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St John’s Day – 1827

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The Monitor 10th December 19 1827

(abridged)
— 

On St.John’s Day, about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, a crowd of men, women and children were observed, rushing down Marlborough-street, near to Thomas Church, shouting and yelling, and tossing something in the air, which was sometimes caught by one, and sometimes. by another, and occasionally fell to the earth, where there was a scramble for it, and it was again passed from one to another amidst the most diabolical yells, which on a nearer approach, were distinguished to be ” A witch ! A witch ! Burn the witch !     Drown the witch!” 

The said witch proved to be a very decently dressed, dwarfish, deformed female, A young gentleman, apparently about 18, appealed to several well-dressed spectators to aid him in saving the poor woman from being torn to pieces.  They, from terror of the mob, declined.  He rushed into the midst of the crowd and courageously bore the helpless female under one arm, while with the other made his way through the crowd, who directed their vengeance against him pushing, pulling, and tripping him, and pelting him with mud; and whatever came to their hands.He was soon bedaubed from head to foot. 

Making his way down Cumberland  street and Mecklenburg street, he appealed to three or   four soldiers who were looking on.  They directly surrounded him, and two gentlemen then aided him.  One  of them took one hand, and her rescuer the other of  the poor sinking dwarf, and pulled her through the increasing crowd, to the Police-office in Henry-street.   

At the Post-Office a few policemen luckily came up, and were compelled to do ample justice with their sticks on the savage crowd, before they got the poor creature into the Police-office. She was  not able to speak for some time, from ill-usage and   terror, and then returned lively thanks to her deliverers. She gave her name, and said she resided with a  relative in Camden-street.  She said that though she had been frequently gazed at, so as to distress her feelings, she had never before met with violence.

She was sent home the back way, after some time, with an escort of police.

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