FULL TEXT: The Court of Assizes of the Houte-Loire has just been engaged in the trial of a midwife of Le Puy named Julien, and her husband, a carpenter, on numerous charges of ill-treatment, and murder of infants under circumstances of the most revolting cruelty. The female prisoner accustomed to receive children of unmarried women, and which for a certain sum, varying from 200 f. to 400 f., she undertook to bring up or get place in some orphan asylum. They were then subjected by the woman to such barbarous usage that their death ensued in a very short time – in some cases by absolute starvation. These facts at length cane to the knowledge of the authorities, and an outcry was made by the police. On searching a cupboard about six feet long by four feet widow, a little girl about two years old was found lying on a heap of rotten straw covered by filth; the body was one mass of putrid sores; two toes of the left foot had dropped off, and the bones of the rest could be seen exposed through the decomposing flesh. One witness, who had lodged in the house for three days, proved that the child had not been once moved all that time, and that at last it had not sufficient strength to cry out. By proper attention it has, however, now recovered. On a previous occasion the police had to make inquiries respecting a confinement which had taken place a fortnight before in the woman’s house; the infant was still with her, but so reduced by privation that the officer ordered it to be given to a wet nurse; it had, however, not strength enough left to take nourishment, and expired a few hours after. The woman and her husband had at another time gone on a two days’ journey in a cart, taking with them two infants shut up in a close wooden box. On their return one had died of suffocation, and the second on the following day. A child by a former wife of the husband being brought from a nurse did not long survive. The woman had been seen on one occasion to throw it naked under the table, where it lay almost insensible. She had also been heard to express her regret that the child held out so long. The husband was shown to have been accessory to these and other acts of cruelty, and, with respect to the child first mentioned, had boasted, that when it should be dead they would have a three days’ feast. The female prisoner was now condemned to death, and the husband to twenty years’ hard labour. The jury, however, recommended the woman to the Emperor’s clemency.
[“Systematic Child Murder.” The Atlas (London, England), Sep. 21, 1867, p. 8]