An account of the Execution of two Servant Girls, Bridget Butterly
and Bridget Ennis, who suffered at Kilmainham Jail, on Friday the
4th May, 1821, and their bodies given to Surgeon's Hall, for dis-
section, for the murder of Miss Thompson, a young lady, in whose
house they once lived; to which is added, the whole confession they
made of the Murder on the morning of their Execution;
On Friday last, Bridget Butterly and Brid-
get Ennis we're executed at Kilmainham for
the murder of a young lady of the name of
Miss Thomson. An immense number of peo-
ple assembled on the occasion, who murmured
loudly against the inhuman victims had
committed this horrid Bloody deed: When
the awful preparations were completed, the
drop fell, and Butterly died instantaneously ?
Ennis appeared to suffer much, her body heav -
ed violently after her limbs had ceased to move.
After hanging the usual time the bodies were
taken down and sent to Surgeon's Hall to be
dissected. A corps of Horse Police, on guard,
amongst whom a poor inoffensive dog unfor-
tunately took refuge, at this awful hour, ex
cited their sport, and whom they cut in pieces,
with their swords, each making a smash at it, as
it ran moaning from the wounds it had receiv-
ed ; pleasant diversion indeed for the hands
of the preservers of peace to be engaged in !
Another scene occurred, owing to the Sheriff
ordering the Police to drive the people back.
The orders were promptly obeyed, and the
cries of old and young were heard in every
direction; fortunately no lives were lost.
About 8 o'clock of the morning of the exe-
cution, the prisoners made a public confession.
Butterly related that, when waiting in Chapel
Street for a young man to whom she was hired
as a servant, Captain Peck came and asked
her to take a glass of wine with him. She
went to a house to evade him, and when go-
ing into the Street next morning, she was, to
her great surprise, accosted by the Captain,
who had been watching her. By means of
money, and promises of protection, she was
prevailed upon to go and live in Capt. Peck's
house, where she had a miscarriage while she
slept in his bed. She left the house in conse-
quence of Captain Peck being informed of her
speaking disrespectfully of Miss Thompson
and another person. Ennis suggested that they
should go to England, and the robbery of the
house of Capt. Peck would procure the means.
She then detailed the following circumstances
of the murder and robbery : ?' Biddy,' said I,
laughing, ' what will become of us if we do
any thing with the young lady?' Ennis re-
plied, ' I would sooner kill a dozen than be
taken.'?I then exclaimed, ' Oh, what will
become of my poor father and mother if I
shall do it?' Ennis replied, ' how shall they
find us out, when we are gone to England ?'
Miss - Thompson let me in, Kindly received me,
and shook me by the hand . Ennis desired me
to put the handkerchief about Mrss Thompson's neck or face. I immediately fastened it
about her neck, and dragged her down the
staircase leading to the kitchen?the young
lady called upon Ennis, and implored her to
help her. Ennis cried out ' Biddy, don't injure the young lady ' I replied, I have no in-
tention to hurt Miss Thompson?Ennis left
the house with a trunk?I had dragged Miss
Thompson two or three steps down before
Ennis had left the house; but had not given
her a blow or any other injury at that time?
I pushed her down the stairs, until I got her
into the kitchen?I then seized a poker and
began to beat her, and gave her two blows on
the head with it?Miss Thompson screamed,
and so did I?the blood gushed out in tor-
rents?Miss Thompson then lay quiet- I rais-
ed her up in my arms, (cannot account for this
impulse) by which my clothes became be-
smeared with blood."
Such is an account of this horrible transac-
tion, and which strikes the mind with horror ;
these two young females, in an evil hour, and
with the temptation of gain, murdered the un-
fortunate young lady, who, a few minutes be-
fore, bad shown them the greatest kindness,
and who never dreaded the errand upon which
they entered the house, should operate as a
warning to all young women, especially ser-
vants, to beware of jealousy, and to be clear
of ill-will to the persons whom they sus-
pect of being their foes.
W. Carse, Printer.
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Date of publication:
1821 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(020)
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