Offence: Killing > murder
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10. Robert Hallam , of St. Ann's, in Middlesex , was indicted, for that he by a Devilish Instigation, and of his Malice afore-thought, on the 9th of December last, on Jane his Wife , then being great with Child, and in a Room one Pair of Stairs high, did make an Assault with both his Hands, and out of a Window in the said Room did throw the said Jane upon a Stone-Pavement , whereby she was mortally bruised on her Back, Loins, and other Parts, of which she instantly Died, and so he wilfully and of Malice afore-thought did Kill and Murder the said Jane .
He was a second time indicted on the Coroner's Inquisition for the said Murder.
At the Prisoner's Desire the Witnesses against him were examined apart.
Charles Bird , the Prisoner's Apprentice . On Wednesday the 9th of December , about 11 at Night, I went to Bed, and fell asleep, but was awaked by a Noise between 12 and 1. I heard my Mistress (in the Room under me) cry Murder ! For God's Sake don't murder me! For the Lord's Sake, Robin , don't murder me ! Pity me! for Christ's Sake! - for my poor Family's Sake! - Then she call'd me, Charles! Charles! Charles! and once she cry'd louder than ordinary. The Prisoner said, G - d d - n you, what do you want with Charles ? I was afraid he would come up to me, and so I stepp'd out of Bed, and was going to get out of the Window , to save my self, but a Child that lay with me (who was lame, and could not speak plain , tho' it was ten Years old) cry'd Sharly ! Sharly! do no go. Then I consider'd with my self, that by venturing out at Window I might be accessary to my own Death, and so I went to Bed again. I heard a great many very violent Blows, which by the Sound seem'd to be given with the Tongs, or the Fire-shovel. By and by the Neighbours cry'd Murder! and I heard the Street-Door open, which I thought the People without had broke open. Then I said within my self, By the leave of the Lord I will venture out, as soon as the Mob comes in; but presently I heard the Prisoner come up Stairs into his own Chamber.
Prisoner. How do you know it was I that came up, when you did not see me?
Bird. Because as soon as you came up I heard you scolding again - I got up, and was going down Stairs, about 6 in the Morning, I heard a low Voice (which I thought was my Mistres's) and it said, Charles, go and strike a Light, and take the Tin Pot and draw some Beer. I did so, and brought it up. And the Voice said again, Set it down upon the Chest and leave it there. I did so; but I neither saw his nor her Face, for they were both cover'd in the Bed. - Then the Voice bid me make a Fire, which I did; and while I was blowing it up I heard 2 or 3 dismal Groans. Then I went to my Work.
Court. What Work.
Bird. The Prisoner is a Waterman , and I am his 'Prentice - I went to the Plying-Place, which is a Stone's Throw from our Alley. This was between 6 and 7 o'Clock; and about 8 Job Allen came to me, and told me my Mistress was dead. Then I have lost a very good Mistress, said I; and with that I ran home to know the Truth of it; and there I saw Dr. Smith, and the Constable, and the Prisoner, and I found it was too true! my poor Mistress was dead indeed! - Then I went to my Work again.
Prisoner. How do you know but it was your Mistress that came up Stairs? for you said you thought it was me, only because you heard my Voice after I was come up.
Bird. I thought it was not possible that my Mistress shou'd come up Stairs so readily, after the Blows that she received, and the Groans and Cries that she made.
Prisoner . Did you hear us both go down?
Prisoner. Did not you come home to Dinner the Day before this happened, and your Mistress told you she'd give you no Victuals, for she intended to make away with her self?
Bird. No. I came home to Dinner, and there was cold Beef; I desir'd her to let me broil it, and she said, with all her Heart; I might do as I wou'd - She was as good a Woman as ever broke Bread.
Ann Anderson . I live next Door to the Prisoner, there is but a thin Deal-Partition betwixt his Room and ours, so that one may hear in one Room what passes in the other, very plainly - Between 11 and 12 on Wednesday Night, while I was in Bed, I heard the Prisoner say to his Wife, G - d d - n you! tell me the Truth. - Several Blows were given - I awaked my Husband, and said, D'ye hear? Hallam's a beating his Wife, according to Custom . Then she got from him, ran down Stairs, and out at the Street-Door; he follow'd; I open'd my Window, and saw him beat her in the Street, and force her in again. He shut the Door, and while she was in the Entry I heard her cry very loud, Charles! Charles! Charles! When they came into the Chamber, I heard a great many unmerciful Blows, which by the jarring Sound I thought to be given with the Fire-shovel or Tongs; and, as if her Breath was almost gone, she cry'd, Oh! Oh ! Oh! - I thought the Blows were more like beating an Ox than a Christian! a Woman big with Child! Soon after, she cry 'd, O Robin! spare my Life! don't kill me! for God's Sake! for Christ's Sake! for my poor Infant's Sake! - Then I heard a struggling and a rustling towards the Window - she gave a lamentable great Shrick, and presently I heard something rush from the Window with such Violence that I thought the Window-Frame had follow'd. This was between 12 and 1. I jump'd out of Bed, ran to the Window, and look'd out. He ran down Stairs, and came out of the Door in his Shirt, with a Candle in his Hand; his Wife was lying in the Street. He damn'd her for a Bitch, and said she was drunk. He set down the Candle on a Bench, and taking her by the Arms, dragg'd her backward up the Steps into the Entry, and shut the Door; as he was hauling her in, I called out, You Villain! you wicked Rogue! you have thrown your Wife out of the Window, and kill'd her! All the Neighbours were alarm'd, and several came out, and said, For Christ's Sake don't use the poor Woman so, but let some Body help her; but he would let no Body. After he had got her in, I heard several Groans, and thought she might be in Labour, for she was so near her Time, that she look'd every Hour, but about 6 she dy'd, and half an Hour after he went out and brought a Mid wife. O ye Villian , said I, you have call'd a Midwife, now your Wife is dead! About 9 I went in when the Doctor was there, and he said she had been dead a long Time. Her Right-Hand was cut all a-cross the Fingers, and the Window-Post was bloody with strugling. The Prisoner said, see how the wicked Jade has cut her Hand with the Glass-Window in getting out. But I look'd, and there was not one Pane of Glass broke, nor was any of the Glass bloody, but only the Post.
Prisoner. Where was I when you talk'd about cutting her Hand with the Glass?
Ann Anderson. In your Room.
Prisoner. Have not you ow'd me a Spight these 2 Years.
Ann Anderson. His Wife shew'd me her Arms twice, a good while ago, and they were as black as your Lordship's Gown, and therefore he has bore me Malice ever since.
Swan Anderson , the Husband of the last Witness. On Wednesday the 9th of December , the Prisoner came Home between 11 and 12 at Night, and begun to scold at, and beat and abuse his Wife; she thought to escape by running down Stairs, but he was too nimble for her, and catch'd her just without the Street-Door, and beat her so barbarously, that he rais'd all the Neighbours, who cry'd out, shame on him. He beat her thro' the Entry up Stairs, and in the Chamber she cry'd, Oh! Oh! Oh! and afterwards, O Robin ! - What are you going to do? - For God's Sake spare my Life! - Don't kill me! - for Christ's Sake! - for my poor Family's Sake. Then I heard a strugling, a rustling like the rustling of a Tarpaulin , the Woman gave a great shriek, and something rush'd out of the Window at once - I could hear very plain, for there's only a Deal Partition betwixt my Room and the Prisoner's - I and
Prisoner. Did she walk up Stairs herself, or did I drag her?
Swan Anderson . Walk! No, it was impossible she should.
Prisoner. Did you not afterwards hear her speak in the Chamber?
Swan Anderson . No, I heard you mutter something to your self, but I believe she was not able to speak.
Prisoner. Did you not hear her Voice?
Swan Anderson . No.
John Fleming . I have lived next Door to the Prisoner 3 Years, - there's only a thin Partition between us, so that I can hear every Word that's spoke in his Room. For this 12 Month past, I have frequently heard great Out-cries of Murder. And particularly about 3 Weeks before her Death, he came home in a jealous Fit, and beat her, and swore he'd Murder her, if he was hang'd for it. I heard her cry, O for God's sake Mercy ! Pity me! - Pity the tender Infant within me ! Damn ye, for a Bitch, says he, I'll send you, and your Infant to the Devil together ! - I'll split your Skull, and dash your Brains against the Back of the Chimney - I know I shall come to be hang'd at Tyburn for ye. And that Night as she was kill'd, I heard him beating her again, and a great many Blows he gave her. She begg'd, For God's Sake! - For Christ Jesus's Sake! and for her poor Children's Sake ! that he would not kill her! and she call'd, Charles ! Charles! Charles! and gave a great Shrick! Then I heard Mrs. Anderson get out of her Bed, throw open her own Window, and cry out, He has thrown his Wife out of Window! I struck a light, and saw it was then about half an Hour after 12. Mr. Anderson and his Wife lodge in the fore Part of the House, and I in the back Part. After the Prisoner was taken by Mr. Betty, the High-Constable, I heard him say, I will not wrong my Conscience, I believe the Blows I gave her, and my threatening to fetch my Cane, was the Cause of her going out of the Window, but I was not in the Chamber at that time. He was before the Justice 8 or 10 Months ago for abusing her, and throwing her upon the Bed, while he had a Knife in his Mouth, and swearing he would rip her up.
Prisoner. Did not you hear me in another Room when the Out-cry was of her being thrown out of the Window?
Fleming . No.
Prisoner. Did you hear the Blows?
Fleming . Yes.
Prisoner. And did not they found as if they were struck against a Door to get it open?
Fleming . No, they founded as if struck against a Human Body.
Prisoner. Did you see my Wife after her Death? Had she any marks?
Fleming. Yes. All her left Side was black - and the Body of the Child within was black, and part of its Head was greenish, - but I did not take very particular Notice.
James Furnell . I and Richard Horseford were accidentally coming through the Street that Night, and I believe near 100 Yards before we came to the Prisoner's House I heard the blows, and an outcry of O! O! with some other Words, but I could not tell exactly what those Words were. As we came nearer, the Cries encreas'd, and says I to Mr. Horseford, This Fellow will kill his Wife. No, says he, 'tis only a Family Quarrel, and they'll be good Friends again by and by. We pass'd the Door, for we were going to a House a little beyond, but looking about we thought we were gone too far, and so turning back, I heard the Woman say twice or thrice, For God's Sake, Robin, save my Life! - Don't throw me out o'Window ! - I did not imagine that the Fellow would be such a Villain to do it , for if we had thought he would, I believe weye Drunken Bitch , get up! She had nothing on but a Shirt, a Flannel Petticoat, a thin loose Gown, and one Shoe; but neither Stockings nor Cap. Then the Prisoner set down the Candle, took her by both Arms, dragg'd her in, and lock'd the Door. We went and acquainted the Watch with it, but they took no farther Notice than to Laugh at it, and next Morning I heard she was dead.
Prisoner. Did you see me push her out?
Furnell . No; I saw you, or some Man like you, near the Window; and before she came out, I heard a rustling, as if it was in Opposition, and as she came out she gave a terrible shrick.
Prisoner. If you saw her fall, why did not you help her up?
Furnell . I heard you coming down, - when you came out you was in your Shirt and Night-cap.
Prisoner . You could hear things very plain!
Furnell. It was a very still Night, I was a Stranger to both you and your Wife.
Richard Horseford . On the 9th of December, between 12 and 1 in the Morning, I was coming along Ropemaker's-Fields with Mr. Furnell, and just as we turned out of Church-Lane , I heard several Blows, and coming nearer, a Woman's Voice cry'd, For God's Sake, Robin , spare my Life! - Murder! - For God's Sake spare my Life this time. This Fellow will kill his Wife, says Mr. Furnell; no, says I, 'tis only a Family-Quarrel, and we shall get no Thanks for meddling betwixt a Man and his Wife; and so we pass'd the Door, and went forward, but thinking we were got beyond the place we intended to go to, we turned back, and heard the Woman cry, For God's Sake, Robin, don't throw me out at Window! - For the Lord's Sake! - For Christ's sake! - spare my Life! - I look'd up towards the Window, and suddenly the Casement flew open, and at once the Woman came out with her Back foremost. I saw the glympse of a Man in the Room, - I was 10 or 12 Yards off when she fell, - She lay at length on her Back like one dead, - Just as we came to her, a Man came out in his Shirt with a Candle in his left Hand, and he put his right Hand under her Arm to lift her up, and said, G - d d - n ye, ye Drunken Bitch , get up; but finding he could not manage her with one Hand, he set down the Candle, and dragg'd her in with both Hands, and shut the Door. We went to the Watch-house at Dick's Shore, but none of the Watchmen were there; and at last we found them at an Alehouse.
Prisoner. Did she cry when I took her up?
Horseford. No; but she groaned twice.
Elizabeth Emerson . On Wednesday the 8th of December, about 3 in the Afternoon, I saw the Deceas'd, and asked her how she did? O, says she, I shall be murder'd to Night! Why so? says I. Why, says she, the Child has told me that my Husband is gone to eat a Leg o'Mutton and Turnips at Will Perkins's, and there he'll get Drunk, and then come Home and Murder me. He had kept Account of my Reckoning from the 11th of March, but now he has moved it to the 11th of April, and wants me to lay my Child to a Man in the Country; and he said if I would not, he wish'd the Devil might appear to us both in a great Flame of Fire, and carry him away before my Face if he did not Murder me when he came Home at Night. And so she desir'd me to leave my Cellar Door open that she might ran in and hide herself when he came; I told her she should not go in the Cellar, but I would leave my other Doors open, and she should come into my Room and Welcome. And so I did, and I don't know whether or no she was coming to me, but he met her, and she turn'd back, and about Midnight, when he came Home I heard him swear, he'd make her remember leaving the House. He beat her up Stairs, she cry'd out, O, says my Child, that wicked Man is beating his Wife. I heard something fall into the Street, and then his Door was open'd. I ran out, and he was dragging her in. O Mr. Hallam , says I, (clapping my Hands) take pity of her, for
Sarah Lane , Midwife . On Thursday Morning before Eight, the Prisoner call'd me to come to his Wife; I was not quite dress'd, he desir'd me to make haste; he went away, and return'd in 5 or 6 Minutes to hasten me. She had spoke to me the Friday before to be her Midwife, and I knowing her time was out, thought she was in Labour. But as I came along with him, he told me his Wife had met with a sad Misfortune; I ask'd him how? O Mrs. Lane, says he, she got out of a Window while I was in another Room. When I came there, a Neighbour said she was Dead, and so I found her, for her Face, Hands and Feet were quite cold, but her Body was a little warm. - Another Neighbour came in and asked him how she got up Stairs, and he said she walked up. At Night we stripp'd her, and I search'd her Body. There was a great Bruise on her left Arm, and several lesser Bruises on her Back and Sides like Slashes. Her right Hand was cut. The Child was full grown, and black from Head to Foot, especially on the left Side.
Prisoner. Did not you bid me send for a Smelling-Bottle, because she was in a Fit?
Lane. Yes; and I bid you go for a Doctor; for tho' I thought she was dead, I was not willing to trust to my own Judgment, because I have no great Skill in the Dead; but I told you that she did not stir, and in my Opinion never would any more.
Sarah Adams . About a quarter past 12, on Wednesday Night, I happened to be up, and a Neighbour called to me, and said, Hark! there's a crying out, our little Neighbour is in Labour; but presently there was a great Shrick , and Cry of Murder! So I went and sat at Mrs. Mingo's Door, which is almost over against the Prisoner's . The Deceased cry'd, For Christ's Sake , don't murder me! for God's Sake! for my poor Family's sake, spare me! - Charles! Charles! Charles! - G - d d - n you for a Bitch , says the Prisoner, what do ye call Charles for? This was follow'd by 3 or 4 heavy Blows. The Window was forced open, and she came out, and seemed to catch at the Sign-Post in falling, but miss'd it, and came to the Ground. She gave dismal Groans. The Prisoner came out in his Shirt, it was speckled Shirt, and with a Candle in his Hand; and going to lift her up with one Hand, he said, G - d d - n the Bitch, she's drunk, and has thrown her self out at Window . Then he dragg'd her in, shut his Door, went up and shut the Casement, and put out his Candle.
Prisoner. Was you or Mr. Furnell nearest my Wife when she fell?
Adams. Mr. Furnell and his Friend were coming by before she fell out. I begg'd 'em for God's Sake to stop, for here was a Man that would murder his Wife. And one of 'em said, What have we to do between a Man and his Wife? But for God's Sake stay, says I, for fear he should kill his 'Prentice too, who is my Sister's Son.
Elizabeth Mingo . I says to my Mother, Lord Mother! there's Mr. Hallam a beating his Wife! I saw her make her first Escape, and saw him come out and haul her in again, but I did not hear what he said then; but I heard Blows, and heard her shriek, and then heard her lump out of the Window.
Joseph Woodward , Surgeon. The Overseers of the Poor desired me to view the Body of the Deceased. Her Arm was bruised, there were 3 or 4 Marks on it, like the Marks made by a Stick, and there was a Wound in the Palm of her Right Hand, above an Inch long, and a quarter of an Inch deep; it seem'd to be a Stab with a Knife. I did not take notice of the small Bruises. On Saturday, the Coroner order'd me to open the Body. - The Abdomen was full of contused Blood, the Womb was rent 7 Inches, and the Infant, which was dead, but full grown, was forced out of the Womb, all but its Feet. The first thing we saw when the Tegament of the Belly was opened, was the Child's Right Hand; and I believe the Fall was the Cause of her and the Child's immediate Death.Elizabeth Mingo cry'd Murder! Then I heard the Deceased cry, For God's Sake, spare my Life! Don't murder me to Night, for my poor Childrens Sake ! The Prisoner ran to the Chimney, and took the Tongs or Shovel, as I guess'd by the Sound, and gave her several Blows. She shriek'd, and presently she came backwards two-double out of the Window. I heard her groan, and saw the Prisoner come out with a Candle, and drag her in and shut the Door.
Ann Brewit , the Deceased's Mother. The Prisoner brought a Woman to my House to Lye in; she was a bold Sort of a Woman; and he said to my Husband, Father, will you let her stay here? No; says my Husband. Why then, says the Prisoner, your Daughter shall suffer for it. My Daughter complained to me, that about a Twelve month ago he put a Knife in his Mouth, and threw her upon the Bed, and went to cut her open.
The Prisoner's Defence.
Prisoner. I don't doubt but to give the Court full Satisfaction of my Innocency when I have called my Witnesses.
Elizabeth Wilkinson . On Wednesday the 8th of December, between 9 and 10 in the Morning, I went to the Prisoner's House for a Pot of Beer, (he keeps an Ale-house , the Three Mariners in Rope-maker's Fields , Limehouse ) and when I came into the Kitchen, his Wife was sitting before the Fire. I stood at a little Distance, I saw she took no notice of me, and so I said, Pray, Mrs. Hallam , what's the Matter with ye? She made me no Answer. I ask'd her again, but still she said nothing; and at last, says I, Lord! Mrs. Hallam, what's the Matter with ye? Why, says she, I am thinking when the Devil will come for me.
Lydia Stevens . About 4 a Clock on Thursday Morning, I was going to wash at a House at Dick's Shore (I am a Washer-woman) and I called at the Prisoner's House for a Pint of Beer; he had got a Pot of Water in his Hand, and he said, Have you heard this unhappy Fate? My Wife has thrown her self out of the Window. I wish you'd carry up this Water, while I draw your Drink. I went up with the Water, and said, How do you do, Mrs. Hallam? How happened this ? Why, says she, I can't tell very well; I unfortunately drop'd my self out of the Window, I feel a Pain in the Bottom of my Belly; but if I should do otherwise than well, there's Anderson and Fleming are so hard-mouth'd, that if my Husband should come to a Tryal, they will swear his Life away; and therefore I beg you would speak in his Behalf, for he is innocent of throwing me out of the Window. The Window has 3 Lights, the Casement is in the middle, it is about a Yard high from the Floor.
Ruth Tate . I and my Aunt went up Ropemaker's Fields . I heard Betty Wild , a Fish-Woman, cry out Murder! and Mr. Pidgeon (who keeps a Brandy-Shop over-against her) said, What's the Matter? and she said, Mrs. Hallam has thrown her self out of the Window.
Prisoner. Does not Betty Wild go by the Name of Mingo?
Tate. Yes; but Wild was her Maiden Name. I saw the Prisoner take the Deceased up under his Arm (after she fell out o' Window) and carry her in, but I did not hear him say any thing.
Hannah Radbourne . I saw the Deceased between 10 and 11, the Morning before she dy'd. She was sitting on the Settle by the Fire-side, rubbing her Hands, in a very melancholly Mood. What's the Matter, says I? Why, says she, the Devil's got into me, and I believe he will never leave me till I have made away with my self; I desir'd her not to have such Thoughts in her Head; and she said it was no Business of mine, and I need not trouble my Head about it.
Mary Carman . I live about a quarter of a Mile from the Deceased's House; she came to me on Saturday Fortnight before she dy'd, and staid till Sunday Night. She shew'd me her Arm, it was black; I ask'd her how it came? She said her Husband hit her with a Pint-Pot, and she said, Carman! if any thing should happen to me extraordinary, those People at the next Door will swear my Husband's Life away. I suppose she did not then think that her End would be so soon. I went to see her about 8 a Clock that Morning she dy'd, and she was then warm.
Sabina Gibbs . I was going up Ropemakers-Walk , and heard Betty Wild (her Name is now Mingo) cry Murder. Mr. Pidgeon , who lives opposite to her, opened his Window, and said, what's the Matter! Why, says she, Mrs. Hallam has thrown herself out of the Window. And then I saw the Prisoner come down in his Shirt, and take her up.
Thomas Dowty , the Constable. When the Prisoner was taken by the High Constable (Mr. Betty ) he brought him to my House, and sent me to take an Inventory of his Goods. I ask'd Charles Bird , the Prisoner's 'Prentice, [who was the first Witness] where he was when his Master and Mistress had Words? and he said, abed and asleep; and about 6 o'Clock I heard my Mistress's Voice, bidding me strike a Light, and draw some Beer, and set it on the Chest.
Court. This is no Contradiction to Bird's Deposition, for he swore that he was asleep when the Quarrel began, but that the Noise waked him.
Prisoner. Pray, Mr. Gull, tell my Lord what you have heard Bird say.
Gull . What! Don't you know me, Child?
Bird . No, not you, Child!
Prisoner. Mr. Benham , pray give the Court an Account of my Character.
George Taylor . I was with Mr. Dowty when he took the Inventory. I heard Charles Bird say, that he was asleep when the Quarrel began betwixt his Master and Mistress; but I am subpoened by the Prosecutor as well as by the Prisoner, and therefore I will speak the Truth on both Sides. The Prisoner told me and Frank Me riday , that if he could raise 10 Guineas, there was one who would raise Evidences to confront the King's Evidence, and prove his Wife was Lunatick, and confirm any thing that his own Witnesses would swear to. I asked him how this Accident came about? he said, I won't wrong my Conscience, I believe the Blows I gave her, and my threatening to fetch my Cane, made her throw herself out of the Window. He said, her Hand was cut with the Glass in throwing herself out, and bid me go to the Window and see if the Glass was not bloody. I look'd, but found no Blood on the Glass nor was it broke, but only crack'd; so that it could not cut her Hand. In looking over the Goods, we found in his Waistcoat-pocket a dirty Cap of his Wife's, which was a little bloody [Mr. Furnell , in his Deposition above, says, the Deceas'd had no Cap on, when she fell from the Window.]
Prisoner. I'll tell your Lordship how that Cap came in my Pocket. My Wife complained of a Pain in her Belly, and desired me to fetch the Midwife, but before you go, says she, pray lend me the Pot, for I want to make Water: So I reached her the Pot, and she try'd to make Water, but could not. Then she cry 'd, O my Pains! - Make haste. Jenny, says I, your Cap is very foul, Is it, says she, then take it, and give me a clean Mob out of the Drawer. But as I was pulling out the Drawer, she cry'd again, O my Belly! O Robin, make haste - Run for the Midwife; and so in the hurry I run down Stairs with the Cap in my Hand, and thrust it into my Pocket as I went along.
James Turner . I was to have taken Charles Bird 'Prentice. I saw him two Days after his Mistress's Death: He said, that the Day before she dy'd, when he came to Dinner , she called him Names, he asked her why she did so? and she said, She did not care what she said, for she must die that Night.
Prisoner. I can call 20 or 30 more to my Character, but I will give the Court no farther Trouble: I had ten Hours Time to make my Escape, which I should have done, If I had been guilty; but I rather chose to stay and take Care of my Children; and I am as innocent of her going out of the Window, as the Child in the Womb.
The Jury found the Prisoner guilty of both Indictments, and the Court past Sentence of Death upon him accordingly.