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Portions were read to me, but not all. No witness appeared against me, and there was no evidence heard. There were only those statements of the sisters, the contents of which I did not know except when any portion was read to me, and I was asked to answer it. No one was examined in support of the statements made against me, not even Mrs. Star.

The plaintiff then described what passed before the commissioners. peared that under each head of charges in the summary there was a body of written statements made by some of the sisters, each sister contributing her quota of accusation, and this was alluded to in the summary as the “evidence.” There was at all events no other evidence produced. As each head of charges was read from the summary, said the plaintiff, I was asked whether or not it was true. I said it was untrue. Portions of the statements of the sisters were then read, sometimes, but not always.

The Lord Chief Justice.-Were not the statements of the sisters read to you?

Plaintiff.—No, my Lord.

The Lord Chief Justice.—Were you called upon to explain, and had you an opportunity of doing so ?

Plaintiff.—I explained as well as I could. My uncle was there and asked some questions of me.

The Lord Chief Justice.—He could not ask questions of the witnesses, for there

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Plaintiff.—He asked me questions for the purpose of explanation. I offered to make a statement as to my treatment in the convent, but I was not allowed to

The plaintiff stated that Dr. O'Hanlon took part in the case, and asked a few questions. Mr. Porter was particularly hostile to her. The commissioners sat two days, and when it was over she returned to the convent. She had not heard of the result until some time afterwards. She had written to the Bishop on the 18th of January, to which the Bishop replied as follows:

“Dear Sister Scholastica, – Your letter, just received, has hastened a communi. cation which would otherwise have been delayed until I heard from your uncle, with whom I have communicated. I hereby require you to remove from the convent, and offer to absolve you from your vows, on a condition" (stated afterwards to be the hearing of ten masses). Under all the circumstances, as no advantage can arise from seeing you, I must decline seeing you."

After this Mrs. Star read to her a letter, to the effect that the Bishop dispensed her from her vows, and this formal communication was enclosed, dated 9th February, 1866.

“ These presents are to inform you that for good and sufficient reasons, and in virtue of faculties from the Holy See, I dispense you from your religious vows as a Sister of Mercy; and I hereby commute them for the hearing of ten masses which condition shall be satisfied by the first ten masses you hear after receiving this notice. And I permit you to leave the comm

munity and return to your friends. The formal document is in my possession, but a copy may be had if circumstances should hereafter arise to require it."

This formal dismissal was enclosed in a letter from the Bishop to Mrs. Star.

The plaintiff continued her evidence.-At five o'clock Mrs. Star came in ; Mrs. Kennedy was with her. She read to me, as if from a letter, that the Bishop had dispensed with my vows. She asked would I go? I said I would not; I said I would die rather than go. She said, “I can put you out.” I said I would die

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where I was. This occurred in my cell. Mrs. Kennedy threatened all sorts of vengeance from God and the Bishop. Mrs. Star checked her. They left the cell after a little time. Shortly after Mrs. Star brought the secular clothes. They were taken away after some time. Later Mrs. Star came with a lay-sister. Mrs. Star said I must go to the bath-room, on the same floor as my cell. I went, and Mrs. Star with me. The fire was never relit while I was in the room, which was till April. I was not allowed any book during this time. A sister was always with me, night and day. They took it by turns to be with me. I complained of the cold. The sisters were warmly clothed, and had bottles of hot water for their feet. I had none of these. Two pieces of carpet I placed for my feet, but Mrs. Star took them away. I was removed to an attic. Mrs. Kennedy came one evening and said I was wanted. I went and saw Mrs. Star. The attic had been used for lumber. The sheets had been used by me since December, and this was in April. The door was fastened by a cord from the handle to a bed of a laysister in the corridor. This was at night only. I remained in the attic all day. A sister sat at the door, and I was not allowed to leave the room at all for any thing. I had sheets, a soiled blanket, and rug, as bedclothing. The blanket was affected with vermin. I complained, but no change was made. I asked to have the blind removed, as it made the room very dark; but that was refused never allowed to go down-stairs to meals after my clothes were taken. There was one chair in the room, but I was forbidden to go to that, and sat on the floor. Sisters, when the weather got very warm, were changed as often as 18 times a day. I was not allowed to leave the room for any purpose whatever. My brother came to Hull in March. He saw me. He sent Sir H. Cooper, the physician, to

The food had at this time been worse than formerly. Two sisters sat close to me when Sir H. Cooper saw me; near enough to hear what I said. My brother asked them to leave me alone. He went out himself. They did not leave. Next day my brother took me from the convent, and I put my case in the hands of my friends and solicitor.

The plaintiff was then cross-examined.— I was 21 when I entered the convent. I had a wish from a very early age to enter a convent. I knew no one in Baggot-street Convent. I knew a little of two ladies there. I had visited many convents of different orders. I had an interview with the Superioress before I entered, and she explained to me what I should have to do. I was a postulant six months for the purpose of informing myself of my duties and the austerities I should have to undergo. No postulants undergo austerities.

Then I was a novice for two full years. During that time I was free from any vow, but mixed with and was instructed in the duties of the sisterhood. Sweeping and dusting were among the duties of the novices. I don't remember any novice or sister scrubbing the floors. As a novice I had no copy of the rules. They were read to me once a week, or more. Before I professed I had tried to make myself thoroughly acquainted with the rules, and I believed I had made myself so. We are not required to be thoroughly acquainted with the rules until we make our profession. My act of profession was after two and a half years' experience of what the duties of a professed nun were. The rules of the sisterhood as to poverty were here read, and the witness said it was something to that effect she had been taught, as what a nun should aim at, but it was a perfection they could not obtain. (The rule as to the vow of obedience was then read.) There was a book, said the Plaintiff, in which certain written instructions were contained while I was a novice. My friends were treated as externs; but there was a dif

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ference made between my relatives and other friends. I understood all letters, except those to the Bishop, were read by the Lady Superior.

The book of rules, which the plaintiff had received, was referred to, and it was found to contain this clause:-“ It is our custom that all letters be opened by the Superior, &c."

A larger book produced, expounding and explaining the rules, was likewise referred to, in which it ran thus :-“ All letters are to be submitted, open, to the Mother Superior, who sends them or returns them, as she judges expedient. She also receives and opens all letters that come; and no sister has any reason to be surprised at any being withheld.”

The Lord Chief Justice observed that this seemed to vest an absolute discre. tion in the Superior. Would it be according to the rules to withhold the letter of a father or a mother ?

The defendants' counsel insisted that it would be so.

The Lord Chief Justice seemed surprised, and said it was not what he had supposed. It seemed to vest an absolute discretion in the Superior, if she thought proper to extinguish all natural affection in the sisters.

The Solicitor-General observed that the former book, the smaller one, had alone been disclosed to the plaintiff's adviser.

The Lord Chief Justice observed that they did not seem to differ materially upon this point.

Cross-examination continued. —Was it not explained to you that all correspondence must be submitted to the Mother Superior? I believe it was.-- That is that she was to open them or not as she pleased ? I believe it was so.- _Was there no complaint made against you before these charges ? No; only general faults.When was your first breach with Mrs. Star? When she asked me to reveal what passed in confession.-Will you upon your oath swear that she asked you to tell what you had said in confession ? Yes ; what the priest had said to me.What the priest had said to you : not what you had said to him? Yes; and also what I had said in confession. She said no other sister refused to do so.--You had been two years under her: had she never asked it before? No.--Did it not seem to you most extraordinary? No, not very.—Not very extraordinary to reveal what passed in confession ? Is there not a inore sacred rule against it? Not against the penitent doing so. I never heard of any rule against it, if the matter was of no great importance.—The plaintiff was then asked as to her letters, and she said she had sent them through the school children. Mrs. Star, she said, considered her writing to her uncle a direct act of disobedience, though she herself did not. She felt after Mrs. Star had once taken a dislike to her that she should never be happy with her, and she wished to go to some other convent; but she believed that Mrs. Star wrote to the Superiors of some other convents things of her which would prevent them from receiving her. Mrs. Star, she persisted, showed an unkind feeling towards her, and put her to do things apparently for the mere sake of tormenting her. She was pressed a great deal as to what she had said about her diet, especially as to her having only mutton when the other sisters had different meat; but she adhered to her story, and did not appear to be shaken in any way. She was pressed as to whether the other sisters had not done the menial household work of which she complained, but she declared that she had never seen them doing it. The cross-examination was then carried to other heads of ill-usage, with a view to show they were without foundation; and as to the alleged ill-treatment as to the

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bedding, and it was elicited that there were two additional inmates at the house on the occasion (Mrs. Star and Mrs. Kennedy), which caused a pressure, and rendered it necessary that some one should be badly bedded. She said Mrs. Star told her to obey Mrs. M'Owne, the local Superior at Clifford, and that Mrs. M'Owne gave her the order. I was not, said the plaintiff, on good terms with her. She treated me severely, and said she felt she was treating me so, and if I saw Mrs. Star's letters to her I should not wonder at it.-Were you on good terms with any body? Yes; with the whole community until then—that is, till 1862.-After then were you on good terms with them? No; I was not allowed to speak to them.-Not allowed to speak to them? Do you mean to swear that? Yes. Mrs. Star said I was a bad example, and that they were not to converse with me; and after that if I spoke to them they only answered me with a word. The plaintiff went on to say, Mrs. Star said she had given me too much liberty, and meant “ to pull me down.” After the order to stand at school I never sat at school hours.

The plaintiff was then pressed as to various memoranda of hers in a pocketbook, which had been taken from her. She said she believed it was the book taken from her in May, 1865, at the time Mrs. Star had stripped her.

The Lord Chief Justice asked for the book, and read from it various entries, such as these :-“Smooth way which deceives persons,” “ Every day adds to your guilt,” “ Not done work at 10,” “Kept fasting,” “Scolded for speaking,” “ Not allowed to speak to sisters," "Not to see my mother.”

The plaintiff, in answer to the Lord Chief Justice, said these were memoranda of things which the Superioress (Mrs. Star) had said to her or done to her.

She was then cross-examined as to the incident of Mrs. Star showing her a letter from her brother and snatching it from her before she had read it through. She persisted in her statement, and she was then pressed as to whether it was not the right of the Superior according to the rules.

The plaintiff further stated that a great part of the letter appeared to have been erased. She was then pressed as to whether the Superioress had not the power of doing this according to the rules, and she said she believed she had.

The plaintiff was then pressed as to an alleged offer to send her back to Baggot-street Convent, whence she had come. She said she should have been glad to go back there, and that the nuns loved her, but she had not believed that it was really meant to send her there.

She was then cross-examined as to penances imposed upon her in case of any faults committed by her, and as to the incident of the taking off her clothes by Mrs. Star; and adhered to her story. She said it lasted altogether three-quarters of an hour.

She was then asked as to her statement of insufficient blankets; and persisted in her story. She had asked once for another, and had been refused, and told to bear it for her sins. On one occasion Mrs. Star had dragged the blanket off her bed, and once rushed into her room when she was asleep and dragged the bedclothes off her.

The plaintiff was pressed as to the time at which this occurred. She could not give the precise date, but said it was after she had left the convent at Hull, in 1862. She was asked a good deal as to violations of the rules of the order, in regard to speaking too much, &c. She said all the rules were required to be strictly observed. She was asked as to the way in which faults were required to be acknowledged, and she said when she was a novice and at Baggot-street they

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were acknowledged standing, but that Mrs. Star introduced the practice of kneeling on those occasions. She used to make her acknowledge faults every morning, kneeling before the lay-sisters and novices—that is, when there were any faults to acknowledge. Mrs. Star also compelled her to acknowledge all faults, wilful or otherwise; whereas at Baggot-street it was not so. The plaintiff was then cross-examined as to the incident of her taking a pair of boots to wear, which she said occurred as long ago as 1857, and of which she only heard for the first time before the commission in 1866. She said the truth of the matter was this:-A prelate visited the house, and her own boots were rather old, and so she took a pair of Mrs. Kennedy's to wear for a few hours. She had previously had her leave to take little things like that, though on this particular occasion she had not an opportunity of asking leave. It was not unusual for the sisters to take each other's things in that way, and Mrs. Kennedy had more than once lent her things, and had lent her boots to wear before, and so she thought there was no harm in taking a pair on this occasion, just to wear for a few hours. She would have asked her leave had she been there, but Mrs. Kennedy happened to be out of the house. She herself told Mrs. Kennedy of her having them, and Mrs. Kennedy afterwards gave her them, and had, indeed, offered them to her before.

The cross-examination was then again continued to more trifling matters, as being late at calls to duties, &c., and was then directed to what occurred before the commissioners. Her uncle had attended before them, she said, on her behalf. The summary of charges was read over to her, she said, and she was asked if she had any answer. She said, however, she was told that no charges against the other sisters would be listened to. Whenever she was asked as to any thing she gave an explanation.

The plaintiff was then asked whether she had not known she was free to go away if she pleased ? When the Bishop wrote.—But you did not intend to go? No, I did not.-Now, do you mean to say that you were not perfectly free in the house? No, I was not.—Do you mean to swear that you were confined within the four walls of your room ? Yes, I was; a sister held the door of my room, and would not let me leave.- Do you mean to swear that you were not allowed to leave your room for any purpose ? You understand what I mean? that I was kept there, and once when I was going to one of those places, and was very ill, one of the sisters held the door and would not let me.

She was pressed a good deal about this, but adhered to it.

The cross-examination was then directed to show that she might have left if she wished, and that she would not go. She was asked if she had not said she never would go of her own free will, and she admitted it. A passage in a letter of hers to Mrs. Star was read to her :-“ From the course of treatment you have pursued, I wish to say that I will never leave the convent of my own free will. So, if you are determined to expel me, you must put me out by force. If such be your resolve, pray put me out now, as my brother is here and will take me with him."

In answer to the Lord Chief Justice, she said she wrote this after seeing her brother.

Cross-examination continued.-Did not Mrs. Star say she was not going to use force, but the doors were open, and that she wished you to leave? I don't remember her saying that.—Why did you want to be expelled by force ? My brother said he would take legal steps.

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