Ellen Cunningham aka Ellen Spears

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
20 January 1844



ELLEN SPEARS, whose eloquence prevailed upon the bench to deal leniently with her for the old offence of drunkenness twice within the last week, was charged, for the third time, with the same offence.

Magistrate.—Were you drunk?

ELLEN.—I wasn’t drunk, and I wasn’t sober.

Magistrate.—I have a great mind to send you two months to the third class of the Factory, and I think it would be the best thing that could happen to you, for you cannot keep yourself sober, it appears.

ELLEN.—Oh! your worship, think of my poor little children.

Magistrate.—You don’t seem to think much about them.

ELLEN.—Oh! your worship, only for my brother it would not have happened.

Magistrate.—Your brother! what brother?

Chief Constable.—She has no brother, your worship. (aside)

ELLEN.—Oh yes, your worship, I have a brother, and he lives over at the Pennant Hills, and he came down and paid seven shillings for my fare in a cart to go to Kissing Point, where your worship gave me leave to go, but I went to see my husband, your worship, and when I came back my brother met me and gave me one glass of ale, just as I was stepping into the cart to go away, your worship, and it overcame me, and the constables came up and took me, so it was all my brother’s fault, your worship.

Magistrate.—You must pay 16s or go 72 hours to the cells. If you come here again you shall go two months to the Factory.

ELLEN.—Oh! thank your worship. God bless your Excellency!


Female Factory Online, (femalefactoryonline.org), “Law Report of ELLEN CUNNINGHAM aka ELLEN SPEARS,” https://femalefactoryonline.org/law-reports/p18440120-3/, accessed [insert current date].

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© Copyright Michaela Ann Cameron 2018