At Armagh, yesterday, Bellina, daughter of the late Colonel Prior, was charged with having drowned a neighbor's child, named Annie Slaven, in a kitchen boiler, under the circumstances reported in our eighth page. Accused admitted having drowned the child. She was greatly worried and excited about going on the stage. She was committed for trial.
Miss Bellina Prior, daughter of the late Colonel Prior, was, on Tuesday, arrested at the residence of her mother, Vicar's hill, Armagh, and charged before the magistrates with having drowned Ann Slevin, aged three years. For some time past, it is stated, Miss Prior had shown signs of homicidal mania, and recently attacked her mother and sister with a hatchet. The family hold a good position in the town, and live at a house called Vicar's hill. On Tuesday Mrs. Prior went out walking, leaving Miss Prior with her sister Adele, the only son being away at college. During the day Miss Prior went out and visited Mrs. Slevin, the wife of a labourer, and asked her to send her little girl Anne, aged three years, up to the house to stay with her. Mrs. Slevin consented, and the little girl was taken to Vicar's hill by an elder sister, and left there. The Misses Prior provided the child with some sweetmeats. Miss Prior very soon afterwards took the little girl by the hand and walked with her from the dining-room down to the kitchen. She remained in the kitchen for about half an hour and then came up alone. Her sister wanted to go downstairs, and she asked her not to go, saying, "I have killed the child." The sister then went down stairs, and found the child with its head in the boiler of the kitchen range. She took the child out, but it was dead; Mrs. Prior was sent for, and on her arrival Miss Prior exclaimed, "I did it, mother; I have paid you off and I am glad of it." She added that they had been unkind to her. Her mother asked her how, but she did not reply. A friend of the family, the Reverend Chancellor Wade, arrived and questioned Miss Prior; but she refused to speak. The inquest was held at Armagh on Wednesday, when the jury returned verdict of manslaughter against Miss Prior.
Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London, England), April 1, 1888.