October 31, 1843: At the Central Criminal Court, Andrew M’Donough is acquitted of the rape of Margaret Somerville. She was an underage girl (though not underage at that time) who had been employed by him as a nanny/servant. She made a stock charge, namely that he had thrown her to the ground and had his way with her, muffling her cries with one hand while presumably unbuttoning his trousers with the other. Although she delayed reporting, she was examined by a doctor, and her motive or partial motive appears that she had been having sex with a person or persons of ill-repute, contracting some sort of infection, for which she attempted to blame her one-time employer.

There were other people present in the house too when the alleged rape occurred, and it seems inconceivable that had she been telling the truth, someone would not have been alerted.

[The above is based on a report in the London Times, November 1, 1843, page 6].


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