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bread; but proposed to take one of the children, and to leave the other to the care of her husband. To this, however, Austin objected, and LEFT HER; first dividing the ONLY QUARTERN LOAF they had left, between them. Nearly a fortnight had elapsed, before Mrs. Austin received any tidings of her husband; when he sent a person for his clothes, but these she refused to deliver. Austin now returned, and again urged her to seek parochial relief for herself and her two children; but this, however, she again positively refused to do, on the grounds before stated.
Mrs. AUSTIN having again become pregnant, and being within two months of her delivery, she was desirous of obtaining a letter of recommendation to be again admitted into the Brownlow-street Hospital. Being acquainted with a poor woman of the name of Lasley, who used to obtain the broken meat, &c. from MoNTAGUE HOUSE, the residence of HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS OF WALES, Mrs. Austin requested Mrs. Lasley to endeavour to procure a letter of recommendation from some of the ladies in attendance, for admittance into the Hospital. She made application, but was not successful. Fearing, however, that Mrs. Austin would suspect that she had not applied for her, she proposed that Mrs. Austin should accompany her to Montague House. To this Mrs. Austin agreed, and on the Monday following they kept the appointment; Mrs. Austin remaining on the Heath, while her companion went into the house.
Mrs. Lasley inquired for Mr. STIKEMAN, the page, thinking him the most likely person to succeed with the ladies; but he not being in the house at the time, they returned. Meeting Mr. STIKEMAN, however, as they were crossing the Heath, Mrs. Lasley spoke to him, and said, "This is the poor woman for whom I solicited a
letter of recommendation into the hospital." Mr. STIKEMAN observed, he was very sorry he could not obtain. one for her; but said the ladies would give her a letter to be attended at home. Mrs. Austin told him she had, once before, lain in at Brownlow Street Hospital, and would like to go there if she could, it not being so convenient for her to lay in at home. He said he should be happy to serve her if he could, but in this case he could not, as he had already asked the ladies the question.
Being unsuccessful in procuring a letter from Montague House, she applied to a friend in town of the name of Wilson who obtained one for her, from Mr. Hoare, the banker, in Fleet Street; and was admitted into the hospital, on Sunday the 11th of July, 1802. ON THIS DAY, Mrs. AUSTIN was delivered of a son, who was baptized at the house of the Institution, on the 15th of the same month, and named WILLIAM.
A few days after its birth, the child was observed to have a mark of red wine on its right hand, completely encircling the thumb; but this mark has since gradually disappeared, and is not at present discernible.
Mrs. Austin continued in the hospital until the 29th of July, at which time she left it and returned with her son to Deptford; calling in her way at Mr. Hoare's, to leave a letter of thanks, as is usual in these cases.
AUSTIN being still out of employ, and his wife hearing that several persons had made successful application, to HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS OF WALES to procure a reinstatement in his Majesty's Dock Yard, she was advised to try this expedient on behalf of her husband. Mrs. Austin proposed to him to write a petition, and she would take it to HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, and endeavour to get him replaced in his former situation. Austin, however hesitated, for some time, to embrace his wife's offer, conceiving that the
attempt would be quite fruitless. At length, to satisfy Mrs. Austin, he consented to the measure. His wife accordingly took the petition, and went with the child (WILLIAM) in her arms, on Saturday the 23rd of October, 1802, to MONTAGUE HOUSE. Here she inquired for Mr. STIKEMAN, whom she had seen but once only before, when she applied for a letter of recommendation to the Brownlow-street hospital.
Mr. STIKEMAN appearing, she requested him to present the petition, stating that the object of it was to get her husband reinstated in the Dock Yard, from whence he had been lately discharged, with many others. He said, he was "denied doing such things; having applications of a similar nature, almost daily." She urged her great distress, telling him she had another child at home, and no prospect of any provision for them, her husband being quite destitute of employment. He then gave her a SHILLING, took the petition and put it into his pocket, observed she had a fine child in her arms, and asked how old it was; Mrs. Austin answered, about three months. Mr. STIKEMAN replied, if it had been about a FORTNIGHT OLD, HE COULD HAVE GOT IT TAKEN CARE OF FOR HER; she observed to him that she thought it a better age to be taken from the mother, than if it were younger; he answered, “Ah, true." He then turned up the child's clothes and looked at its legs, saying, "It's a fine child, give it to me." He accordingly took the child into the house, and as he went along the passage, danced it up and down, talking to it.
During the time Mr. STIKEMAN was in possession of the child, Mrs. Austin remained at the door of Montague House, on the Heath. Having waited his return with her child for more than half an hour, she began to be apprehensive that her son would be taken from her, and that she should not behold him again. These fears she
communicated to some persons passing at the time, as she stood weeping at the gate;-but they encouraged her to hope for the best, saying there was no doubt but that the child would be safely restored to her.
Mr. STIKEMAN now brought the child to her, and said that he had been a very good boy, and desired her to give him the shilling again, that he might make it up HALF-A-GUINEA; and this, he said, was a present from the ladies.
She then asked Mr. STIKEMAN if he thought he could get the child taken care of for her: he said he would try what he could do, and desired that she would come again on Monday. He then desired her to go round to the Cookery, and he would give her something. On her way thither, she met him in the yard, and he gave her some broken meat, telling her to be sure to bring the child again on Monday, by eleven o'clock in the morning.
On her return, Mrs. Austin found that her husband had packed up all his clothes, and had gone off by the coach to London; leaving the other child with a woman in the house. She, afterwards, discovered that he had engaged himself with a Mrs. Nichols, a furrier in Oxford Road.
On Monday October 25, Mrs. Austin again went to Montague House, according to appointment; but the day being very foggy, she wandered about for some time, not being able to find her way, and was near falling down a precipice on the Heath, called Sot's-hole. Meeting, however, with a baker who was crossing the Heath, he directed her to her ROYAL HIGHNESS'S house. When she arrived, she inquired for Mr. STIKEMAN, who came out to her, and exclaimed, "Bless me! I did not expect to see you such a morning as this!" He now inquired for her husband; she told him, that he was from home, seeking employment. He
then asked if she could come the next morning, and bring her husband with her, as he particularly wished to see him; and observed, if they were not at Montague House by 10 or 11 o'clock, he would call on them at Deptford, at twelve. He then gave her some broken meat, and she went away. Austin and his wife lived, at this time, at No. 7, Deptford, New Row, with a person of the name of Bearblock, a milkman.
When she reached her home, supposing that something advantageous was intended to be done for them, she resolved to go immediately to London, in quest of her husband; whom, after a considerable time spent in the search, she found at a relation's. Mrs. Austin then related to her husband the success she had met with at MONTAGUE HOUSE, and told him that Mr. STIKEMAN wished very particularly to see him; and that he had better return with her by the coach. Tə this he readily consented, being too unwell to fulfil the engagement into which he had entered.
Austin and his wife arrived at Deptford about 11 o'clock that night. In consequence of his disorder increasing, Austin was so ill, that he found himself incapable of rising in the morning; and was, of course, prevented from going to Montague House. At 12 o'clock, however, Mr. STIKEMAN called on them, and made particular inquiries into their circumstances and character; promising to do what he could for them, in the way of getting the child taken care of.
A few days afterwards, Mrs. Austin went to MONTAGUE HOUSE, and seeing Mr. STIKEMAN at the door, she asked him whether he would be able to do any thing for her child. He said, he would try and let her know. On Thursday the 4th of November, Mr. STIKEMAN came to Deptford, and said he had spoken to Arthur the gardener, to employ her hus