[Transcription copyright © Pat Newby]
BETWEEN ten and eleven on Tuesday night, the 28th ult. Mr. Burgess, farmer, at Bawburgh, near Norwich, was alarmed by the cry of 'Fire!' On going to his door he had the melancholy prospect of his hay-ricks, stables, cowhouse, pigstye, cartshed, and barns, all on fire at the same time, and the flames raging with such rapidity as excluded all hopes of saving any part of his property. The hay and buildings were all consumed, with a number of calves, pigs, and poultry, a cart, waggon, and six very capital horses, valued at £30 each. The distance of the outbuildings from each other, and they being all on fire at the same time, made it clear that the premises had been maliciously set on fire.
Mary Adams, who had lived with Mr. Burgess many years, but whom about three weeks previous to this unfortunate affair, he had discharged, having been heard often to declare at her lodgings in Norwich, that she would be revenged on Mr. Burgess, the first opportunity, was suspected of being the incendiary. Several persons, therefore, went in pursuit of her, and overtook her in company with another woman, before she reached Norwich.
They were both taken before John Paterson and Robert Harvey, esqrs. when it appeared, that the companion was induced to go to the premises of Mr. Burgess, not knowing of the wicked intent of the other prisoner. When she saw the place on fire, she asked the incendiary what she had been doing? She replied, 'Nothing that would hurt her;' adding, 'I am in my glory, nor should I care if I were in the middle of the flames with a shift of pitch on, as I have got my mind.'
See also the Bawburgh parish page.
Copyright © Pat Newby.