CORONER’S INQUEST.–An inquest was held yesterday evening, before Anthony Gell, Esq. at the Nag’s Head, in Grange-court, Leicester-square, on the body of Ann Paris, an unfortunate young creature, of interesting appearance, not more than 17 years of age, who, it appeared, had been reduced by some unknown melancholy circumstance, to the most forlorn and destitute situations. It was stated in evidence, that she had taken her lodgings only seven weeks, and that during that time she had evinced the most wretched state of mind, and, on Thursday morning, urged on by the poignancy of her feelings, or derangement of her intellect, she swallowed a considerable quantity of laudanum. On the violence of her death-pangs coming on, medical air was sent for, but too late to be of any assistance, and in a short time she expired.–The Coroner’s Jury returned a verdict of Lunacy.
The history of this poor young creature is at once romantic and interesting. She is the daughter of a Monsieur Paris, who was well known in the commencement of the Revolution, and in which he suffered. Madame Paris, with her infant daughter, took refuge in this country; and in the ruin of her fortune, became a governess in a noble family in Scotland. After this she had a house in the New-road; and, about two years ago, died of the rupture of a blood vessel. Her daughter had been placed at an eminent boarding-school near one of the new squares; and on the death of her mother was placed under the guardianship of a Member of Parliament, who, with the most liberal and benevolent attention to her destitute situation, resolved to complete her education; and she had every master of eminence in all the elegant arts. She spoke French and Italian; touched the piano with great execution; sung with taste; and had read beyond her years.
About six or eight months ago she was met in the square, when walking with the other young ladies, by a young man in the dress of a midshipman, who followed her to the door, and who wrote to her under the name of Jones. A correspondence took place. Her imagination was fired; and she eloped with him under a promise of marriage. His address was found in her box, and they were traced by her guardian, and separated. Jones declared that she was virtuous, and his intentions were honourable, and as a proof of it he was ready to marry her with her guardian’s consent. In effect they were married and she was completely undone. In about a fortnight or three weeks Jones threw off his disguise, and fairly told her his real character– that he was no sailor, but lived by his shifts; that he had married her only for the sum her protector had paid him, and that she must provide for herself. She was abandoned; and the shock had such an effect on her imagination, that she has ever since shewed signs of a disordered intellect. With a heart that shrunk from vice, she was flung on the world without a friend or a home; and in this deplorable state she became the victim of necessity.
About three weeks ago, she saw an officer, who is distinguished for his gallantries, and who by his address and attentions so won upon her affections, that she could neither speak nor think of any other object. This fatal attachment absorbed her whole soul. They entered into engagements to live and die only for one another; and in the frenzy of this passion, or under the idea that she could not be his, and his alone, she took the desperate resolution of dying for him. She had prepared three phials of opium, who of which she swallowed, and she died with a spirit of heroism; for no persuasion nor force could make her, when seized with the nausea of the poison, take any antidote to the draughts. She would not suffer the medical men to approach her–and though after stupefaction came on, they administered every known medicine, they all failed of effect.
Citation: Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post (Exeter, United Kingdom), 11 January 1810, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/379.