A Difficult Woman, a Difficult Case

Here’s another piece from my research on scolding wives, which points to the problems in dealing with such matters. It is also interesting how other women support this ‘tyger’. I wonder what was actually going on. This is from 1732:

 Yesterday a woman commonly called the Tyger of Westminster, was tryed at the ¼ sessions at Westminster for being a common scold. This being a cause of great expectation, several good women appeared in court on this occasion; the counsel for the Defendant took several Exceptions to the Forms of the Indictment, and it was learnedly argued by counsel on both sides, and several witnesses were examined to prove, that the neighbourhood had been disturbed, even at midnight, by the Noise and Clamour made by the Defendant: Sir John Gonson, the chairman of the Sessions, summed up the evidence to the jury, but directed them to acquit the Defendant by Reason of several defects in the indictment, especially the word Rixitrix was omitted .. she was found not guilty to the great satisfaction of many o the best Housewives of the parish who apprehended that if Prosecution of this Nature were too much encouraged, it might infringe their English liberty. 

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