Catharine Delahunty v. James H. Carter
Writ No. 179
Initiated 3 October 1827—returnable 4 October 1827
4 October 1827
Before Chief Justice Richard A. Tucker with W. Carter, A. Morrison, and J. Preston, JPs
This action is to recover compensation for the loss of Services of Plaintiffs Daughter, inconsequence of her seduction by Defendant
Damages laid at £100.0.0
The Defendant having prayed a Special Jury the Court ordered one to be summoned, when the following Gentlemen appeared in Court and were sworn in as Special Jurors
Benjamin Sweetland foreman,
Gregory Brown, William Richards, Nicholas Stabb, Maurice Brazil, Thomas Norris, Matthew Morry, Peter Winser, Ewen Stabb, Noah Clift, William Goff, and John Killegrew.
Ellen Delahunty, Sworn, Is Daughter of the Pltff—Has no Father living. He has been dead sixteen years, lived with Plaintiff for the last Ten or Twelve years, and has worked for her. Pltff keeps no Servant but witness has performed the duties of one towards her. In 1826 witness first became acquainted with the Defd., the acquaintance commenced by witness going to Defd. for the price of a pair of Cuffs, which Plaintiff had made for one of the persons in Defds. employment, thinks that she went soon after to Defd. with another message from Pltff and Defd. asked witness when she would come again. Witness said she had no business to come again, after this Kitty Kelly desired Witness to make some Socks for the Defd., which Wit. accordingly did and carried them to Defd. who gave her Three shillings and Six pence for a pair of the socks and told her, she might get whatever she wanted, for the money in the shop, Defd. also asked Wit. if Kitty Kelly had delivered her any messuage. Wit. said she had desired her to make the socks for him. Wit. afterwards occasionally met Defd. in the Street and asked by him more than once when she would come to the shop—at one time Defd. asked Wit. if she wou’d cut some Sounds on the Stage and she consented to do so, she cut four Firkins of sounds, and took up some articles of dress in the Shop on Credit, Defd. sometimes asked Wit. if she had much washing and where she got firewood, He also ask’d her when she wou’d go into the woods for it, Wit. told Defd. she was in the habit of going into the woods for it and Defd. said he wou’d go too. Whenever Wit. went out she generally saw Defd. who repeated his questions about going into the woods. Wit sometimes told Defd. she would go into the woods tomorrow, and he said he wou’d be there too. This sort of acquaintance between Defd. and Wit. continued up to July 1826 when Wit. one day met Defd. in the woods, but no freedom was allowed. Wit. afterwards met Defd. in the Street, and was again ask’d by him when she was going into the woods—Wit. said not until that day week and on that day she again met Defd. in the woods, who ask’d her to speak a word to him. Wit. promised to do so provided he wou’d do nothing to her, when he said he wou’d not. Wit then went to him saying she wou’d take him at his word—Defd. took Wit by the hand and seated himself by her Defd. used some liberties and Wit desired him to desist. He said it was all Nonsense. Deft. then had connexion with Wit. on the ground and afterwards cut some wood for her, after this Wit had frequent connexion with Defd. and produced a Child on the 29th. April last—The Defd. is the Father of that Child—it was about a week after the first connexion that Wit had another in the woods and it was always in the woods that the connexion took place between them. Defd. is certainly the Father of Wits. Child, during her pregnancy Wit. concealed her situation but it was discovered by Dr. Morrison about six or eight weeks before the birth of the Child, Wit. was living with Pltff at this time, before Dr. Morrison attended Wit. she was attended by Dr. Bryand but he did not find out her situation, When Wit. lay in her Mother attended her, for a long time before the birth of the Child, Wit. suffered from a stich in her side and a pain in her breast which prevented her from doing her usual work, and after this she was obliged to work when really not able to do so, From July to October, Defd. had occasional carnal connection with her, but it did not take place very often.
Never told Defd. she was with Child by him, but went several times with an intention of doing so, but could not find an opportunity
Plaintiffs case closed
Andrew Morrison, Sworn, knows last Wit. and was call’d on sometime last Winter to attend her professionally, discovered that she was pregnant but found her most reluctant to confess that she was so. Wit. thought then that she was about seven and a half months advanced in her pregnancy, and told Pltff he supposed she wou’d be deliver’d about the end of April or beginning of May.
Catharine Kelly, sworn, About one and a half months ago, Wit. who is Sister to Ellen Delahunty, cautioned her against walking with Robert Brine. Wit. did this because he was a married man does not know that her sister ever saw him after that
William Harris, sworn,
Martin Conway sworn has never seen Ellen Delahunty conduct herself differently from what well behaved Girls in her situation in life do,
His Lordship charges the Jury, who retire and on their return deliver into Court the following verdict.
|For Plaintiff £30.0.0 Curcy.|
Signed Benjamin Sweetland
Sources: PANL, GN 5/2/C/1, Ferryland, box 1, 142-45, Catharine Delahunty v. James H. Carter, 4 October 1827.