Jane Griffin, Killing > murder, 15th January 1720.

Reference Number: t17200115-35
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

Jane Griffin , of the Parish of St. Sepulchres , London, was indicted for the Murder of Elizabeth Osborn by giving her a mortal Wound near the Left Pap, of the breadth of an Inch and a half, and the Depth of 6 Inches, on the 1st of December last, of which she instantly died . She was indicted a second time on the Coroner's Inquest for the same. She was also indicted a third time on the Statute of Stabbing. Mr. Lund deposed, that himself, Mr. Tannet, and some others were at Supper at Mr. Griffin's House, the Three Pidgeons in Smithfield , and had two Bottles of Wine after Supper; that the Prisoner's Husband was call'd down out of their Company, and about an Hour after he came up and told him and Mr. Tannet there was one below would speak with them; that he ask'd him who it was, and he told him a Woman, he ask'd him what was the matter; he told him matter enough; that he went down and was shewn through the Kitchen into the little Parlour behind it, where he found the Deceased lying on her Back on the Ground, as he thought murder'd with her Head either against the Frame of the Table or on the Boy's Feet; that he ask'd how it came and was answer'd that the Bitch had murder'd her self in putting up the Pewter; that Mr. Tannet came down immediately after him, and they sat her up upon her Breech, pull'd down her Clothes at her Breast, and Mr. Tannet put his Fingers into the Wound and pulled out the Clotted Blood; She was almost suffocated with the Blood in her Mouth and Throat, which when they had clear'd by wiping her Mouth and Stroaking her Throat, she came to her Senses and spoke a little; that he ask'd her whether she knew him; she said Yes. Do you know us both? Yes. Are you sure you do? Yes. He said Betty, did you stab your self? She answered, No, no; he ask'd her; who did then? She answer'd my Mistress, he ask'd her over again who did it, and she reply'd again, Her Mistress; he ask'd her if she was sure of it, she said Yes. Upon which the Prisoner's Husband said, for God's sake ask her no more Questions, for if you do I shall be undone. That he advised her Husband to send for Mr. Hawkins the Surgeon, who came and probed the Wound, and said she was a dead Woman; that there was no Weapon found; that the Blood in the Kitchen and Parlour was mopt up and Sand strewed upon it; that he put away the Sand with his Feet, and discerned the Blood under it; that she had no Headclothes on, and her Hair lookt as if she had been dragged out of the Kitchen into the Parlour by it: That the Deceased had received a Cut on her Arm about 6 Weeks before, which she came up and shewed him, saying her Mistress did it, and that she believed she should be Murdered one time or other. That he spoke to the Prisoner not to be so passionate to her Maid, who replyed, D-n her, a B-, I'll be her Butcher one times or other; he replyed, have you a mind to be hang'd for her then, and she answered, that for believed no Body would think it worth their while to hang her for killing of her.

Mr. Tannet confirm'd his being at Supper that Night, with Mr. Lund and some others at Mr. Griffin's House, and his and Mr. Lund's being called down by him, his finding her in the little Parlour, the raising of her on her Breech, and clearing the Blood from her Wound and Mouth, and the several Questions and Answers, and that the Deceased declared three times that her Mistress had done it, as before in Mr. Lund's Evidence; and farther deposed that he helpt her up to Bed, and lent Mr. Griffin his Knife to cut the Deceased's Stays, who after they had undress'd her and laid her on the Bed, placed it by her, and he (Mr. Tannet) asking Mr. Griffin for his Knife again, he reply'd, what signifies it; but he reach'd over the Deceased's Body, and (moving it a little) took it. That he observed the Kitchen and Parlour mopp'd up and strewed over with Sand; and that a Lock of Hair stood out on each side the Prisoner's Head, as if she had been dragg'd by them; that he bound up her Arm when it was cut as aforesaid; and that he enquir'd for the Weapon with which this Bloody Fact was comitted, and Mr. Griffin answer'd that he did not know where it was, but he would search for it; and that he has often heard the Prisoner abuse the Deceased.

Thomas Foster deposed, that he being at work in the House about 2 Months before, saw the Prisoner give the Deceased a Cut over her Arm with a Case Knife, and that she said if she was not her Butcher then, she would some time or other.

Mr. Hawkins (the Surgeon) deposed, that he was sent for about 7 or 8 a Clock at Night; that he went through the Kitchen into a Room behind it, where the Deceased sat in a Chair supported by Two Persons; that he probed her Wound, which penetrated into her Breast, and that all the Symptoms of Death were upon her; that they had her up Stairs and laid her on the Bed, and that he desired the Man of the House to carry up some clean Linnen, she being very Bloody that he and Mr. Knockells opened her, and found a large Quantity of Blood in her Breast, and the Wound near through her Heart, and by the shape of the Wound, he judged it must be done with an Instrument small at the point and growing wider, as a Bayonet or large Iron Scure: And there having been a Report given out that she was with Child, they opened the Womb, and found all the Demonstrations that she was not.

Elizabeth Smith (Aunt to the Deceased) deposed, that Samuel Banister called her about 10 a Clock at Night, telling her that the Maid was very bad; that when she came, the Prisoner's Midwife told her that Betty (the Deceased) died suddenly of a Convulsion Fit; that Mr. Griffin told her there had been no Words, and that the Deceased being in the Kitchen by her self, fell down in Convulsion Fit, with a Case Knife in her Hand, and that they gave her Wine in a Cup, for fear she should bite a Glass and desired her to be there next Day, because he intended to bury her then; but the Prisoner said the Coroner must sit on her first; to which this Evidence reply'd that she never knew the Coroner sit on any that dyed of the Convulsions; and went home and acquainted her Husband with what she had heard.

Mr. Smith deposed, that his Wife coming back with this strange Story, he went to Mr. Knockells, knockt him up, and desired him to go along with him to the Deceased; that they went up Stairs, and found the Deceased dead on the Floor, stript and a Bloody Cloth over her.

Mr. Knockells deposed, that he found the Deceased on the Floor naked, with a Sheet over her; that he went to probe the Wound, but his Probe was not long enough, wherefore he desired Mr. Griffin to lend him a Large Scure; which he refused, saying, you will tear her Flesh, here has been a Surgeon already, and there's no Occasion. That himself and Mr. Hawkins opened her, and that 3 Pints or 2 Quarts of Blood poured out of the Wound, which was 9 or 10 Inches deep, quite through the Lungs, and almost through

the Heart: and that she was not with Child.

The Prisoner in her Defence protested her Innocence; and urged as a Proof thereof, that she did not fly; which she would have done, if she had not been conscious to her self of her own Innocency, having Opportunity enough to go away before she was taken up: She also observed that when M. Lund and Mr. Tannet gave their Evidence before the Coroner's Inquest, that they then deposed that the Deceased, when ask'd by Mr. Lund who did it, said only Miss-not Mistress, which they now swear. She also called the following Evidence.

Mary Hughes deposed, that some time before, the Deceased came to her as she was Ironing in her Master's Kitchen with a Case Knife in her Hand, and told her that she was in Love with Mr. Tannet, who slighted her; that she had heard of Love Powder to gain Mens Affections, and asked her if she knew of any such, or where it might be had; that she told the Deceased, she had read in Mother Bunch of a Seed called Cummin Seed, which beat to Powder and put into Ale would have that Effect; that the Deceased shewed her some she had bought, and afterwards told her that she had given it him in Ale, but it signified nothing; that she gave him another Pennyworth in half a Pint of Claret, but to no purpose; that she gave him another Penny worth in Ale, without straining, when he complained that she had given him Drink out of the Tap-Tub, and that she told him it was as good as she drank herself.

Robert Wyman deposed, that the Deceased came to beg a Plaister for her Arm, and he asking her how she came by the Cut, she told him that she had been playing with a Hatter's Man.

Mary Clarke deposed, that she had lived with the Prisoner as a Servant 8 or 9 Years, and that she was one of the best of Mistresses; and being ask'd what Relation she was to her, answered, Her Sister.

There were a great many others appeared to her Reputation, and gave her a good Character, as honest and industrious, not given to Swear, nor to Passion, &c. and one, that he had observed her to go very orderly with her Children to Church of a Sunday, and after Evening Sermon to take them into a Room and hear them read good Books; and another that he had taken notice of her promoting the Interests of her Servants. The Jury considering the whole matter, brought her in Guilty of all three Indictments . Death .


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