The Birmingham Child Murder

The major story being covered in the newspapers on Sunday the 9th of September 1888, was the murder of Annie Chapman, which had taken place the previous day.

However, other crimes were happening throughout the country, including a horrible case of child murder that had happened in Birmingham.

Reynolds’s Newspaper, on Sunday the 9th of September, reported on the case.


A mysterious occurrence took place in Asylum-road, Birmingham.

Mrs. Ada Fereday, wife of a working man, went out marketing about six o’clock in the evening, leaving her infant, six months old, lying in a bassinette perambulator m front of the fire.

She also left in the house two older children, her cousins, a boy aged twelve and a girl aged ten.

Mrs. Fereday’s father was also lying drunk and asleep on the sofa.


On her return, the boy had gone.

The little girl said, “Oh! look at the blood on the floor!”

She then found that the infant had been deeply cut near its ankle, and that a table-knife was lying in the perambulator.

The girl, Alice Forrester, stated at first that she had done it, as a boy in the street had told her that it would bring her good luck.


The mother took the baby to a surgery, where an assistant sewed up the wound in the foot that was shown to him.

Soon after, while nursing the infant, the mother found that the other foot was also bleeding, and, on examining it, she found that it was nearly cut off.

The infant was then taken to the General Hospital, where it died about ten minutes after admission from shock and loss of blood.


The police at first suspected the mother and grandfather, but were afterwards satisfied that they were innocent, and that the fatal injuries were inflicted by one or both of the children, whom they detained in custody.

The boy states that he went out, and knew nothing about it; and the girl revokes the statement she first made to the mother, and professes ignorance.


On Monday the two children, Alfred and Alice Forrester, aged twelve and ten years respectively, were brought before the magistrates and remanded.

The police refuse all information, but it is understood that the accused have made statements denying their guilt, and the medical men who saw the child consider it extremely unlikely that the injuries could have been caused by a child.

The only other person who was in the house – the grandfather of the child – denies that he caused the wounds.


At the inquest the child’s mother gave evidence as to leaving the child at home, and coming home and finding its foot wounded.

She deposed also as to not noticing that the other leg was injured until after she had been to the surgery and had the wound first noticed dressed.

Four other persons besides herself saw the child, and did not observe the injury to the second foot, which was nearly cut off.


It appeared that when the mother came home the little girl Alice Forrester said, “Oh, Ada, look at the blood!”

The mother then saw blood under the perambulator, and, turning to the girl, said, “What the —- have you been doing?”

The girl immediately left the house, and appears to have gone to an aunt, and asked her to come to the house, as Minnie had got her foot cut.

The aunt having given evidence, the inquiry was adjourned.

The two children who had been left in the house were not present at the inquest.