T O speak of Murthers that have been
committed in our Sphear of late;
There's none like these I shall declare,
by monstrous hand, and cruel Fate:
Being acted by a Midwife fell,
Which in Scroop-Court of late did dwell.
Mistris Atkins she there was call'd,
of Reputation good alway;
Till Death did send his piercing Dart,
and told her that he could not stay:
But she must to the Stigion Lake,
For murthering Babes for Parents sake.
She seeing now her time was come,
most bitterly began to weep;
And lifting up her hands on high,
she took a short, not lasting sleep:
Six months ago, as I am told,
Before she did this same unfold.
Therefore not to detain you long
to this discourse, I now will press;
Which is a truth assuredly,
as many know, and you may guess:
When as 'tis plainly told herein,
Whereas their bones are to be seen.
The House whereas this Midwife liv'd,
hath very much disturbed been;
With Apparitions very strange,
the like whereof hath not been seen:
Sometimes resembling of her shape,
At other times Hells mouth to gape.
Which put the people in great fear,
that there had taken up abode,
Being loath for to disclose the same,
for fear expersions they should load
...People they are apt of late, to condemn (most) strange things as lyes,To 'th Cheshire-Cheese you may repair, or this they will you satisfice: Having the Childrens Bones to show....But still they daily was opprest,
with dismal shapes, and Lightings strange
That by no means they could not rest,
for this they will you satisfice:
London, Printed for T. Vere , at the Sign of
the Angel in Guiltspur-Street. 1680.
Rotten Row as Seen today
Bones image from here
Cheshire cheese pub image from here
Rotten Row image from here
Copyright © 2011 Elaine Hunter