back. The object in making it illegal for shoemakers to
I gathered all this pens; buy such hides as had the horns and ears of unequal length,
But you will say that I forgot we are at a loss to divine. To such as are curious in the
To count the sheep and cows. old laws we recommend the perusal of the curious and
of these we have a number, too; well-known collection of Murray of Glendook :- they will
But then, 'twixt you and I, there find much to amuse. It is unfortunate, however,
The number they would never tell, that his collection begins only at the reign of James I. For
For fear the beasts should die. the many curious enactments previous to that reign, should Kessock, the Ferry at Inverness, from whence a Parliamentary the inquirer wish to push his researches farther, it will be road goes across the island to Lochcarron. necessary to refer to such compilations as that to which we
+ The stipend of Lochcarron was then worth little more than L.50, have been indebted for the above extracts. “Ane admonition
with a glebé reckoned at L.3 or L.4.
This superstition is common to Highlanders, and to other people.
CHALLENGE. OF WEBSTARIS.
THE STORY TELLER.
frequently to visit him, and who soon conceived a liking
for his wife, which Gesche did not leave unreturned. Their A FEMALE MONSTER,
intimacy always continued to increase, and presents passed EFFECTS OF IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION. between them. Gesche was desirous to present to Kassou a GESCHE MARGARETHE GOTTFRIED, living in Bremen, breast-pin enclosing a lock of her hair, but did not well was, in March, 1828, accused of having caused the death of know how to express a note which she wished to send along a number of persons by poison. Before this accusation, with it. She, therefore, applied to Miltenberg, telling him she had lived in apparently easy circumstances in the mid that she wished to make a present to one of her female die ranks of life ; her house was elegantly furnished, and friends, and requesting him to write a note to be sent along her dress and demeanour that of a lady; her reputatiou was with it, which he accordingly did. This she copied and untainted; and the frequent deaths which occurred in her sent to Kassou along with the pin. house were ascribed to heavy visitations of God.
In 1808 she had a still-born child, and after her confineHer father was a tailor in Bremen ; active and indus- ment, began, on account of her thin appearance, to wear not trious, but stingy, selfish, and inclined to superstition. His fewer than thirteen pairs of stays, to improve her form. religion was of a kind that influenced him as long as its This was not discovered till her arrestment. She now practice did not interfere with his own interests ; and he began to be tired of Miltenberg ; calumniating him to her attended church only when he had no work to do at home. parents, and directing her passions sometimes to Gottfried
Gesche Margarethe, and her twin brother, were born in and sometimes towards Kassou. She was obliged to sell March, 1783. These were the only children of their father, several articles of household furniture to pay some of her and, when about four years old, were both sent to school, secret debts, telling her husband she wanted the money to where they remained till they were nearly twelve. The send to her brother, who was then a soldier in the army of commencement of Gesche's career in sin may be dated from Napoleon, and representing to her mother that her husband her seventh year, and was partly owing to the avarice of had sold them. her parents. Being allowed no pocket-money, she was In 1810 she had another child, and had no sooner reunable to appear on an equal footing with her school com. covered from her confinement, than, being short of money, panions, and she began to steal from her mother small she resolved to open her husband's desk. To accomplish sums at first, but afterwards to a larger amount. This did this she pretended to have lost one of her own keys, and sent not remain long concealed from her mother, who, however, for a smith to get the desk opened ; she observed narrowly ascribed it to the son, who was of a silent bashful disposi- how he proceeded, and after he was gone went and opened tion, rather than to the daughter, whose manners were it and abstracted ten dollars. Not content with this, she frank ; and although the mother had afterwards occasion proceeded afterwards to open the desk of a gentleman who to suspect her daughter, still she could not be certain, 80 lodged in her house, and took away ninety dollars. She artfully were the crimes concealed.
Her father was ac- remained, however, unsuspected, and a favourite with all customed to sing a hymn every morning before commenc- her acquaintances; and was for some time cured of stealing ing work, and it frequently happened that his daughter by a fright which she got by a very narrow search being was moved to tears by it. She was, however, of a very made on the desks being broken open. contradictory spirit, and her mother had frequent occasion Her passion for Gottfried increased more and more, and to complain of her conduct. As she became older, she was the habits and sickness of her husband gave them many opsent to learn dancing, an accomplishment in which she portunities of meeting. Her husband was intimate with greatly delighted. She also attended a French class, where, Gottfried, and used to have him very often at his house. to appear the first of her class, she employed a young man, But her passion was not confined to Gottfried, it extended one of her acquaintances, to write her lessons for her, which also to Kassou ; and the necessity of keeping her love for she then copied and passed for her own.
the one concealed from the other brought her into many Thus her life passed on with little variety till she was petty scrapes. Her fourth child was born in 1813. twenty years of age, although, when sixteen, she had al
Miltenberg was still in her way. She had never loved ready received three offers of marriage, which she, or him, and now that he crossed her path, she began to wish rather her father, declined. She was beautiful, and almost him dead, that she might give free vent to her passion for everywhere beloved and well received.
Gottfried. Miltenberg's father had lately died, and she When about twenty, she received an offer of marriage had observed nothing particularly fearful in death, so that from a saddler of the name of Miltenberg, which she was by degrees she accustomed herself to the thought of Milteninduced to accept. This marriage proved far from happy. berg dying. As he was always in bad health, she began to Miltenberg had formerly been married to a woman who think that, as his life was only an encumbrance to himself, rendered his house a scene of misery and discord, and to and an impediment to her, it would be no great sin to help aroid her society he always took refuge in the taverns, and him out of the world. In this state of mind she went to a so acquired a propensity to liquor which he could never over- fortune-teller, who prophesied that her whole family would come. He was induced to marry again chiefly by his father ; die before her. She knew that her mother had some arsenic for he had been so thoroughly disgusted with marriage by which she kept for poisoning mice. She accordingly went his former experience, that he had little desire to enter into to her, and saying that she was troubled with mice in her another contract, and frequent quarrels took place between house, asked if she knew of any means of destroying them, him and his father on the subject. Gesche had evinced no pretending that she knew nothing of poison. Her mother great love towards him, but the riches of the suitor had a put some arsenic on bread, and placed it in the room said powerful influence over the mind of her father, who pre to be infested with the mice, warning her daughter at the railed on her to accept of the offer.
same time to keep the apartment locked for fear of mischief Miltenberg, however, loved his wife, and the more he had to the children. 'A day or two after this, Gesche went into been ashamed of his former wife the more he seemed to doat the room and took away the poison, which she scratched upon this one ; but he still frequented the taverns, and she from the bread as if the mice had taken it, with the intenwas often left without his society or guidance.
tion of giving it to Miltenberg. Some time afterwards her They had been four months married when Gesche met mother said that she would go and see if the mice had taken Gottfried, her future husband, at a ball; and from that day the poison. “Oh yes!” exclaimed the daughter, “pray all her wishes were directed towards him. She now began bring me some more ;" which her mother did. to colour her cheeks with rouge ; hours were spent before She was now in possession of the means of death, but her glass ; and from her toilet she hurried to her kitchen could not for several weeks bring herself to the resolution window, and remained there to see him pass to his count of administering it to her husband. ing-rooin ; but Gottfried took no notice of her.
At last she gave him some, one morning, to breakfast, It was about this period, namely, in September, 1807, and afterwards another dose in some water-gruel. She that her first child was born. About the same time Mil could not, however, approach the bed of the sick man ; it tenberg became acquainted with one Kassou, who used very appeared to her as if he knew that she was his murderer ;
but this was far from being the case, as he recommended might make sure of the property. Thus had she poisoned her to Gottfried before he died. The corpse was dreadfully father, mother, brother, and children, in order to be put in swollen, but no suspicion was excited.
possession of Gottfried, and at length we find him also in After Miltenberg's death, she received an offer of mar- the list of her victims. riage ; but her thoughts being directed to Gottfried, she re She seemed now to delight in murder, and the slightest fused it. Her parents suspecting this to be the cause of her cause was sufficient to decide upon the life or death of any refusal, told her that her marriage with Gottfried should of her relations. She was disappointed, however, as to never take place with their consent. Gottfried loved her, Gottfried's riches, for, instead of wealth, he left her debt, but did not wish to marry a person with children. She now and it required all ber secretiveness to conceal her disapagain consulted a fortune-teller, and received the same an- pointment. swer. Thus, although she had got quit of her husband, Now that she was alone, she occasionally felt severely the there still remained serious obstacles to her union with loss of her children; often when she thought of them, she shut Gottfried ; first her father and mother, and then her child herself up in her garret, and wept bitterly. She carefully dren. She hoped also to get possession, by the death of her avoided schools, and every place where children were to be children, of a legacy of about 650 dollars, left them by old met ; and seemed to be particularly conscientious in paying Miltenberg.
off the debts of Gottfried. She loved money, not so much In April 1815, her mother was rather unwell, and came for its own sake, as because it afforded her the means of to live in her house, when she (Gesche) happening to light making a figure among her acquaintances, and so of gratiupon the packet of arsenic, part of which she had saved and fying her vanity. locked up, it immediately occurred to her to poison her Yet, in spite of all these murders, she was not unhappy ; mother. As her mother seemed likely to recover, she gave she became acquainted with H-(the name is not given) her the poison in her favourite beverage of lemonade; and and in his company forgot all her sins, and, in her own while mixing it, she burst into loud laughter, so that she words, believed herself the happiest in the world. She reshuddered at herself; but it instantly occurred to her, that joiced in her reputation, especially as, after the death of God made her laugh as a sign that her mother would soon Gottfried, she again immediately received an offer of marbe laughing in heaven. A witness afterwards said that she riage, which she refused. She had one child by Gottfried, appeared happy at her mother's death.
begotten before marriage. We find at this period another Death now followed death with fearful rapidity. The instance of her hypocrisy ; some one requested from her the very first day after her mother's burial, Gesche was sitting loan of sermons, which she delivered, with the request that in a room with her second youngest child on her knee; the great care of them should be taken, as they were the only thought of poisoning it occurred to her, and without hesi- means by which she was able to sustain so many judgments. tating a moment, she administered to the child some arsenic She never read any of them. Whenever she attempted to on a piece of the cake which had been presented at the bu- read the Bible, she thought the perusal of it of no use, rial of its grandmother. This was on the 10th of May, and and immediately closed the book. on the 18th, without the least remorse, she poisoned her She was now often ill supplied with money, but always eldest child. In the agony of death, it clasped its arms found means of borrowing ; often obtaining it from ove in round the mother's neck, but Gesche remained unmoved. order to pay another. After the death of Gottfried, she Two weeks afterwards, she poisoned her father. About ten seems to have rested for some years from her murders, and weeks after these events, while her son was sitting on her during that time to have had little to occupy her mind exknee, he asked her why God took away all her children ? cept the care of preserving her reputation untainted. In This pierced her to the heart, and she immediately resolved 1822 she went to Stade to spend a few weeks with some that he also should die.
friends. Here, before she was aware, her money failed her ; Thus, in the short interval between May and September, she was too proud to own it, and could get none from she murdered both her parents and her children. But the home; she knew no person from whom she might borrow, death of so many in so short a space of time, naturally ex- and had recourse to falsehood. She broke the key of her cited some suspicion, and to silence this, she was advised by drawer in the lock, threw it away, and then raised an alarm her friends to have the body of the child opened. This she that somebody had stolen her money out of the drawer. readily consented to, and the child was declared to have The drawer was forced open, and no money appeared, and died of inflammation of the bowels.
nothing could be more obvious than that she had been robIn this manner, as she thought, was every obstacle to her bed. Being obliged to take an oath before a magistrate marriage with Gottfried removed ; but Gottfried himself did that this was the case, she did not scruple to commit pernot show any particular desire to marry her, although he jury; after which she got a supply of money from her liked her company; and so the winter of 1815-16 passed friends. free from murder. It was on a Saturday in May 1816, that From time to time she received offers of marriage, all of her brother returned home a cripple and in rags, having which she turned to good account, by extorting money lost the use of his feet in the Russian campaign. Here, from her admirers.
She was reputed rich, and in this bethen, might be another obstacle to her marriage; at all lief her admirers readily yielded to her requests. events, he must share her father's property with her. This One of them, named Zimmermann, was thus induced to was motive enough for his death. As already mentioned, advance her very considerable sums, which she repaid with he arrived on Saturday, or, as some say, on Friday, after a a great shew of tenderness. She was betrothed to him, but long absence; he was poisoned on Sunday, and, to avoid he too was doomed to swell the list of her victims; after suspicion, she passed a great part of the time at his bedside. extracting all the booty in her power, she poisoned him by On every occasion, she had the precaution to employ a dif- degrees, that she might have an opportunity of sbewing her ferent physician. Seldom or never did any of them attend tenderness to him during his sickness, and thus lull suspitwo of her patients.
cion. By his death she was free of the money due to him, Another obstacle, however, arose ; Gottfried would not which he had advanced on her word alone, without taking marry her. But this also she overcame, by the interest of a legal obligation. some of his friends. His original refusal had hurt her, and She now began to poison her acquaintances, without any she began to dislike him, and came to the resolution of visible motive :-a child came to congratulate her on her poisoning him also. But she thought him rich, and there-birth-day, and received a dose on a piece of biscuit : a friend fore determined at all events first to marry him, in order to called one forenoon, and also received a dose ; and she tried be made his heir, and then to execute her purpose. One the strength of her poison on another of her friends, on whose Monday morning, she and Gottfried had resolved to make a face it caused blotches to appear. pleasure party to a little distance out of town ; and she She gave a dose to one of her lodgers, that, during his seized this opportunity of poisoning him, that his sickness sickness, she might plunder his pantry. Zimmermann had might appear the more unexpected. While he was on his a cousin named Kleine, in Hanover, from whom she sucdeathbed, she sent for a priest to marry them, so that she ceeded in borrowing 800 dollars, brit he became impatient
for repayident, and she had only 300 to give him. In this the offender stands accused with the poisoning of both her predicament she set out for Hanover, with the intention of parents, three children, one brother, two husbands, one poisoning Kleine, thinking by bis death to gain delay. suitor, two pregnant women, friends male and female, She accomplished her end, and after his death affirmed that helpless children, and domestic companions ; though acshe had given him a double Louis d'or the day before cused of adultery, false-witnessing, perjury, theft, calumny, he died; but the whole story was a falsehood. She com and swindling, she seems endued with a singular mildness mitted also several other murders for purely selfish ends, of temper, appears to possess a decided inclination to kind but the soul sickens in reporting them.
and benevolent acts, and betrays outward susceptibility for She was now often in want of money, and therefore could what is noble and generous." The article from which we not keep up a large establishment, so that she was obliged have copied solves this riddle on the principles of the to sell her house to a person named Rumpff, at the same Phrenologists ; but for the solution we must refer to the time reserving a room or two for herself. Rumpff was Journal itself, No. XXXII. fond of her, and used to call her aunt, but he had not been more than eight weeks in the house when his wife died,
BIOGRAPHICSKETCH OF and he himself fell into bad health. He could do nothing HELEN WALKER, A GENTLEWOMAN OF HEAVEN'S tout run about searching the whole house, from the garret to the cellar, for the cause of his trouble.
HELEN WALKER was the daughter of a small farmer, It chanced that he kept a pig ; and wishing to have it or labourer at Dalwhairn, in the parish of Irongray. From killed, he sent for a butcher for that purpose. The butcher, whence her parents came is not known, but it is generally with the view of pleasing him, brought to his room a choice believed that they were what are called “incomers” into bit of the pork, of which Rumpff partook, putting the re the parish of Irongray, and were in no way connected with mainder into his pantry. On the morrow he went to cut the Walkers of Clouden, a race alike distinguished for rea slice from it, but he was surprised to find it in a different spectability and longevity, and who have flourished time position from that in which he had left it the day before, out of mind upon the fertile banks of the Cairn. At her and he perceived also that it was covered with a white father's death, his widow, who was then well stricken in powder. This excited his suspicions ; he had the substance years, became dependant for support on the industry of her examined, and detected poison. Gesche's motive for this daughters, Nelly and Tibby Walker. But this the former crime was to endeavour to regain possession of her house. was far from viewing in the light of a hardship she who She was arrested on suspicion.
was so rich in sisterly, could not be deficient in filial affecThe work before us, from which these particulars have tion—and I have been informed by Elizabeth Grierson, been derived, gives no account of the trial or execution, housekeeper to Mr. Stott, optician, Dumfries, who, when a which, as we are informed, is reserved for a separate pub- “lassie,” knew Helen well, that though sometimes conlication ; but it mentions that, in prison, she was torment strained to dine on dry bread and water, rather than pinch ed by dreams, in which she saw her victims sitting in the her poor old mother, she consoled herself with the idea that church yard and beckoning to her, and she was often so a blessing flowed from her virtuous abstinence, and that much afraid, that, immediately on awakening, she could “she was as clear in the complexion, and looked as like Det remain longer in bed.
her meat and work as the best of them.” Helen Walker The following judgment was pronounced by the High at this time,—that is at least “sixty years since,"-was Court of Bremen, on 17th September, 1830 :
much, as the phrase goes, about Elizabeth's father's house ; * The Court of Justice, in terms of the law, and after nursed her mother during her confinement, and even acted the inquiries have been conducted according to the decree of as the leading gossip at all the christenings; was respected ile 224 May last, find the widow of Michael Christopher as a conscientious auxiliary in the harvest, and uniformly Gottfried, Gesche Margarethe, formerly Timm, accused of | invited to share the good things of rural life, when the juisoning, and of several other offences, to be guilty of the mart happened to be killed, or a melder of corn was brought twilowing crimes, as proven, besides several robberies, from the mill. Her conversational powers were of a high frauds, and perjuries, and attempted abortion of her off- order, considering her humble situation in life ; her lanpring, viz.
guage most correct, ornate, and pointed; her deport“1. To have poisoned both her parents, her three chil- ment sedate and dignified in the extreme. Many of the dres, her first and second husbands, her suitor Paul Tho- neighbours regarded her as “a little pensy body”-that is maq Zimmermann, Anne Lucie Meyerholtz, Johann conceited or proud ; but at the same time they bore willMorces, the wife of Johaan Rumpff otherwise Mentz, the ing testimony to lier exemplary conduct and unwearied atvife of Frederic Schmidt otherwise Cornelius, and Frederic tendance on the duties of religion. Wet or dry, she appear. Kleine of Hanover; and also to have caused the death of ed regularly at the parish church, and even when at home, Eliza, the daughter of the said Schmidt, by poison, al- delighted in searching the Scriptures daily. On a small though this is not proven to have been intentional. round table the “big ha' Bible" usually lay open, and
* 2 Several times to have given poison to the said though “household affairs would often call her hence," Johann Rumpff, with the intention of killing him, and it was observed by her visitors that when she lacked leisure thereby causing to him a severe illness.
to read continuously, she sometimes glanced at a single "3 To have given poison to several other individuals, verse, and then appeared to ponder the subject deeply. A without any proven intention, but which was more or less thunder storm, which appals most females, had on her mjurious to their health.
quite an opposite effect. While the elemental war conThe Court of Justice, therefore, according to the penaltinued, it was her custom to repair to the door of her cotwebe, Art. 130, and taking into consideration the milder tage, the knitting gear in hand, and well-coned Bible open padples of the present nsages of the law, condemn the before her, and when questioned on the subject by her sd, the widow of Michael Christopher Gottfried, as wondering neighbours, she replied, “That she was not he well-merited punishment, and to serve as a warning to afraid of thunder, and that the Almighty, if such were his others, to death by the sword, and intrusts to the criminal divine pleasure, could smite in the city as well as in the part the execution and publication of the sentence, and field.” Helen, though a woman of small stature, had been also the adoption of all necessary measures : all the ex- rather well-favoured in her youth. On one occasion sbe Şenses caused by the inquiries, judgment and punishment, told Elizabeth Grierson that she should not do as she had ta be paid from the funds which she leaves, so far as they done, but “ winnow the corn when the wind blew in the shall be sufficient."
barn-door.” By this she meant that she should not hold [For these strange particulars, we are indebted to the her head too high, by rejecting the offer of a husband when Párenological Journal.]
it came in her way; and when joked on the subject of maA correspondent of the Athenaum, an admirable literary trimony herself, she confessed, though reluctantly, that she Paper, in inentioning this woman, says, “ that her case once had a sweetheart-a youth she esteemed, and by whom esents the most unprecedented riddle on record. Though she imagined she was respected in turn ; that her lover, at