Jury of Matrons – a jury of “discreet and lawful women” impaneled to try a question of pregnancy, as when a woman sentenced to death pleads, in stay of execution, that she is pregnant, to determine if she is feigning pregnancy

jury of matrons:
(17c)

1. Hist. A jury of “discreet and lawful women” impaneled to try a question of pregnancy, as when a woman sentenced to death pleads, in stay of execution, that she is pregnant. [1]

1. A jury employed in England until well into the 19th, and on rare occasions in the United States, to determine the pregnancy of a woman condemned to death, also to determine the fact of pregnancy where a woman was under suspicion of of feigning pregnancy by her deceased husband as a reason for withholding land from the next heir.  Union Pacific R. Co. v Botsford, 141 S 250, 35 L Ed 735, 11 S Ct 1000. [2]

References:

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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

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