John Totterdale, Killing > murder, 7th September 1737.

Reference Number: t17370907-14
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

16. John Totterdale , of St. John the Evangelist , Victualler , was indicted for that he not having God before his Eyes, &c. August 1st , on Mary his Wife, did make an Assault, and with both his Hands, in and upon the Stairs of his dwelling House, the said Mary did cast and throw down, and she on the Stairs so lying, he, the said John did drag and pull down to the Bottom; and her the said Mary, from the Bottom of the said Stairs, into a certain Room in the said House, did cast and drag, and the said Mary so lying on the Floor, he, with both his Hands and Feet, her Head, Neck, Breast, Shoulders, Back, Sides, Belly and Thighs did strike, kick and stampt upon; giving her, as well by throwing and dragging her down the said Stairs, as by stricking, kicking and stamping upon her, several mortal Bruises, of which she instantly Died .

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

Daniel Brown . I lodged in the Prisoner's House when this Fact was committed. On the first Day of last Month, I went Home a little before five. (The Prisoner keeps a Victualing House in Vine-Street, Westminister, the Sign of the Two Brewers ) All then was very good humour'd; the Deceased was in a Room with two Women; she seemed to be a little in Liquor, but that I don't Mind. I sat down and drank with some Company in the House, and the Deceased went out, - but where or how, - I can't tell; that is, I did not Mind; - for why? - It was none of my Business, - but she did go out of the Room, and was out a Quarter of an Hour. I sat down and talk'd with this Woman here, she's a Witness too, - and I saw the Prisoner take a Knife and Fork, and he went up Stairs, - as it happened, - but indeed it was more than I knew. After the Prisoner had been up Stairs a little while, says the Woman here, ( Margaret Phillips ) Lord - Brown, there's a great Noise in your Room. Well, says I, if there is, fight Dog, fight Bear, and the Devil part you; I have parted you too often already, for the Woman told me Totterdale was beating his Wife. But presently I heard, - Murder, - Murder, in a soft, faint Tone; so upon that, I ran up Stairs, and found the Prisoner standing at the Chamber Door, and his Wife laying on the Floor; he was stamping upon her, and kicking her, - I saw him stamp 2 or three Times upon her as she lay upon the Floor; but I got hold of the Knife and Fork and took him down Stairs. I look'd upon the Knife to see if it was bloody, but I saw none upon it. The Prisoner staid some little Time below Stairs, and in the mean Time, my Wife went up, and convey'd the poor Woman into my Room, and then I thought all was over; but instead of that he went up Stairs again. I follow'd him, and when we came to my Chamber-door, he asked me

where the Key of my Door was: I told him I did not know. He then bid me ask my Wife for it, and said, if I would not give him the Key, he would break the Door open, - but I would not suffer him to break it open. Upon this he went down and fetch'd a Key, with which he open'd the Door, his Wife was sitting upon my Bed's Feet and the Curtains were drawn over to hide her. When he first went into the Room he could not find her, so I wav'd my Hand to her, - to bid her get away; but whether she was then able to stir or no, I can't tell; she did not go, and the Prisoner discovered her, and asked her where the Cap was, which he had given her? 'Tis below Stairs Johnney, says she. You lye, says he, - indeed Johnney, says she, you lye for a Bitch of a Whore, and immediately flew at her: I caught hold of him, but he kick'd her and sprung out of my Arms, and then he caught hold of her Feet, and dragg'd her by the Heels, off the Bed upon the Floor; then he drew her to the Stair-head, and threw her down, - I don't know whether 'twas Head-foremost or not, but she fell about 7 Stept's, and there she lay. I was so surprized, and so frighted, that I turn'd back and went into my own Room, and there I staid three or four Minutes; then I went down and found the Prisoner had got the Deceased into his own Room, and had bolted and barr'd himself in with her. I heard the Deceased in this Room cry, - for Christ's sake Johnney! Johnney for Christ's sake don't kill me! 'Tis true, the Door of this Room was but a very Slight Door, - only Slit-deal, but I was frighted and could not break it open, so I went out of the House for an Hour and a half, and when I came Home she was Dead.

Brown's Wife. I had been abroad the 1st of August, but I came Home about Two o'Clock, and went into my own Room. I had not been there long, before I heard a Noise in the next Room, I open'd the Door and found the Prisoner was beating his Wife, he asked her for a Cap, she said it was below, and upon that he went down Stairs. When he was gone, I call'd Molly, Molly, come hither; so I got her into my Room, and draw'd the Curtains over her to hide her, and lock'd the Door. About 5 o'Clock the Prisoner came up and open'd the Door, he look'd about the Room for her, and at last pull'd open the Bed-Curtains; then he took her by her two Legs, and haul'd her off the Bed upon the Floor, and as she lay, he stamped upon her Head, Belly, Stomach and Legs, and after he had stamped upon her, he kick'd her all to pieces, and flung her down Stairs; then he dragg'd her into their own Room, and lock'd himself and her in. I thought they were gone to Sleep, so went out, - but when I returned, the Woman was Dead.

The Surgeon. The next Day, or the 2 d Day after the Woman was kill'd, I view'd the Body. Upon the external View of the Corps, I saw so many Marks of Violence, that put me upon being careful and inquisitive in my Search, I turn'd the Body on one Side, and found two or three Ribs fractured. There was a Stab in her Right Arm, that went into the Joint; it was 4 or 5 Inches deep, and seemed to have been made with a Knife. The Instrument went under the Nerves, and so happen'd to cut no Blood Vessel. Upon opening the Body, I found nine Ribs fractured; two or three of them were broken in 3 or 4 Places; one in two Places, another in 2 or 3, another was mash'd all to Pieces; two whereof were beat in, upon the left Kidney. I observ'd something farther, which was very particular. There was one Rib in the Middle of broken ones, that was not fractured at all; which convinced me, that the rest were broke at several Times, and I imagine with the Heel of his Shoe: for if those that were broke, had been fractur'd by any Instrument, which would broke more than one at a Time, it would have been almost impossible that this single Rib should have remained unhurt in the Middle of the fractur'd ones. This Treatment occasion'd her Death; and 'tis my Opinion, that if but one of her Ribs had been fractur'd in the Manner that 3 or 4 of them were, it would have been impossible for her to have liv'd.

A Woman. I happen'd to come on the 1st of August to the Prisoner's House to speak to Margaret Phillips (my Cousin) and he was then in a back Room where he lies o'Nights. We call'd for a Pint of Beer, so he came out and drew it for us, and was in a very great Hurry for the Money. Then he went backward into the Yard where he keeps Hogs, and returning, he comes to us, - and damn you, - you Phillips, (says he) where's my Bitch? I don't know, says she, unless she is among the Hogs in the Yard. You have hid her in your Room, says he, and immediately he took up a Knife and Fork and went up Stairs. I heard a great jumbling after he was got up, so says I, Phillips, how can you sit here, and not go up? If I go up, says she, he'll run the Knife into my Guts. The jumbling continued a little while, and then I saw the poor Creature come tumbling down the Stairs, and her poor Head came knock, knock, knock, upon every Stair, and

he kick'd her (all the Way down) upon her Breast, Belly, &c. When she was at the Bottom, he dragg'd her into a little Room, and lock'd himself in, with her; she was not dead then, for I heard her cry faintly, - Oh! - Oh! Pray don't beat me any more! Oh! - Oh! - dear Johnney, Johnney, don't! don't! I could hear him very plainly, - thump, thump, thump upon her. Another Woman that was in the House went to the Door and knock'd, but he would not open it, at last the Poor old Mother she came, and call'd at the Door, Johnney, Johnney, but no Johnney would speak; then she went round to another Door and got in; but she immediately came out crying I'm undone! undone! undone! Upon this, I got up and peep'd in, - and there was the Poor Woman, - dead, - and her Jaws were ty'd up with her Cap.

Margaret Phillips. I can speak out, - in an honest Cause. Just before she dy'd, (the same Day) he sent her out to see if she could get a Debt of 5 s. which he never expected to receive, and I (having occasion to go out,) met her, returning with the Crown: She told me she had got the Money, and that her Johnney would give her a Judas's Kiss for it. I came back with her, and he kiss'd and embrac'd her, as if it had been the first Day they were Marry'd. My Cousin and I were drinking a Pint of Beer, and while we were together he went out into the Yard, and when he came back, he ask'd us, where his Bitch was, - There he stands, he can't deny it, - Your Bitch, says I, why your Bitch is in the Yard among the Hogs, I believe; for I thought he meant a Bitch that he kept, and had had Puppies by. Then he took a Knife and Fork, and as he went up Stairs, I said, What do you mean your Wife, by your Bitch? - God mend me, - You have been just now Kissing her. Aye D - n her says he, I'll do for her, and went up Stairs with the Knife and Fork. I saw him throw her down Stairs and stamp upon her.

Q. Did you see him do any Thing to her upon the Stairs?

Phillips. No; but when he had dragg'd her into his own Room, I peep'd thro' the Key-hole and saw him stamping upon her, as if he would stamp her Guts out. She dy'd in about an Hour from the Beginning of the Affair.

A Woman. I know nothing of the Murder, but I went next Day to the Gatehouse, and I said John, John, What have you done? I have kill'd your Sister says he; the Devil drove me up Stairs to her, and when I had kill'd her, God would not give me Power to run away.

A Soldier. I was going to see the Races on the 1st, of August and met my Wife, she told me Totterdale had Murder'd his Wife: No, no, say, I, he has only half Murder'd her, as he frequentsly did: However, I went to the House and would have gone in, but a Miss he kept forced against me to keep me out of the House, D - n you, you Bitch says I, would you hinder me from coming into a House where Murder has been committed? So I threw her against the Wall and went into the Back-Room, there I saw nothing; but going into the Yard, I look'd in at a Casement which was open, and there I saw the Prisoner. We got a Constable, and he asked him whether he did the Murder? The Prisoner only said, he could not help it.

Prisoner. I know no more of it, than the Child unborn.

Q. To the Prisoner. Have you any Witnesses?

Prisoner. They are not come yet.

Coroner. He has an own Brother hard by; but neither his Mother, nor Brother will appear for him. Guilty , Death .


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