A Child Drowned in Norfolk, 1772

This comes from the diary of William Youell of Great Yarmouth, a document in the Norwich Record Office:

9 June The poor girl Quinton taken up this day, her tongue was rolled in her mouth swelled as big as any fish and her Eyes started out of her head, that a great many people believe she was strangled before she was thrown in the water by that unnatural bitch her mother.

Buried at night… her aunt Betty and Sally Elgata? followed her. Mrs Polly was mobbed a great deal in the churchyard because she aided and abetted her unnatural sister in her cruelty to the girl.

Intrigued to see the word ‘bitch’ so casually used. Also, this is one of many funerals held at night, and I wonder how long this happened – was it to allow people to attend without taking time out from work, or was night a suitable time for burials and grief.

Also interested that he failed to mention an autopsy; the mother seems absent from the funeral so was she already arrested for the murder?

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