Mrs Mary HEAL was employed as the cook at the Newcastle institution from about May 1868. She was interviewed by Frederic CANE after the riot in July 1868. She stated
I am cook for the institution I have been present during most of this disturbance. I recollect on one Sunday night after prayers Mrs King in speaking to Bridget Downs said to me she was a dirty, rotten, little Thing, and the Girl began to cry but made no answer I was sitting in the Dormitory at the time the Fire was lit Saturday 4th July I saw Mrs King drag Eliza Mcdonald on the floor. I did not hear what took place between Macdonald and Mrs King I was taking the fire out. I heard there was a feeling against Miss Ravenhill but could not tell what it was. There was a great disturbance on Friday night altho' Mrs King Miss Ravenhill and Mrs Holden with Laundress and myself we could not keep order. Mrs King treats the Girls Kindly but sometimes speaks harshly. I have only been two months in the institution. On last Thursday July 9, I saw Elizabeth Morgan with a knife and I took it from her she threatened to stick any one who came near her - I did not see any one with a cleaver. I find no difficulty in getting the Girls to do their work by kindness and civility. I find they are very sensitive to harsh treatment.
Mary HEAL signed this statement.1