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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1856, Sunday, October 30, 1831

[East India Company, St. Helena]

On Wednesday last Mrs. Grew of No. 49, King street, Soho, came to this office, accompanied by her own daughter, Mrs. Webber, of Vincent square, Westminster, and a little girl about 13 years of age, and requested the advice of Mr. Halls, the sitting Magistrate, under these circumstances: —

Mrs. Grew stated, that about three months ago the little girl came to her door covered with rags, offering some matches for sale. Perceiving that she was a quick intelligent child, and taking pity on her forlorn and miserable condition, she asked her if she should like to live with her. The girl very readily expressed her consent and she (Mrs. Grew) had her taken into her house, to be cleaned, and clothed as she now appeared. On questioning her as to her parents, she said that their name was Goodison, and that they lived at No. 49, Buckridge street, St. Giles's. After a few days had elapsed, Goodison, the reputed father of the little girl, called at the house, and demanded his daughter, saying that he could make more by her in the streets than if she were in the best situation. The child, however, expressed the greatest reluctance to go back to her supposed parents, and she (Mrs. Grew) determined not to part with her, except with her own consent. Both father and mother called repeatedly after, and were very insolent and abusive, threatening to take legal proceedings for the recovery of their daughter. She remained about three months in the house, when her daughter, Mrs. Webber, now present, being in want of a servant, the little girl was sent to her but not proving sufficiently strong for the work, her mistress told her that she feared she would not suit her, that she should return to her parents. The child then burst into tears, and said that the people with whom she had lived were not her father and mother and moreover, that they had used her very cruelly, having turned her into the streets one rainy night, because she brought no money home. She then stated that her parents were natives of St. Helena, and that her father, whose name was Sale, was a captain of Grenadiers in the service of the East India Company; that she was born on that island herself, and that about four years ago her parents being at Sandy Cove Bay, she was going to school with a new 5l. note which her father directed her to give the governess for her schooling, when the Goodisons met her and took her with them on board the vessel in which they sailed for England. Under these circumstances, Mrs. Grew added, that she thought it advisable to seek the advice of a magistrate, as it was a dreadful thing, if the child's statement was true, that her parents should be left so long in utter ignorance of her fate.

Mr. Halls observed, that it was indeed an extraordinary story, and asked how it was that persons in the situation of the Goodisons should be at St. Helena.

The little girl, who said that her name was Louisa Sale, replied that Goodison belonged to the same regiment as her father, and that she had heard him say that he had enlisted at Chatham some years ago.

Mrs. Grew, in answer to a question by the magistrate, said, that she understood the Goodisons had left their residence in Buckridge street, and no one knew where they had gone to.

Mr. Halls said that the main object was, first to ascertain whether a Captain Sale resided at St. Helena, and for that purpose he dispatched a note to the depot of the East India Company, at Soho square, and the messenger soon after returned with an answer from Captain Murray, saying that there was a caption Sale attached to the Company's services, and that he was residing at St. Helena.

Mr. Halls then suggested that the child should remain for the present at the house of Mrs. Webber, who very kindly said that she should continue with her until measures were adopted for restoring her to her parents.

On Friday Mrs. Grew, her daughter, and the little girl, called again at the office, according to appointments, and had a interview with Mr. Halls in the private room. We are not aware of what transpired, but have every reason to believe that measures are in progress by which the mystery which at present involves the affair will be cleared up.