John Hewlet, Killing > murder, 15th January 1725.

Reference Number: t17250115-8
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

John Hewlet , of S. Andrew's Holborn , was indicted for the Murder of Joseph Candy , by giving him with a Staff a mortal Bruise on the Left Side of his Head, on the 26th of December last, of which he instantly died . He was a 2d time indicted on the Coroners's Inquisition for the said Murder. Edward Newman (Son-in-Law to the Deceased) and Richard Wright deposed, that on Saturday about Midnight, going to see for the Deceased, who was a Watchman in Fetter-Lane, they met the Prisoner (another Watchman) with two Staves and two Lanterns, but no lighted Candle. Did you see my Father? (says Newman.) Yes, (said the Prisoner) he lies dead at Dr. Lad's Door in Castle-Yard . Dead! Yes, dead, I saw him fall. And why did not you raise him up again, and call somebody to his Assistance? D - ye, reply'd the Prisoner, do you think that I kill'd him? One of the Staves and one of the Lanterns which the Prisoner then had in his Hands, appear'd to be the same that the Deceased had at the time of his Death. Ann Hall (Servant to Mr. Steel) deposed, that about Midnight she sent their Boy for a Peck of small-coal, and held the Door a-jar till he came back; and in the mean while she heard a hoarse Voice say, If you had been a Gentleman, I would have used you like a Gentleman; but as you are a Watchman, I'll use you, like a Watchman, if you don't go about your Business. The Boy then came in, and told her that a Watchman was knock'd down. Joseph Wait (a Boy aged 13) deposed, that going for the Small-coal about half an Hour past 11, he saw a Man with a Lantern coming by the Prisoner's Watch-house in Castle-Yard. The Prisoner demanded, Who's there? And the other answered, A Friend. Whither are you going? About my Business. D - yes, says the Prisoner, if you are sawcy, I'll send you to Bridewell. Some other Words pass'd, and the Prisoner came out, knockt him down at Dr. Lad's Door, and then went into his Watch-house

again. Eliz Reeves (in Magpye-Yard near Castle-Yard) deposed, that after 12 o'Clock, she heard a Cry of Stop Thief, and looking from her Window, saw two Men run by with Staves and Lanterns, and one of them said in a hoarse Voice, Now I have ye, and I'll smash ye By G - . They pass'd the End of the Yard, and one of them returning, was met by two or three more, who said to him, Did be knock down you, or you him? The hoarse Voice answer'd, I knock'd him down. It appeared that the Prisoner was very hoarse at that time. John Glover deposed, that hearing of the Death of the Deceased, he went to see him, and going through Magpye-Yard, he met the Prisoner with two Staves and two Lanterns, and said to him, Lord bless me! how came this Accident? Why, said the Prisoner, he came by my Stand, and I called to him; but be made as Answer, and so I stept out and took him a Knock. These Words raised 2 Suspicion; upon which the Prisoner was apprehended, and committed to Bridewell. Francis Hemmit deposed, that a little before 12 the Prisoner came drunk to his Stand, (at Mr. Bird's Door in Castle-Court) and without any Provocation began to be very quarrelsome, swearing, calling him ill Names, and striking him two or three times. Hemmit desired him to get out of his Beat, or he'd make him forfeit Sixpence. (Such a Forfeit being, customary among the Watchmen, if one comes into the other's Beat.) Mr. Bird then came to the Door, and threaten'd the Prisoner that he would charge a Constable with him, and send him to Bridewell; upon which the Prisoner was very free of his ill Language to Mr. Bird, and concluding with G - damn it I'll make a Sacrifice of somebody to Night; he went away. Great Part of this was confirm'd by Mr. Bird himself. John Clark deposed, that coming to see the Deceased, who lay on the Steps of Dr. Lad's Door, he happen'd to spy something White within Dr. Lad's Palisades, and dragging it out, found it to be a Piece of the Deceased's Neckcloth; for by comparing it with the other Piece that was then about the Deceased's Neck, it appear'd to have been torne from it, and afterwards thrown over the Palisades. Both the Pieces were produced in Court, and matched exactly. Robert Lugg deposed, that coming into Castle-Yard, he saw the Deceased lying dead on the Stone Steps, his Lantern with a lighted Candle in it, and his Staff standing by him, and the Prisoner walking to and fro before him. He asked the Prisoner if he knew who it was that lay there, or how he came by his Death; to both which Questions the Prisoner answer'd in the Negative. He (this Deponent) then went away, and coming that Way again soon after, he found the Deceased lying in the same Place; but neither his Lantern, Staff, nor the Prisoner, were then to be seen there. Other Witnesses confirmed that Particular of the Prisoner's owning that he saw the Deceased fall, and that he (the Prisoner) was a very abusive quarrelsome Fellow. Mr. Keatly the Surgeon depos'd, that on the Wednesday after the Death of the Deceased, (which was on Saturday Night) he view'd the Body, and making an Incision cross wise on the Left Side of the Head, he found a Contusion about the Breadth of a Shilling. He then took off the Pericranium, but found no Fracture in the Skull. There was also a deep Bruise in the Left Shoulder but he thought it very unlikely for a Contusion in that Place to prove mortal. As for the Bruise in the Head, he thought it might probably be the Cause of his Death; but he could not be positive. It appear'd, he said, to be done by a Blow with a Staff: But it being demanded if it was not possible that such a Bruise might be received by a Fall, he answered, Yes.

The Prisoner in his Defence said, that the Deceased had been subject to the Apoplexy; that he had often seen him fall into such a Fitt, and that it was in such a Fitt that he dropt down at Dr. Lad's Door. That soon after, a Gentleman coming up the Yard, he went to light him in at Doors; at which time 2 or 3 Fellows coming out of Holborn, took up the Deceased's Lantern and Staff which stood by him, and ran away with'em, which he (the Prisoner) seeing, ran after'em thro' Magpye-Yard, and cry'd, Stop Thief. They finding that he pursu'd 'em, threw away the Staff and Lantern, and got off. He took 'em up and brought 'em back, which was the Cause of his being seen by several with 2 Staves and 2 Lanterns. Mr. - depos'd, that coming up Castle-Yard, he saw the Prisoner walking about very drunk, and the Deceased lying on Dr. Lad's Steps, whom he at first thought to be drunk too; but the Prisoner assured him that he was really dead. The Prisoner then lighted him to his Door, and 2 or 3 Men coming by the Deceased, took away the Lantern and Staff. The Prisoner pursu'd 'em, and as drunk as he was, brought the Lantern and Staff back again; at which time some other Watchmen (whose Depositions have already been mentioned) met him with the 2 Staves and 2 Lanterns. He added, that he believed that these Words, I'll smash you by G - were spoken by the Prisoner to one of the Men that took the Deceased's Staff and Lantern. Mr. Steel depos'd, that his Boy Jos. Wait had told his Wife, that he knew nothing of the Matter, but gave his Evidence before the Coroner by the Maid Anne Hall's Persuasions: That he knew the Boy to be much addicted to Lying; for which, and some other Misdemeanors, he had since turn'd him away. Anne Hall was then called up again, and said, that as she had no Reason to do it, so she never did, in the least, persuade the Boy to say any thing about it; but that the Boy said she persuaded him, merely to escape a severe Whipping, which his Mistress and young Master threatned him with. The Boy was then called up a second time; He said his Mistress was going to strip him stark naked; and that Robert steel (his young Master) took the Horse-Whip, and Struck him once with it, threatning not only to whip him then in a terrible Manner, but afterwards to send him to Bridewell, except he would confess that the Maid had persuaded him to swear, as he did before the Coroner; and that the Fear of such Treatment made him say any thing that they desired of him. Rob Steel acknowledged, that knowing the Boy to be addicted to Lying, he did strike him once with a Whip, and threatned him farther, if he did not confess the Truth, which was all that he desired of him. Stephen and Samuel Candy , (Sons to the Deceased) and several others, in Contradiction to the Prisoner's Assertion, depos'd, that the Deceased was never known to have a Fitt of the Apoplexy, not was it likely that he tell down being drunk, for that they saw him but about an Hour before his Death, and he was then as sober as a Judge, besides, it could never be thought that an Apoplectick Fitt would fear the Deceased's Neckcloth, and throw Part of it over the Palisades. Charles Walter depos'd, that the Prisoner had been his Servant some time ago, and then behaved himself like an honest, harmless, inoffensive Fellow. One or two more spoke in his Behalf to the same Effect. The Jury, after a long Consideration, found him guilty . Death .

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