27 April 1866
Mary Ann Nicholls, a pauper inmate of Lembeth workhouse, was charged with breaking upwards of 50 squares of glass in one of the wards. Henry Probert, the assistant master, stated that being informed that some one was breaking the windows of one of the wards about 6 o'clock in the morning he proceeded there, but found the door locked. On looking through the keyhole, however, he saw the prisoner with a long broom in her hands, with which she was breaking the glass as fast as possible. He burst open the door and stopped her. She said she had done it because she did not want to be sent into the punishment ward as had been threatened. He understood she had been before the Board on the previous day for some misconduct, and cautioned, but not ordered to be punished, so that what she stated was perfectly untrue. The prisoner said she was ordered for punishment, and she would sooner have 21 days from a police court than punishment in the workhouse. The magistrate said it was really shameful that the ratepayers should have to keep such strong women. The witness replied that there were many more like her in the house. Sergeant Howett, 11 L, proved that prisoner was convicted in February, 1865, for destroying some bedding, and in the following May for breaking windows. The magistrate sentenced the prisoner to six weeks' hard labour, and trusted the parochial authorities would get rid of such burdens upon the rates.
Editor's note: There is no proof that this is the same Mary Ann Nichols who was murdered in August 1888.