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Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1809, Sunday, November 28, 1830

Police Intelligence


Seduction and Desertion.

A young creature, named Margaret Allen, a native of Kingswood, near Wootton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, was observed a few days back, by Townshend, one of the officers, in a state almost of nudity, walking in the Green Park, with an infant in her arms, and asking arms from every one who passed. Suspecting her to be an imposter, he took her into custody, when she gave the following account of herself:—Having lost her father and mother, a young man, in this trying period of her misfortunate, under the mask of friendship, paid her attentions, and worked on her affections, until he so far won them, as to effect her ruin. The infant at her breast was the consequence, and her vile seducer deserted her. She then came to London, where, not having a single friend, to sustain herself and her infant she pawned almost every thing she possessed; and having no other resource, reduced to the last extremity, poverty drove her from the shelter of a miserable room, which she could no longer pay for, to the precarious experiment of begging assistance in the street, in which effort she was so little practised, that she did not succeed in getting what would procure her a bed or a morsel of bread; and she believes she would have perished with her infant in the street (not aware that there were asylums for the destitute in London), but that chance threw an open shed, in the vicinity of the Park, in her way, which partially protected her from the inclemency of the night; and when Townshend took her up, for nearly twenty-four hours previously, she declared she had not tasted an atom of food. Townshend supplied her from his own pocket with 3s. for immediate wants; and, obtaining the duplicate of her little things from her, released them. He also bought her, from his own purse, a new plait cloak, and several other articles of wearing apparel; and, by his influence, obtained small sums from several humane persons for her relief, to the amount of 5l. The magistrate ordered her to be conveyed to her parish.