Anne Greene

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Anne Greene (born 1628, hanged 1650, died 1665) was an English domestic servant who was accused of committing infanticide in 1650.

Biography[edit]

Greene was born in 1628, in Steeple Barton, Oxfordshire. She entered the household of Sir Thomas Reade of the manor house at nearby Duns Tew as a scullery maid. She was seduced by her master's grandson and gave birth to a child, which, as she alleged, and according to medical evidence, was stillborn. She was, however, sentenced to death for murder, and on 14 December 1650 was hanged at Oxford. At her own request, several of her friends pulled at her swinging body, and struck severe blows, so as to make sure that she was dead, and after the usual interval she was cut down, and after being pronounced dead by the prison doctor, was given over to the medical students for dissection.

A day later when the dissection was about to be started, the students found out that Greene had a faint pulse and was weakly breathing, and with the help of restoratives she soon regained her health. She was revived by having hot cordial poured down her throat, having her limbs and extremities rubbed, being bled, having heating plasters applied and having a "heating odoriferous Clyster to be cast up in her body, to give heat and warmth to her bowels". After being placed in a warm bed with another woman, to keep her warm, she recovered fully.[1]

She was granted a free pardon. The event was regarded as the special interference of the hand of God on behalf of the innocent, and called forth several pamphlets. The most notable of these was entitled Newes from the Dead, or a True and Exact Narration of the Miraculous Deliverance of Anne Greene - written by a Scholler in Oxford - whereunto are prefixed certain Poems casually written upon that subject, (Oxford, 1651). The poems, of which there were 25, in various languages, included a set of Latin verses by Christopher Wren, who was at that time a gentleman-commoner (a student who paid all fees in advance) of Wadham College.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hughes 1982, p. 1783
  2. ^ Jane Shaw, Miracles in Enlightenment England (2006), p. 58.
  3. ^ Jane Shaw, Miracles in Enlightenment England (2006), p. 58.
  4. ^ Jane Shaw, Miracles in Enlightenment England (2006), p. 58.
  5. ^ Jane Shaw, Miracles in Enlightenment England (2006), p. 58.

 "Greene, Anne". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

  • Hughes, Trevor J. (1982), "Miraculous Deliverance Of Anne Green: An Oxford Case Of Resuscitation In The Seventeenth Century", British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition), number 6357 (BMJ Publishing Group, hosted at jstor.org) 285 (6357): 1792–1793, doi:10.1136/bmj.285.6357.1792, JSTOR 29509089