Robert Irwin, Killing > murder, 8th September 1731.

Reference Number: t17310908-46
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

Robert Irwin was indicted for the Murther of Charles Piercy , by giving him one mortal Wound with a Bayonet, on the Left-part of his Breast, near the Left-pap, of the Breadth of one Inch, and the Depth of five Inches , the 9th of January, in the Year 1726 .

John Briggins depos'd, That the Prisoner was upon the Prince's (now his Majesty's) Guard , and himself upon the late King's, on the 9th of January, in the Year 1726; and they having drank half a Quartern of Gin together, near the Opera-House , the Prisoner said to him, If he would go with him to the Gaming-house, there was a Man who owed him Six-pence, and if he got it he would treat him with it; that upon this he went with him, and he rang the Bell. That the Deceas'd came to the Door, and open'd the Wicket, and the Prisoner ask'd for one John James , and would have gone into the Gaming-house; but the Deceas'd told him, He had Orders not to let him in, and was going to shut the Wicket, when the Prisoner drawing his Bayonet, thrust it in at that Part of the Wicket which was open, and immediately he heard the Deceas'd cry out, O Lord, I am kill'd, I am kill'd. That thereupon he said to the Prisoner, What have you done? To which he reply'd, Nothing, except you appear against me. That afterwards he made his Escape over to Ireland, and he had not seen him since, till lately that he was apprehended.

This Evidence being ask'd, why he did not apprehend him immediately upon his Commission of the Fact? He reply'd, The Reason was, that he was afraid he would serve him so too.

Nicholas Elliot depos'd, That he was at the Gaming-house when Charles Piercy was murther'd, and heard the Bell ring, and Charles Piercy went down, and immediately came up into the Gaming-room again, and said, Robert Irwin has kill'd me; and he lived but three Quarters of an Hour after.

John Garret depos'd, That he was at the Time at the Gaming-house, and the rung , and the Deceas'd went to the Door, and in a Minute or two came again, and said, That Rogue, Robert Irwin , has kill'd me, That they carried him Home, and he died in a Quarter of an Hour.

Ann Piercy depos'd, That her Husband went well from Home about 5 o'Clock, and was brought Home wounded between 6 and 7, but could not speak, only begg'd for God's Sake to be laid down, and died immediately.

William Presgrove , the Chirurgeon, depos'd , That he examin'd the Body of the Deceas'd, but not till after he was dead, and found that the Wound was an Inch in Length, and seem'd to have been given with a Bayonet: that it enter'd the Left Cavity of the Thorax, and penetrated the Ventricle of the Heart; and did believe it to be the Cause of his Death.

The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, and would have impeach'd the Character of John Briggins ; to support which, he call'd his Serjeant, John Elpick , who gave him a very good Character; and also Thomas Askington, who depos'd, That Briggins had been a Soldier a long Time, and had always had a very honest Character, except as to Whoring.

This Evidence being likewise ask'd as to the Prisoner's Character, answer'd, He was a hasty, passionate Man, and had formerly stabb'd one John Ellis in the Belly, 10 Inches, but the Man did not die; and he giving the Man's Wife 20 s. there was no Prosecution. The Fact being fully prov'd, the Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. Death .


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