Women and Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century rural France

  • Jonathan Dalby


On 24 April 1841 the dismembered and trampled body of a newborn baby was discovered in the pigsty of a farm belonging to Pierre Bonnet in the village of Cassaniouze.1 Part of the jaw and both hands and feet had already been consumed by the pigs but according to the doctors who carried out the autopsy, the baby was neither stillborn nor premature and showed signs (bruising round the neck and a knife wound) of having been killed by violence. The suspected mother, Cécile Bouygues, 30, a distant relation of Bonnet’s, was shortly indicted on charges of infanticide and sent before the departmental assize courts.


Nineteenth Century Eighteenth Century Unmarried Mother Ancien Regime Illegitimate Child 
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Copyright information

© Department of History, U.W.I., Mona, Jamaica 1995

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  • Jonathan Dalby

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