Samuel Thomas, Killing > murder, 12th January 1733.

Reference Number: t17330112-24
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

31. Samuel Thomas , of St. Giles's without Cripplegate , was indicted for the Murder of Elizabeth his Wife , by throwing her on the Ground, and striking and kicking her on the Head and Membrane of the Brain, and thereby giving her several mortal Bruises, of which she instantly died , on the 4th of January . He was a 2d time indicted on the Coroner's Inquisition for the said Murder.

Eleanor Bird . I live in Bell-Alley in Golden-Lane . Last Wednesday Night was seven-night I went to Bed about ten and fell asleep; I was waked between 12 and 1, by a great Noise in the Entry below. When the Prisoner was quarreling with his Wife, he swore, Damn his Eyes and Liver, get up Bess! but she was so fuddled that she could not

Court. How do you know she was fuddled? Did you see her?

Bird. No, but she would have got up her self if she had not been drunk, so he brought her up Stairs, and lifting up the Latch he put her into my Room, and there he beat her and paid her with his Feet and Hands as he had done below; and then I heard something gush: I was afraid it was Blood, and so I struck a Light, and she was all in a Goar, in the grievousest Manner that ever you saw any Creature; but I can't tell where the Blood descended from. He struck her no more after the Light came, but turned her Face up and

stamp'd about, and fell on his Knees, and said, my dear Betty, I fear I have killed you, but if I have I will never leave you, but will freely be hanged for you. I observed that her Shins were sadly bruised, and so was her Face, and full of Scratches too; she died in the Afternoon of the same Day.

Prisoner. Did not you say that her Shift was bloody?

Bird. No; I did not see any Shift that she had.

Ann Rush . Bird and I lay in the same Room, I went to Bed about 10, and was waked between 12 and 1, by a great Noise; the Prisoner was beating his Wife sadly in the Entry. I heard both their Voices, I heard him say, get up Stairs, you Bitch! I heard several blows and Stamps, and I heard her say, I am going as fast as I can; then he dragged her up Stairs and opened our Door.

Court. How do you know he dragg'd her up, if you did not see him?

Rush. I could hear that, and besides she was not able to come up her self.

Court. Why do you think so?

Rush. Because he had beat her to that Degree, that she could not be able to go.

Court. But might not her Inability proceed from her being in Liquor?

Rush. I don't know whether she was in Liquor or no: When he had got her into our Room, I heard him stamp, and I believe by the Sound he stamp'd upon her, but I will not be positive, because I had no Candle; but when Eleanor Bird had struck a Light, I saw the deceased lying upon her Face, all in a goar of Blood, and in a very deplorable Condition. He turned her upon her Back, and said, my dear Wife, I fear I have killed you!

Court. What did she say?

Rush. She never spoke a Word after. They both lodged in the same House one pair of Stairs higher. Then he went to his Sister-in-Law, who wash'd her Wounds, and put her to Bed, but she died about 4 in the Afternoon. I had lodged but a Month in the same House, but he had beat her several times in that Space.

Court. Was she addicted to drinking?

Rush. I don't know.

E. Bird again. They and I lived in that House 3 Years, I don't know that she was addicted to Drinking, except she might be fuddled at that time, and I suppose they had been drinking together.

Deborah Hudson . The Deceased was my Sister. The ill Usage she has often received -

Court. Do you know any Thing of the Fact he now stands indicted for?

Hudson. No more than that Word was brought me of her being kill'd, for I lived afar off from where she did.

Court. You are not to give an Account of what you heard from others, for that is no Evidence, nor is it proper for you to run into Particulars that have no Relation to this Fact.

Susan Marriage . I live next door to the Prisoner, and lie in a Ground Room close to the Window. The Prisoner often fell out with his Wife, and that Night I heard him draw her along under my Window like a Beast.

Court. How do you know it was either he or she?

S. M. I knew their Voices; and I heard her say, Don't strike me any more, for if you do you will kill me! and he answer'd, Ye Bitch, it's my Design!

Court. Are you positive it was he who made that Answer?

S. M. I think it was; I am partly sure it was.

Prisoner. That Witness has told a great many Lies about it already.

Bridget Decartney . I live next door too; and between 11 and 12 at Night, as I lay a Bed, I heard an Argument in the Passage, betwixt the Prisoner and his Wife. She cry'd, with a bitter Groan, Oh! Oh! Oh! and he said, Ye Bitch, get up!

Court. Did he say only up, or up Stairs?

B. D. Not up Stairs, but only up, from where she fell. And says she, I am not able to get up, without you help me. Yes, ye Bitch , I'll help ye up, says he. Dear Sam, says she, don't strike me, for if ye do you'll kill me. Ye Bitch, says he, 'tis my Design to kill you!

Court. Are you sure that they spoke those Words?

B. D. Yes, I am sure by their Voices, for I have known 'em twenty five Years.

Prison. That's more years than you are old.

B. D. May be so.

Prisoner. I don't know what you know of me, but I know nothing of you, but that you are a Drunkard, like my Wife.

Sarah Lee . The Prisoner served his Wife much in the same manner a year and a half ago, and if it had not been for me she had dy'd then.

Court. What do you know of the Fact he is now charged with?

S. L. Last Thursday Morning was a-se'nnight I met his Landlady, who told me a sad Accident had happened, for Sam Thomas had killed Bess, and asked me if I would not go up and see her; so I went up, and she lay in a plovable Condition; all her Head was cut so that I could put my Finger in the Wounds; I felt of her Belly, and it was cold, and she had bled three quarts of Blood. Says I, she's a dying Woman; Why don't you take the Rogue up? Then he came into the Room, and stoop'd to kiss her, and says he, I know I have killed her, and you Bitches, G - d d - n you, won't stick to hang me for it, if you can; but I know you can't, for I shall get off. And then taking up a Poker he went out swearing, G - d d - n us, he would make a Sacrifice of the first Bitch that offered to stop him.

Con. What Business did the Prisoner follow?

S. L. He's a Bunter; I knew his Wife from a Child, she was about 26 or 27 Years old when she died, and a likely sober Body she was.

Thomas Godman . The Overseers of the Parish and the Coroner sent for me to see the Deceased before she dy'd. I found her in Convulsions, and in a manner expiring; I told them she was a dead Woman, and it was in vain to do any Thing to save her, and she died about 4 in the Afternoon. I view'd her afterwards, her Head and Body were full of Contusions all over; I never saw any one in the like Condition. There was a large Cut in her Head, and her Head was 'swell'd in Comparison as big as a Peck. I opened the Muscles that cover the Skull, and found a large Quantity of extravasated Blood lying on the Sutors, which were in a manner separated. I believe there might be a Pint, or a Pint and a half of Blood, for I took out several Handfuls. This extravasated Blood must have been caus'd by external Blows, and having such an Effect upon the Sutors must have been the Cause of her Death, and therefore I had no Occasion to open the Skull, or examine any farther.

The Prisoner's Defence.

Prisoner. My Wife was always drunk two or three Days in a Week; and that same Night I found her with a Man that she kept Company with, and so I got her Home; and I own I did beat her, because she was drunk, but in going up Stairs she and I both fell down. And then she was much addicted to pilfering, for she would often thieve wet Shirts and Smocks.

Court. Have you any Body to give you a Character?

Prisoner. No. But I can say this of my self, that if there is an honest Man in the World I am one; and I have a Witness that can give a Character of my Wife.

Elizabeth Powell . The Deceased was given to pillfering : One Day she brought me a wet Smock, and would have had me to have dry'd it and carry'd it to pawn; and because I would not, she throw'd it away. Indeed she was fuddled then, and so she was often, for she was mightily given to drinking.

Another. You lie, Hussey, she was a good honest working Woman, and would slave like a Pack-Horse when you would come Home with an empty Basket.

The Jury found him guilty of both Indictments. Death .


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