2d Week of August, 1754, from the London Magazine

August 1754


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Tuesday, 13

The jury at Edinburgh returned their verdict against Nicklas Cockburn, indicted for poisoning her husband and step-mother, finding her guilty all in one voice. In the course of the trial it appeared, that upon the 18th of March last this unhappy woman did poison her own husband, at Newton, near Dalkeith, where they then dwelt, by mixing a quantity of arsenick with his broth at dinner, of which he died betwixt 9 and 10 that night, in the greatest agony. This past at that time without any suspicion, and the husband was buried. About a fort-night thereafter Alexander Cockburn, her father, forester to the earl of Hopetoun, having died, she went there, seemingly with an intention to assist Susan Craig, her stepmother, on the occasion ; and there, on the 3d of April, while her father’s body was yet unburied, she perpetrated the fame crime upon her stepmother, by the fame means, by mixing a considerable quantity of arsenick in her pottage ; soon after the eating of which the poor woman was seized with the most violent pains, and died about 5 in the afternoon in inexpressible agony and torment.

At the assizes at Abingdon-for the county of Berks, 3 received sentence of death, one for house-breaking and the other for stealing a cow. At Winchester 3, one for murder, one for stealing a black mare, and the third for stealing several things from a woman. At Worcester, 2 for the highway, and 1for sheep-stealing. At Salisbury, 1 for house .breaking. At York, 1 for stealing goods out of a warehouse, and a woman for forgery. At Huntingdon, 2 for house-breaking. At Exeter, 1 for the highway. At Stafford, 1 for house-breaking, and another for horse stealing. At Chelmsford, a woman for murdering her own child, and aman for sheep-stealing. At Norwich, 1 for assaulting a gentleman in his dwelling-house, by presenting a pistol to his breast and demanding his money, and 2 for divers felonies. At St. Edmund’s-Bury, 1 for the high-way, and 1 for forgery. At Durham, 1 for sheep-stealing, and 1 for felony. At Shrewsbury 1 for stealing oxen. At Hereford, 1 for house breaking, and 1 for horse-Healing. At Monmouth, 1 for stealing a mare. At Maidstone, four for horse-stealing, and three for the highway. At Gloucester, 1 for stealing four heifers, and 1 for horse-stealing. At Warwick, a woman for robbing shops at Birmingham, two men for the highway, another for sheep-stealing, and one for horse stealing. At Bridgewater 7, one of which was for murder. At Newcastle, -a man (or burglary, and a woman for murdering her bastard child, for which she was executed, but denied the fact to the last. At Guildford, 10, viz. two women for private thefts, two men for housebreaking, three for the highway, one fora private theft, one for stealing a grey Gelding and one for sheep-stealing. *

At the assizes at Nottingham, before Sir Thomas Birch, was tried a cause wherein Mr. Francis Turner, an attorney-at law, at Mansfield in the County of Nottingham, was plaintiff, and Richard Turner Becher, of Southwell in the said county, register of the chapter court of Southwell, defendant; for refusing the plaintiff a sight of a will, which he had in his custody as a publick officer of the said court 5and, after a trial of several hours, the jury brought in a verdict, with damages, for the plaintiff.

An action was lately brought by the associators for preserving the game, at the suit of one of their informers, against 3 young men of Great-Baddow, near Chelmsford in Essex, to recover the penalty of 20l. for having and using nets to destroy the game ; which cause was tried by a special jury of gentlemen of the said county, at the instance of the informing plaintiff, at the last Chelmsford assizes; when, after a full and fair trial of about 7 hours, a verdict was given for the defendants: Upon which there were great rejoicings.

Marriages and Births


  1. Sir John Wodehouse, Bart, at his seat at Lexham in Norfolk, succeeded by his only son, Armine Wodehouse, Esq; knight of the shire for that county, now Sir Armine Wodehouse, Bart.

John Samuel Longuet, Esq; nephew of Benjamin Longuet, Esq; one of the directors of the Bank.

Rt. Hon. the countess of Strathmore, in France.

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