Saturday, October 1, 2011

Elizabeth Cahy, Tasmanian Woman Who Attacked Other Women in a “Cannibalistic” Fashion - 1856


FULL TEXT: Hobarton, Tasmania – Elizabeth Cahy, p.h., was charged with a “common assault” on Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis on the 19th instant, by “then and there biting a portion of her right eye brow off.”

The prisoner pleaded guilty, but standing in her own defence.

Mrs. Lewis stated, that the prisoner was in her service; at 10 o’clock on the night of the day mentioned, witness, who keeps a public house, (the Freemason’s Arms) went to clear the Tap room, when the prisoner prevented her; witness told her to go to her room, but she refused, and rushed witness against a cask in her bar; she afterwards seized witness by her hair, and pulled some of it out by the roots, and, then, bit a piece of her eye brow off.

A witness, named Margaret Davidson, who was stopping at Mr. Lewis’ on the night in question, corroborated Mrs. Lewis’s testimony, and stated, that the prisoner’s conduct was very violent, and that Mrs. Lewis was bleeding profusely from the eye brow.

Dr Smart deposed to the nature of the wound, which was about an inch in length, and half au inch broad; a portion of the flesh had been torn off which Mrs. Lewis showed to witness: he sewed up the wound which was not of a dangerous character.

Mr. Burgess said, that the Bench adjudged the prisoner guilty; her conduct towards her mistress appeared most brutish, and it was only in October 1854, that she received a sentence of nine mouths’ imprisonment for a similar offence. She was now sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment with hard labor.

[“The Female Cannibal,” The Hobarton Mercury (Tasmania), Jul. 25, 1856, p. 3]

Note: The meaning of the abbreviation "p. h." is unknown to the UHoM editor.

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For more cases see: Cannibal Murderesses

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