[Elizabeth Canning.] A View of the Back of S. Wells's House[...] A View of the Front of S. Wells's House at Endfield Wash where E: Canning deposed she was confined from ye 1st to the 30th January.
Coloured engraving oxidising, very scarce. 160 x 270mm (6¼ x 10½"). Trimmed and laid on album paper.
Elizabeth Canning (1734-1773), an 18-year-old London maidservant, claimed to have been kidnapped on New Year's Day and held for a month in a brothel in Enfield. She accused `Mother Wells', the madam of the establishment, of trying to force her to become a prostitute. A hideous gypsy crone staying in the house, Mary Squires, cut off the girl's stays (worth 10 shillings), and Elizabeth was imprisoned in an attic with only a few crusts of bread and a jug of water to live on. On January 29th she escaped through a window and walked all the way back to her mother's house in the City. Squires and Wells were apprehended, and tried at the Old Bailey; the former was condemned to be hanged, and the latter was burned in the hand and imprisoned. However Crisp Gascoyne, the trial judge and Lord Mayor of London, was convinced that a miscarriage of justice had occurred and began his own investigation: after new evidence was found Elizabeth Canning was charged with perjury and transported to the American colonies for seven years, where she died.
[Ref: 30272] £130.00