William Ray, William Ray, Killing > murder, 30th June 1734.

Reference Number: t17340630-15
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

20. William Ray , was indicted for the Murder of Mary, his Wife , by giving her several mortal Wounds and Bruises, on her Head, Face, Eyes, Breast, and Stomach, April 29 ; of which Wounds, and Bruises, she languish'd 'till the 4th of May, and then dyed .

He was a second Time indicted on the Coroner's Inquisition, for the said Murder.

Eliz Adger . On Tuesday I went to the Prisoner's Shop, the Corner of Lincolns-Inn-Fields , for a Dram, and his Wife (the Deceas'd) was lying upon some Straw behind the Counter. How do you do, Mrs. Ray? Says I. She made me no Answer; but the Prisoner's Mother said, she was very ill. Aye, says the Prisoner, She has got a Black Eye. How came she by it? says I. Why, says he, I gave it her accidentally. I think you are always giving her black Eyes, says I. But this was her own Fault, says he; for Yesterday, while I was gone out with two Gallons of Brandy, Sam Badham and another+ came in to drink, and that other Man struck my Wife on the Breast. I coming home before he was gone, my Wife said will you see me murder'd? And upon that I knock'd him down, but she going to take his Part, I happen'd to give her a black Eye - I went next Day, When the Prisoner said, his Mother (Mrs.

Ray) had fetch'd his Wife away in a Chair to her House in Eagle-street; so I went to see her there. She was lying upon the Bed in a loose Gown. She had a terrible black Eye, and as I kneel'd by the Bed-side, she said, as plain as she could speak - I am kill'd - I am murder'd! This was all I could understand, for she had got a great faultring in her Speech by the Hurt she had receiv'd. The Prisoner coming into the Room I held her up and begg'd her to kiss him; she kiss'd me, but she slid her Head away from him - Three Weeks before this I saw her at the Shop, and the Prisoner was there too. I ask'd her how she did. Do? says she, bad enough - See how this Rogue kills me and cuts me to Pieces - See how he has cut my Gown - and see what a Condition my Arms are in. And indeed her Arms were black and blue. So I spent 6 Pence to make them Friends again, by the same Token that I scor'd it up, and have not paid it yet -

* Stephen Farmer . These two Men were committed to Newgate, on the Oath of the Prisoner, for murdering his Wife. They were both discharg'd at the Goal-Delivery.

Ann Jones . On Monday, April 29. as I was standing at Mr. Banks's Door, which faces the Prisoner's Shop, I heard a great Noise, and looking, I saw the Prisoner beating his Wife; there was no Soul but they two in the Shop; with his Fist clenched thus - he gave her a violent Blow on the Breast. She cry'd, Murder! And then he gave her another Blow on the Chest, which knock'd her down. The Mob gathering, I went over to my own Door, which is next to the Prisoner's. He came out and asked them what they wanted? Then he went in, and shut the Door. By and by he came out again, and went over to the Alehouse (Mr. Cary's) and call'd for a Pint of Beer - On Tuesday she was very ill. On Wednesday she was carried to his Mother's, at a Farrier's Shop in Eagle-street, and on Saturday she dy'd - I have often seen him beat her before this, and seen her Arms as black as this Coat, and she has frequently said he was a Murdering Thieving Dog, and that she dy'd by Inches. In particular, six Weeks before the last Quarrel, I got up between 3 and 4 in the Morning, to burn Cork (for I keep a Cork-Shop;) I went to light a Candle, and found the Deceas'd drest vastly clean, and leaning on the Counter. I was surpriz'd to see her drest so soon. She wink'd upon me, and said she had been at a Labour. I laught, and told her, when I went to a Labour, I never return'd so soon. She wink'd again, and ask'd me to give her Hansel. So I laid out a Penny with her, and went to burn my Cork; which I did by the dead Wall. She came to me there, and said, What do ye think? My Rogue has laid a Pen-knife behind the Counter where we lye, and swore he would cut my Throat, if I did not get up directly. He beats and pinches me so, that I dye by Inches.

Sarah Fosbrook . I live at Mr. Griffin's, opposite to the Prisoner's. On Monday April 29, in the Afternoon, I heard a Quarrel in the Prisoner's Shop, but that being a usual Thing, I did not much mind it. The Prisoner came out, and went over to the Alehouse, and in a little time, his Wife follow'd, and said, You Dog! You Villain! You private murdering Rogue! I'll skreen you no longer, for the World shall know what a Rogue you are.

This was confirm'd by Elizabeth Martin , who added, That about 8 or 9 on a Saturday Night, 6 Weeks before the last Quarrel, she heard the Deceas'd cry Murder! and a Soldier coming by push'd open the Door, upon which the Prisoner said to him, Damn your Blood, you Son of a Bitch, are you come to rob me?

An Beldam . One Morning I call'd for a Dram, and said, How d'ye do, Mrs. Ray? I can't do well, says she, when I have got such a Rogue of a Husband. Her Arm was as black as a Hat, and so was her Thigh, for she took up her Clothes and shew'd me - such an Arm, and such a Thigh, I never saw in my Days! Lauk a dazy ! says I, what have you married? A Rogue! says she, a private Rogue! I dye by Inches - But I see him coming over the Field; for God's sake, take no Notice, for I shall be kill'd, if you do.

John Smallman , Watchman. About 3 Weeks before her Death, as I was calling the Hour of 11, I heard Murder cry'd, and went in; she charged me to carry her Husband before the Constable; and said, If I did not, she should be murder'd; and while I was there, he threw a Candlestick at her. I endeavour'd to pacify them; but he call'd

me, Old Son of a Bitch, and swore he'd knock my Head off - Five Nights after, I found him beating at his own Door between 1 and 2 in the Morning to get in, and I heard her ask him, if she must let him in to murder her? Says I, Why do you disturb the Neighbours? Damn the Neighbours, says he, and you too. And so I left him - His Brother threatens to murder me, if he should be hang'd.

William Fitzgerald , Surgeon. I assisted Mr. Broomfield, in opening the Body of the Deceas'd; there was a large livid Spek on the Eye-lid; under the Eye, I made an incision, and found no extravasated Blood, but only an aqueous Humour, more than usual issued from the Eye. I perceiv'd no Contusion in the Head, but there was a large briuse on her Arm, and another on her Breast, 4 Inches broad, and it was as black as my Hat. We open'd the Thorax; the Breast-bone, and Pectoral Muscles on each Side were much bruised, but nothing was amiss in the Heart. Then we open'd the Abdomen, and found a large Adhesion of the Lungs to the Pleura. The Liver was much swell'd, and the Largeness of it had thrust up the Disphragma, so that the Lungs had not room to play.

Court. Do you think those Bruises were Mortal?

Mr. Fitzhenry. Such violent bruises often produce Feavers, which prove Fatal.

Mr. Bromfield. The other Surgeon spoke to the same effect.

The Prisoner's Defence.

Sarah Ward . I went for a Dram the Day after she was beat. She lay under the Counter, I ask'd her how she did? She said, Very ill. The Prisoner her Husband said a Man came into the Shop and beat her, and gave her a black-Eye. I hope, says I, you did not do it. No, says he, God forbid! I would not do such a thing for the World. Aye, says she, that's true, for the Man call'd for Liquor, and would not pay me; but if my Husband had been here then, it had been prevented - I never saw him quarrel with her in my Life.

Mary Wright . I was at her Mother's House, when she was brought in. I never heard her say a Word. The Prisoner came three times there to see her, but not a Word past between 'em. She had violent Convulsion Fits, and died in one.

Mr. Fitzhenry, Apothecary. On Thursday Night, the 2d of May, the Prisoner sent for me, and said his Wife was very ill at his Mother's, beg'd me to do what I could, and he'd honestly pay me - I went - She had strong Convulsions, attended with a Fever; her Eye was very black; she endeavour'd to speak, but could not. I propos'd Blisters between her Shoulders and on her Ams; but a Woman (who seemed to belong to the House) objected to the Blisters on her Arms, tho' I know not why, and so there was only one Blister put on between her Shoulders. Next Morning she was better, and somebody said she had spoke; but in the Afternoon she grew worse, and on Saturday I heard she was dead - I can't pretend to say what was the Cause of her Convulsions.

Court. Are Bruises apt to produce Convulsions, or Fevers?

Mr. Fitzhenry. The least Inflammation of the Blood may sometimes have such Effects.

Ann Ray , (the Prisoner's Sister.) The Deceas'd was brought to my Mother's, in a Chair, she walk'd up Stairs with Help; but growing worse, I went for her Husband (the Prisoner,) and he laid his Hand on her, but she never spoke, except Oh! to him, nor any Body else, all the Time she was at our House, tho' one of the Witnesses swore otherwise; I forgot her Name, but when she came into the Room I was on my Knees, reading the Visitation of the sick, and the Deceas'd did not speake one Word to her. Between 2 and 3 on Friday, the Deceas'd fell into Convulsions, and they held her till about the same Time next Day, and then she dy'd.

Susan Ray (the Prisoner's Mother.) The Deceas'd being very bad, my Son said to me, Dear Mother have Compassion on poor Molly, for now she's ill I have no Convenience fit for her in my Shop. So I took her in a Chair, to my House. She could not speak, but she pointed to her Arm to be let blood, and so I went to Mr. Ward, the Surgeon, and he bled her. And the Apothecary came, and Subscribed three Blisters; but I said, Let her have but one.

Court. Why were you unwilling to have Blisters put on her Arms? - Were you afraid the Apothecary should see her Arms?

Susan Ray . It was only for Fear of terrifying of her too much: For I have had Blisters my self, and I thought they were terrible Things; and if God has ordain'd us to dye, all that the Physicians can say or Subscribe signifies nothing.

Court. But God has not ordain'd that we should shorten our Lives by a wilfull Neglect - Had the Deceas'd no Bruises?

Susan Ray . She had a Bruise on her Stomach, but that was given her by a Fellow that came in the Shop, for a Dram - Jenny Stuart saw him strike her, but they have bribed Jenny, to get out of the way.

Court. Nothing of that has been proved.

Eleanor Cradock . The Deceas'd had Convulsions 3 or 4 Years, before she was married to the Prisoner, and she waisted to a 'Notomize. The Prisoner always used her well, and never mislested her, whatever she could eat or drink he would always get it for her.

Isaac Thomas . The Prisoner has liv'd in the same House with me, and I never knew him give her a Blow; but Poverty was upon them both, and he could not do as he would.

Sarah Elms . I was in his Shop every Day, and I never heard any blows, but she was very sickly.

Sarah Ward , again. The 2 Men are now in Custody, who gave her the blow - The Prisoner charged them with coming into his Shop, and beating his Wife.

The Jury found him Guilty . Death .


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