A Warning-piece to all married men and women being the full confession of Mary Hobry the French midwife, who murdered her husband on the 27th of January 1687
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A WARNING-PIECE TO All Married Men and Women. Being the Full CONFESSION of MARY HOBRY, The FRENCH Midwife, Who Murdered her Husband on the 27th. of January, 1687/8. (As also the Cause thereof.) For which she receiv'd Sentence to be Burnt alive: And on Friday the Second Day of March, between the Hours of Ten and Eleven in the Mornings she was drawn upon a Sledge to Leicester-Fields, where she was burnt to Ashes.


ALL you that Married Men and Women be
Give Ear unto this woful Tragedy,
That now befell a French man and his Wife,
Who liv'd together in continual Strife;
One Denis Hobry about Four years since
Took to his Wife a Woman Born a French,
Whom he Abus'd at such inhumane rate,
That she a thousand times wish'd him ill Fate,
And thought within herself to end the Strife,
If she were forc'd, to take away his Life:
The cause that mov'd him to those Tyrannies,
Was her aversion to his Villanies;
At length into a private Room she fled,
Intending never to Embrace his Bed,
Where she remain'd four Months, and then by chance
Her Husband went beyond the Seas to France;
But when return'd, he Courted her again,
Tho first he feared it was all in vain.
He swore a thousand times to please her Mind,
And prove a Husband, faithful, chaste, and kind.
His Words prevail'd so much, that she did yield,
Upon these Terms, to give him up the Field,
That he would first confess before a Priest
And two Witnesses more, as he own'd Christ
To be his God, she was his lawful Wife,
And would no more vex her during his Life.
Father Gasper wrote this every Word,
Who placed it afterwards upon Record.
But scarce two days, or three at most, were past,
When he on her the old Reproaches, cast.
In two months time he went to France again.
And gave the Woman just cause to complain;
For, nothing that he could come at or find,
But he brought with him, and left none behind.
When three months passed he returned home,
And with dissembling Words to her did come;
Whom she receiv'd, expecting his good Will,
But soon found him to be the same Man still.
She often beg'd of him, with weeping eyes,
A Separation, or that otherwise
He would be civil; who gave this Reply,
He would her ruine; which caus'd her to cry,
And think to take his Life, or lose her own,
Which she did often tell him in her moan.
Long she endur'd, at last she told her Case
To Neighbours that dwelt near about the place,
And said, she fear'd Mischief would be the end
Of his ill Actions, or he soon would mend.
Three months being pass'd, one time she took a Knife,
With an intent to take away his life:
But God did then bellow on her his grace,
Which made her give her Husband longer space.
So twice she did intend upon her Bed
To stab her Husband, and to leave him dead:
And to Himself she did declare her mind,
Who dared her in a most foolish, kind.
Now he was going from her into France,
And she told him, If that it were his chance
E're to come back, and follow the old Rule,
She must become unto him something cruel:
Who promis'd her most earnestly, and swore
He never would abuse her as before.
In three weeks after he return'd again
Unto his Wife, who did him entertain;
And said, dear Hobry, welcome thou to me
So that you henceforth a good Husband be.
I will, said he, taking a thousand Oaths,
If you'll me furnish presently with Cloaths.
She answered Him, The Times were very dear,
And hardly she her honest Debts could clear.
He hearing her, most wickedly did curse,
And swear he would to her be ten times worse
Than e're he was; who then this Answer had
From her, That he already made her mad,
For that it was most commonly his way
When he did want, to threaten night and day,
If she could not him furnish, no Excuse
Could get place with him, but still her abuse.
One Yard to her did openly declare,
That for her Ruine her Husband did prepare.
Thus they continued in the same degree.
To th' Twenty Seventh of last January;
When she, about Ten of the Clock at night
Took her Repose, bearing no kind of Spight
Or Malice to her Husband, as before,
But open, for his Coming, left the door;
Who came at Five a Clock next Morning home.
And did in Rage and Gholer fret and fome,
And to his Wife, as dead as in a grave
(With Sleep,) a blow upon the Stomach gave,
Which made her start; What, you are drunk (said he,)
If I am not, 'tis like you are, quoth she:
He answer'd I with Rogues all night did sit,
Which made me mad, and you must pay for it;
Whereupon he gave her another Blow
Upon the Breast, which did renew her Woe:
To weeping she immediately did fall,
And he then took her in his Arms with all
His force, till he did stop her Vital Breath,
So that she wished for a sudden Death:
He forc'd on her such barbarous Violence
In spight of what she did in her Defence;
Forcing much Blood from her, she cried out
To her Land-lady, who did not hear the Shout:
Unto the Neighbours I'll (said she) complain;
Wherewith he threw her on the Bed again,
And bit her like a Dog kept in a yard.
Shall this said she, be always my Reward?
Yea, answer'd he, be sure thyself to keep
Well, and with that he fell in a dead Sleep;
Which she beholding, and feeling the smart
Of his ill usage to her; in her Heart,
What shall I do, (said she) must I, now Die?
Or Murther him that makes me, thus to Cry?
With that she started full of Wrath and Evil,
Being thereto Spurr'd by th' instinct of the Devil,
And pull'd his Garter off his Leg in hast,
Being a Pack-thread, which she thought no wast,
And doubling it about his Neck she drew
The ends so fest, that she him quickly Slew;
But soon Repenting, hop'd he was Alive,
And thought that Brandy would him then Revive:
When all was done, her labour was in Vain,
For Life once lost, can ne'er be had again.
Till Monday following the Corps was there,
For she could not convey it any where
Untill she brought her Son out of the Strand
Who durst not speak against her 〈◊〉 Command:
When he beheld the Corps lye at this rate,
He did bemoan his Mothers wretched Fate:
What will you do? you must (said he) now Die,
Or out of England you must quickly Flie:
She told him Money she had none in hand
That would buy Passage to another Land;
My way said she is to Cut off his Head,
His Thighs and Arms, now that he is Dead,
And none can tell what Country man he's then,
Though he were found by the most wise of Men.
At Four or Five past Noon, this Cursed Wife
Cut off her Husband's Head with a sharp Knife:
His Arms and Thighs came off, his Legs again,
And though his Neck did Bleed, he felt no Pain.
At Eight a Clock this Night through Castle-street
And Drury-lane she went, and none did meet,
Until at Parkers lane to please her will
She laid the Corps near by a nasty Dung-hill:
She did in Linnen next the Thighs convey
Into a Privy that's in the Savoy,
Where she again the Arms and Legs did cast,
Nothing remaining but the Head at last;
She then advised with her Son to know
Where they might closely put the Head also;
Who said the Water was for it the Place,
But she then fear'd some Man might know his Face;
And she at last resolved to this end.
To throw't into the Privy of her Friend,
A Fringe-maker, that lives by the Savoy,
For they do still two Privies there imploy.
The Corps being found, and all the truth well known.
She did her self no word of it disown;
But did confess that no untruth is here,
For God will not let Murtherers go clear.
She is now Burn'd, and beggs of all Mankind
And Women too, Wisdom by her to find.
With Allowance.