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16721740, May 3
an English murderer. Elizabeth quickly gained a reputation for violence. She and her daughter, Betty Branch (listed as Mary Branch in the Newgate Calendar[2]), would torture small animals, apparently taking inspiration from stories of Nero. They would often beat and humiliate their servants, especially after the death of Benjamin in 1730, so that soon no local persons were willing to serve them. In February 1740, the pair decided that their maid had been loitering on an errand and beat the servant to death. They buried the girl, claiming she died of natural causes, but the body was exhumed. The pair were tried for murder at the Somerset assizes, with the jury delivering a guilty verdict without even retiring. Elizabeth and her daughter were hanged at Ilchester on 3 May 1740.
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