The incident is referred to in Robert K. Massie's "Peter the Great," pp.812-813. ..."If Peter was tolerant of indiscretion, he was implacable in criminal matters. Prenatal abortion or the murdr of an unwanted infant after birth was punishable by death. The most dramatic example of the Tsar's unwavering hand on this issue came with the case of Marie Hamilton. This young woman, of the Tsaritsa Catherine's favorite Maids of honor, was, in the language of the day, "much addicted to gallantry." In consequence, she bore threee illegitimate children. The first two were murdered in such secrecy that no one at court suspected, but the third dead infant was discovered and the mother arrested. In prison, she confessed that this was the third time this mournful event had occurred. to her surprise, for she believed that the friendship and favor of the Tsar and the Tsaritsa would win her a pardon, she was sentenced to death..."