FULL TEXT: Mrs. Annie Margaret Montagu, of County Londonderry, Ireland, seems to be as perfect a lady and she is a tender and devoted mother. According to the evidence brought out at trial, she is in the habit of half killing her children whenever they are troublesome and disobedient. Her favorite discipline is tying up the little tots in painful and torturing positions and then rounding off their sufferings with a night in a dark and empty room.
A former governess, Miss Wallace, testified that Walter Montagu, a son, four years old, had upon one occasion been tied to a tree in the park and left there from early morning until sundown. At an other time Miss Wallace missed the child for a period of eight days. When he finally reappeared the backs of his hands were puffed up as though the blood were stagnated. There were bruised on his neck and arms, and a general suggestion of his having passed through some terrible suffering. A Mrs. James, who had once been a nurse in the family, deposed that she had once seen Mrs. Montagu dragging another son, Austin, along a corridor by the heels, his head trailing and bumping on the floor. And nearly inmate of the house in a position to have heard such things testified to awful sounds of beating and the moaning of little children at night. A housemaid had seen Gilbert stripped naked and scourged until he was covered with blood. He was then thrown into a dark closet, where he lay wailing in agony all night long.
It appears that Mrs. Montagu is a person of severe and Spartan virtue. She announces, with something like honest pride, that these are the methods of punishment she has adopted, and that they give her satisfaction. She is trying, she says, to save her children’s souls, and she adds the totally unnecessary declaration thatr she does not care what becomes of their bodies. It no doubt consoles her to reflect that the soul of the little girl whom she killed in pursuit of her theory of reformation is now quite safe, and that thought perhaps sustains her under the persecution to which she is at present subjected by a cold and callous law. We are not at all surprised, however that Coleraine is wrought up to a perilous condition of excitement, and that the judge before whom Mrs. Montagu is being tried for manslaughter has found it necessary to exclude the public from the courtroom. Mrs. Montagu’s ideas are, to say the least, conspicuously advanced, and it may be that narrow-minded masses of that part of Ireland are not yet ready to accept the mangling and killing of babies as a praiseworthy feature of parental discipline.
[“Mrs. Montagu’s Philosophy.” The Washington Post (D. C.), Feb. 27, 1892, p. 4]
For more cases, see: Women Who Like to Torture