No. 540
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 27, 2021

Murderous Assault by a Wife on Her Husband.

October 6, 2014
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This Halloween ghost story with a twist appeared in the “Caledonian Mercury,” November 8, 1828.  (Via Newspapers.com)A spiritual visitant, as was supposed, for some days lately afforded subject of wonderment to the natives of the port of Leith. In a house in the Kirkgate, there was heard the  most appalling and unearthly noises, succeeded by the tumbling-about of articles of furniture, after
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Strange Company - 10/27/2021

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[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019

Artifact #87Letter side AJeff Smith collection(Click image to enlarge)    t is quite interesting to know you are living in a haunted house." Artifact #87 is a response letter from aunt Emmie Lu Gardner, (Soapy Smith's sister), age 45 to Jefferson Randolph Smith III, (Soapy's son), age 25. It's a typical "keeping up with the family" type letter. Below is the transcribed text.  Waco TexasDec
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 10/26/2021
Despite the judge’s admonitions, Henrietta Robinson covered her face with a black veil as she stood trial for murder. Everything about the defendant was a mystery—her motive for murder, her behavior before and after the crime, and even her true identity. It was well known that “Henrietta Robinson” was an assumed name, but who she really was has never been determined.Read the full story here: The
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/23/2021

Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
The Green-Eyed Monster. | Belle Gordon.

Murderous Assault by a Wife on Her Husband.

Murderous Assault

She Charges That “He is No Man.” She Discharged a Husband (Still Living) for the same reason. [more]

A certain class of females in this country are, it seems, possessed of a large development of superfluous muscle—strong-fisted if not strong-minded. Sometimes they can handle their “mauleys” with the force of a Heenan or McCool, and prove in a most palpable manner their title to the honorary “first blood” and “first knock down.” Sometimes it is a cowhide, which they wield with scientific precision and marked effect. Anon they arm themselves with the revolver and make daylight shine through the object of their wrath. As to the knife, let the Newmarket tragedy tell that awful tale. New Jersey has for some time back been winning the race in this particular line, and bids fair to carry off the palm from the other states of the Union, as our readers from week to week have abundant opportunities of judging for themselves. The last performance of feminine muscularity which has traveled the courses across the North river in and which, as being highly illustrative, we illustrate in our first page, the dramatis personae having the undoubted patronymics of children from the Emerald Isle—Bridget and Pat, and involving a matrimonial imbroglio of very lively interest.

The story runs thus: Some three months ago Bridget was united in the bonds of matrimony to Patrick Coyle, and they have been living in Beacon avenue in Hudson City. Most people who enter that “blissful” condition permit the honeymoon to pass over without any serious difficulty arising to prevent the course of true love running somewhat smooth, but it appears that Bridget and Patrick had their scrimmage before their wedded life was two days old—Bridget declaring that Patrick “was no man at all.” Domestic troubles from this alleged cause became of daily occurrence; and at length culminated in Bridget making a terrible assault on Pat with a knife and an axe, which she used in a manner that indicated nothing less than murder. On Saturday morning last, this “injured female” suddenly jumped out of bed, seized first a knife with which she gashed her husband’s face and hand generally; but this kind of small sword exercise was not doing the purpose with the celerity with which she intended to dispatch poor Pat; so, like the illustrious chief of her country who smote the Danes at Clontarf, she seized a battle-axe, with which she made several murderous blows at the unhappy object of her vengeance. Fortunately for both, Pat succeeded in making his escapes out of the home in his shirt, his face all bloody. His appearance soon arrested the attention of the neighbors, who interfered and brought Pat’s clothes to him and had the wounds dressed.

The case came up in the course of the day before Justice Aldridge, when the husband told his story. Believing Bridge to be a widow, he married her; but soon after he learned that her first husband was still in the land of the living. Bridget having case him of on the ground of being over age—that he was “too ould.” Among the other charges in her indictment was that Coyle was “the worst of the two,” and that he “was no man all.” Having heard the complaint, Recorder Aldridge issued a warrant, upon which the amiable damsel was arrested and committed for trial. Hudson City is becoming quite a lively place, and will not permit the smallest blade of grass to grow under the feet of its worthy Recorder, if it goes on at the present pace.

 


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, September 7, 1888.