William Hawksworth, Killing > murder, 30th May 1723.

Reference Number: t17230530-43
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

William Hawksworth , of St. Martin's in the Fields , was indicted for the Murder of John Ransum , by giving him one mortal Wound with a Musket , on the right Side of the Head, under the right Ear, on the 29th of May, of which he died on the said 29th of May . He was also indicted a second Time on the Coroner's Inquest for the same. Jane Holt depos'd, That she was coming along with Mr. Ransum, the Deceased, from Westminster , being going into the Strand : That coming near the Admiralty Office, a Company of Soldiers were coming along, and that a Soldier came out of His Rank, and took her hold by the Mouth; whereupon she said to him, You Fool, what is that for? And heard Mr. Ransum, the Deceased, say, You Puppy, What do you meddle with the Girl for? That she made Haste out of the Way, and stood at the Admiralty Corner; and looking back to see for Mr. Ransum, The saw him lie on the Ground, weltering in his Blood. But she could not say which of the Soldiers, or who it was that wounded him. Mary Cottam depos'd, That she living over against the Adminalty Office, saw out at her Window, the Soldiers coming by, and one of them went out of his Rank, and pull'd a Girl, and the Deceased came next, and he push'd the Prisoner, to push him off from the Girl, and there was a small Blow or two past between the Deceased and the Prisoner; but who gave the first Blow she could not tell, but thinks they both struck, and that immediately she saw the Soldier take his Gun off his Shoulder, and gave it a Turn, and struck the Deceased, and she did believe with the Firelock End, and that the Deceased immediately fell: That afterwards the Soldiers all march'd on, and pass'd over the Deceased, and some of them gave him a flight Kick with the Foot. That then some Body set the Deceased up, and he was carried in a Chair to the Surgeon. But she could not swear that it was the Prisoner at the Bar that did knock the Deceased down. Nicholas Jones depos'd, That it was the Prisoner that knock'd down the Deceased. That he saw him go out of his Ranks about seven Paces to do it: That taking his Musket off his Shoulder, he gave it a Turn, and struck the Deceased with the Butt-End of it, and that he fell down, and the Rear Ranks marched over the Man. John Andrews depos'd, That hearing his Neighbour Ransum's Wound would prove mortal, he went to the Savoy, to get the Prisoner's Name; and there asking how he could be so barbarous as to strike the Man with the Butt End of his Musket. The Prisoner answered him, he did not strike him with the Butt-End, but with the Barrel. And Mr. Johnson depos'd, That he talking with him as to the Provocation given him, the Prisoner said, the Deceased press'd hard upon him in his Rank, and gave him a Wipe over his Cheek with his Fingers. Mr. Harris the Surgeon depos'd, That he being with the Deceased about twelve a-Clock, he was speechless, and he found a large Wound on the right Side of his Head, three Inches long, and his Skull broken. That he made a Crucial Incision to discharge the Blood, while he got Instruments proper to trepan him, which he did about two Hours after and the Piece of the Skull he took out was broken, and he found about an Ounce and 2 Quarter of Blood, from the Blood Vessels of the Meninges of the Brain, which were broken , and that there was no Pulsation of the Brain. That the Man died about Nine a Clock that Night, and the Wound was the Cause of his Death. Several Neighbours spoke to the Deceased's Character, that he was a very good humour'd, peaceable, and quiet Man, and one whose Death was very much lamented by his

Neighbours. This being the Substance of the Evidence for the King, the Prisoner said in this Defence, That the Deceased jostled him against the Wall, and said, What a Stir is here with King George's Soldiers? and that he never stir'd out of his Rank, and did not strike the Deceased with the Butt End but the Barrel of his Musket: And he call'd the following Evidences. Thomas Smith depos'd, That as they were marching from the Prince's Guard, the Soldier shoving against the Deceased, he gave him a back Wipe with his Hand, and the Soldier knock'd him down, not with the Butt-End, but with the Barrel of his Gon, and the Deceased fell between his Feet; and gave this Reason, that it was with the Muzzle End of his Piece, because the Ram-Rod was broken. John Dunning depos'd much to the same Purpose. The like did also John Andrews; and also High Stevenson depos'd, That some Body jostled the Prisoner upon the Deceased, and the Deceased gave him a Back-Wipe, and that the Prisoner, knock'd the Deceased down with the Muzzle End of his Musket. The Prisoner's Colonel gave him a very good Character, for a peaceable, quiet temper'd Fellow, having known him four Years, two Years of which he had been his Servant. The Jury upon a full Hearing of the Matter, found him Guilty of both Indictments. Death .


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