Francis Woodmash, Killing > murder, 28th April 1731.

Reference Number: t17310428-72
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

Francis Woodmash , of St. George Hanover-Square , was indicted for the Murther of Robert Ormesby , giving him one Mortal Wound with a Sword, on the Left-part of the Body, near the Left-Pap, the Length of half an Inch, and the Depth of 6 Inches, of which he instantly died , the 19th of April last.

He was likewise indicted a 2d time, upon the Coroner's-Inquest, for the Murther of the said Robert Ormes .

Elizabeth Ormes depos'd, That her Husband, self, and two Neighbours and their Wives having been walking, were drinking in an Alehouse by Chelsea-Fields , and that the Prisoner coming into the Room where they were, call'd for a Pint of Drink, and sat near them, and as they were discoursing together, was often interrupting their discourse, and intermeddling with what they talk'd of; that thereupon they desir'd him to desist, and let them alone to themselves, that he said, her Husband was a Blockhead, and he himself was a Gentleman, and a Scholar, and talk'd Latin; that they said they were Tradesmen, and did not understand Latin, that he taking an occasion to call her Brandy-Face, she reply'd,

that hers was no more a Brandy-Face, than his was a Jew's-Face, for he look'd like a Mulatto (he being of a swarthy Complexion) that the Company several times desir'd him to keep himself to himself, but he drew his Chair nearer, and would always be putting in among their Discourse; that having drank 5 or 6 Pints of drink, they paid their Reckoning, and were going away; that the Prisoner got up and went out first, and her Husband next, and she follow'd her Husband, that as soon as they were got into the Yard, she saw the Prisoner clap his Hand to his Sword, and was drawing it out, at which she shreik'd out, and turning her Head to some of their Company that follow'd, and immediately turning it again saw her Husband take his Hand from his side all bloody, and instantly drop'd down dead, never speaking a Word.

Margaret Mitchel depos'd to the same Purpose, that she following Mrs. Ormes, saw the Prisoner's Sword drawn, and making a thrust at the Deceas'd, and the Deceas'd holding up his Cane, as it were to defend himself, but did not see him strike the Prisoner one stroke; and that her Husband coming up, closed in with the Prisoner, set him on his Backside, and took his Sword from him.

John Mitchel depos'd as the former Evidence had done, and that the Deceas'd held up his Cane to defend himself, but did not strike him one blow, and that he seiz'd him, and took his Sword from him.

William Griffin depos'd, That he being drinking with his Neighbours, and the Prisoner came in and draw'd a Stool or Bench, and sat down by them, saying, unuibers bene , and would be forcing his Discourse to us, and talking Latin, repeating the first distich in Cato, Si Dens est animus nobis ut carmina Dicunt , &c. That they desiring him to keep his Discourse to himself, he said, he was a Gentleman and a Scholar, calling them Scrubs, that Mrs. Ormes and another Woman going out into the Yard, and when she came in again, the Prisoner said something about her Face, and she made the reply abovesaid, and one of the Company said, Jews were circumcis'd, and they all laugh'd, and the Prisoner laugh'd , and he did not perceive any signs of Anger or Passion upon that Account; that he going out, as had been before depos'd, did see the Sword drawn out of the Deceas'd's Body, and the Prisoner flourishing it, but saw not heard any blow struck by the Deceas'd.

Elizabeth Griffin depos'd, That the Prisoner went out first, and the Deceas'd follow'd, and there was no quarrel, and when she came out, she saw the Sword in the Prisoner's Hand, and Mr. Ormes fell down dead, and never spoke; and she neither saw nor heard any blow given by him.

Prudence Middlemore , the Mistress of the House, depos'd much to the same Purpose, and added, That he being troublesome , she desir'd him to go out; and she being ask'd, if he paid for his Pint of drink before he went out? She reply'd , she could not tell whether he did or no.

William Ellis , a Surgeon, depos'd, That he being sent for, found the Deceas'd lying on a Table past help, that the Wound had penetrated the left Ventricle of the Heart; and that it was the Cause of his Death.

The Prisoner pleaded in his Defence, That the Deceas'd and Company were talking very profanely, and laughing and Haspheming the Name of God, and that he not bearing their Profaneness, reprov'd them, they call'd him Irish Rogue, that he not caring to stay any longer, paid his 3 Half-pence, and went out, saying, the Lord deliver him from such Company; that the Deceas'd follow'd him, thrusting him out with his Cane , that he turn'd, and the Deceas'd striking him, he drew his Sword, having several blows, and retreated 6 or 8 Yards, bidding him desist , telling him, he was upon his Defence, and call'd the following Evidences.

Edmund Bell depos'd, That he being at the 3 Moor-Cocks at Chelsea, had been playing a game at Skettles, and did see the Deceas'd with his Cane or Stick strike the Prisoner 5 or 6 blows; he retreating backwards 8 or 9 Yards, he made 2 or 3 thrusts, and that he himself was about 12 Yards off.

Prudence Middlemore being ask'd, how the Skettle-Ground was situated, and whether if this Evidence stood there, he could see what was done? She reply'd, the House stood between the Skettle-Ground and the Yard

where the Accident happen'd, and she was of Opinion he could not; but Bell affirm'd, that where he stood, he could see.

John Edwards depos'd, That he was playing at Skettles with Bell, that he went out, and saw the Deceas'd up with his Cane, but saw no Sword.

Elizabeth Griffith being ask'd, how far she was from the Prisoner and Deceas'd? reply'd, she was about 2 or 3 Yards off, and had there been 5 or 6 Blows struck as Bell had sworn, she must have seen it; but positively depos'd, she saw no blow struck by the Deceas'd. The Fact being plainly prov'd, the Jury found him guilty of both Indictments. Death .


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