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Unmarried mothers being brought before a court hearing and judged severely. Woodcut.
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1 print : woodcut
The new bastardy law; or, the schoolmaster at home. ...
Lettering continues: "Please your worship, I have brought these immoral women before you perusal to the new law or bastardy, clause 67th." "Oh! the nasty creatures, the loose fish, the lascivious strumpets! Here is indeed evident proofs of "their consent", and some of them old enough to be grandmother's and teach the young 'uns better. I'm quite shock'd! No wonder there is such excess of population, when every dirty baggage of 16 or 18 to 50, exchanges their virtues for a trifle. We must severely punish them as an example to the sex, or we shall have the country completely overran with the fruits of their labour. A - t - p, you must take them to the general breeding house, and when they have deliver'd you must deliver them over to one of the new Magdalens in the parish, and there they will have their legs tied: where they will lay in the rooms appropriated at the tread mill for a twelvemonth. Mind, A - t - p, and let no man be heard or seen by them; and mind, let their situations be hairy." "Why what's the use of us turning evidence if he is not going to hear our evidence?" "Why, you see he knows the nature of it without. It is excessively convenient, positively, to ruin the women and not be amenable to the law." "Good lord deliver us! Please your worship we was'nt aware it was any crime to do what-every lady in high life is perpetually doing, and then recieve a pension for her services, and a place for her bastard! Pray have mercy on us this time and we'll cut every man wot comes near us for the future."
Wellcome Library no. 16860i
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