Haydon by Austin Dobson); Annals of the Fine Arts (containing many articles by Haydon, and his life down to 1819 by Elmes, the editor); Redgrave's Century of Painters.]
HAYES, Mrs. CATHARINE (1690–1726), murderess, whose maiden name was Hall, was born near Birmingham in 1690. At the age of sixteen she gave up a disreputable life to marry John Hayes, a carpenter. The husband's trade not prospering they went to London, set up a small shop in Tyburn, afterwards Oxford Road, and let lodgings. Towards the close of 1725 there came as lodgers two men named Wood and Billings. Although the mother of twelve children she was criminally intimate with these persons, and the three determined to remove Hayes. On 1 March 1726 they killed him, after making him insensible with drink. The body was cut up and flung in a box into a pond at Marylebone. The head was cast into the Thames; when found on the following day it was publicly exposed in the churchyard of St. Margaret's, Westminster, for several days, and the murdered man was thus identified. On 24 March the trunk and limbs were discovered. Catharine Hayes and Billings had meanwhile been arrested on a warrant; Wood was captured shortly afterwards, and confessed the whole affair. Billings then admitted his complicity, but Hayes denied all knowledge of the murder. At the trial Hayes pleaded 'not guilty,' but was convicted of petty treason, and sentenced to be burnt alive. Wood and Billings were sentenced to be hanged. The case excited much popular attention, and the trial was attended by many noblemen and gentlemen (London Journal, 30 April 1726). Before 9 May, the day fixed for the execution, Wood died in Newgate, but an attempt by Hayes to poison herself failed. On 9 May she was tied to the stake at Tyburn with a halter round her neck. The executioner was foiled in an endeavour to strangle her by the burning of the rope, and the woman was finally killed by a piece of wood which was thrown at her head and dashed out her brains. Billings was hanged in chains in Marylebone Fields. At the time Hayes's crime was enshrined in ballads, and a correspondent of the 'London Journal' drew a voluminous parallel between the murders of John Hayes and Arden of Feveroham. Thackeray based his story of 'Catherine,' which first appeared in 'Fraser's Magazine,' 1839-40, on the career of Catharine Hayes.
[Life of Catharine Hayes, 1726; New Newgate Cnlendar, 1818, ii. 99-127; Daily Journal and Daily Post, March-May 1726; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. ii. 50.]
HAYES, CATHERINE, afterwards Catherine Bushnell (1825–1861), vocalist, was born of humble parentage at 4 Patrick Street, Limerick, on 29 Oct. 1825. At an early age her vocal talents attracted the notice of Bishop Knox of Limerick, and through his exertions funds wrere procured to enable her to study in Dublin under Antonio Sapio, from 1 April 1839 until August 1842. Her first appearance took place on 3 May 1839 at Sapio's annual concert in the Rotunda, Dublin. Early next year she sang in her native city, and then frequently in Dublin, and soon raised her terms to ten guineas a concert. After hearing Grisi and Mario in 'Norma' on 13 Sept. 1841, she decided to come out on the lyric stage, and, going to Paris on 12 Oct. 1842, studied under Manuel Garcia, who after a tuition of a year and a half advised her to proceed to Italy. At Milan she became the pupil of Felice Ronconi, and through the intervention of Madame Grassini was engaged for the Italian Opera House, Marseilles, where on 10 May 1846 she made her first appearance on the stage as Elvira in 'I Puritaui,' and was enthusiastically applauded. After her return to Milan she continued her studies under Ronconi, until Morelli, the director of La Scala at Milan, offered her an engagement. Here her first character was Linda, and she was recalled twelve times by the audience. Her voice had now become a soprano of the sweetest quality, and of good compass, ascending with ease to D in alt. The upper notes were limpid, and like a well-tuned silver bell up to A. Her lower tones were the most beautiful ever heard in a real soprano, and her trill was remarkably good. She was a touching actress in all her standard parts. She was tall, with a fine figure, and graceful in her movements. She remained at Milan during the autumn of 1845 and the carnival of 1846, and took the characters of Lucia, Zora in 'Mose in Egitto,' Desdemona, and Amina. Later on in 1846 she sang in Vienna, and on the first night of the carnival of 1847 appeared in Venice in a poor opera composed for her by Malespino, a nobleman, entitled 'Albergo di Romano.' Returning to Vienna, she took part in 'Estrella,' expressly written for her by Ricci. After a tour of the Italian cities, she returned to England in 1849, when Delafield engaged her for the season at a salary of 1,300l. On Tuesday, 10 April, she made her début at Covent Garden in 'Linda di Chamouni,' and was received with much warmth. At the close of the season she sang before the queen at Buckingham Palace. On 5 Nov. 1849 she appeared at a concert given by the Dublin Philharmonic Society, and afterwards