On Friday, an Inquest was held at the Nag’s Head, Leicester-fields, on the body of Madamoiselle Ann Paris, then lying dead at No. 4, St. Martin’s-street, Leicester-fields.– Sarah Upton deposed, that she is housemaid to the place. She had frequently observed that the unfortunate young lady appeared to be rather flighty and tiresome in her manner, such as ringing the bell violently, giving orders, and almost immediately after giving counter-orders; at other times she would ring with equal violence, and when any of the servants inquired what she wanted, she would tell them she wanted nothing. At one time the deceased gave the witness a shilling to buy her some laudanum. The witness said, “Good God, Miss, you surely must be mad to think of such a thing; besides you know it is contrary to law, and I can’t procure it.” She then set down and wept bitterly; she said she could get it in a minute; she had been used to take it for a pain in her bowels.–The witness replied, “Very well, miss, you may kill yourself, but I shall not give my assistance to the deed.” On Wednesday, she went out at two, and returned at half after six o’clock. She then said, that she had given a coachman a 1 l. note at Brompton, she had to pay the man only 2s. but she would not wait for her change, as she thought it was much better to lose money than time. She went out about a quarter of an hour, after the time of her coming home, and returned again at eight o’clock, having her bonnet all bedizened with artificial flowers. She got a candle, went up to her own apartments, and returned in about seven minutes time; she refused to take tea with two ladies that were in the parlour at the time; she sat down at first in an extremely pensive manner, then, in the course of a minute or two, with the utmost wildness in her countenance, she exclaimed, “Oh, I shall never see him again! I have done the job–I have taken good care that the laudanum I took should do the business.” The witness was instantly alarmed, knowing that the deceased had ordered her to get some laudanum for her before then. She ran up stairs in the utmost consternation, and saw the phials in the lady’s chamber. Upon her return, she endeavoured to get some explanation for the poor young lady as to what induced her to commit such an act of desperation, but in vain–she looked wild, and continued raving for some time, and then fell into a state of stupefaction. Medical assistance was sent for; three Professional Gentlemen attended, but they could afford her no relief. She died before day light on Thursday morning. The witness knew nothing of any particular visitor to the deceased; neither had she the least knowledge of any of her relations or friends. The Jury returned the verdict– Insanity.
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 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: Examiner (London, United Kingdom), 17 January 1810, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/380.