Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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222               Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
firmly before the Court had perjured herself in every word she had uttered. He proceeded to prove this by reading letters from Mrs. Sergison to witnesses on the other side, imploring them to go abroad or otherwise keep out of the way, and to communicate with her for that purpose, unknown to her solicitor. He then called these people, including a female—a Mrs. Gibson—whom Mrs. Sergison had called in to aid and assist her in the fraud — also the accoucheur, Fitzsimmons, and the real mother of the child, one Ann Magin, a servant at a Dublin public-house. From their statements it appeared that in January, 1807, whilst Colonel Sergison was away, his wife went to Mrs. Gibson, with whom she had previously been acquainted whilst the wife of Cronin, and said she had supposed herself to be with child, and dreaded the Colonel's violence when he should discover her mistake and his disappointment. She had, therefore, in conjunction with her servant, Nelly Cunningham, formed a plan for imposing a supposititious child upon him. This plan she disclosed to Mrs. Gibson, and they proceeded to put it in execution. It had been previously acertained, by Mrs. Sergison's servant, Nelly Cunningham, that a servant, at a public-house, named Ann Magin, had been delivered four days before of an illegitimate child, and this woman was induced to part with the child — a female one, with black eyes and dark hair—for three half-crowns. It was taken by Nelly Cunningham to a house in Angier-street, where Mrs. Sergison and Mrs. Gibson were waiting for it; and there Mr. Fitzsimmons, an accoucheur, was sent for, and, after a conversation with Mrs. Sergison, consented to play his part in the deception. The child was then taken by Mrs. Sergison and Mrs. Gibson in a coach to the lodgings of the former in Parliament-street, and was carried upstairs by Mrs. Gibson in her muff; something having been given it to make it sleep. In half-an-hour after Mr. Fitzsimmons came. Mrs. Sergison then went to bed, and the child was laid on the bed by her. The trick was never suspected by Colonel Sergison, who looked upon the child as his own, and died in that belief.
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