12. George Price , of Isleworth , was indicted for that he not having God before his Eyes, &c. on the 10th of Oct . in and upon Mary his Wife , did make an Assault, and with a certain Knife, value 1d. which he held in his right hand, the said Mary, in and upon the Neck feloniously did strike and cut, giving her in and on the Neck, a mortal Wound, of the breadth of 5 Inches and the Depth of 2 Inches, of which moral Wound she instantly died .
The Councel for the King having open'd the Indictment and the Charge, the Witness were call'd.
Tho Barber . The Deceased lodged in my House. On Monday Oct, 10, she went out in the Morning, and return'd about 11 o'Clock, and told me her Husband was come, and she was going to meet him, and to go abroad with him, and she borrow'd a Hood and Cloak of my Wife. But she not coming Home all Night, I blam'd my Wife for being so free in lending her Things; upon which she said she would get Mrs. Lamb to go to the Prisoner's Master, to know what was become of the Woman Some Time after this, Mrs. Lamb came and told me, she had been at Mr. Cokes, and the Prisoner had told her he had not seen any Thing of his Wife, but if the Hood and Cloak did not come Home again, he would pay for them. Sometime after this, I was mentioning the Thing to a young Man, who came to my House, and he inform'd me, that the Prisoner fetch'd his Wife out in a Chaise from the Woolpack, a Publick House in Monkwell-Street. The Prisoner had promised to pay for the Things if they should not be return'd; but on Tuesday the 11th of Oct. about 2 or 3 o'Clock in the Afternoon, a Man brought to me in the Shop a Bundle, with a Letter: I asked the Messenger from whence it came? He told me it came by the Post, and away he went immediately. I open'd the Bundle, and found the Hood and Cloak, and this Letter with them, which I have compar'd with about 20 Letters of the Prisoner's own Hand-writing, found since he absconded, and I apprehend this (which I receiv'd with the Things) is the same Hand with the rest. I examin'd the outside of the Bundle for the Post Mark, but could find none. What made me suspect the Prisoner the more, was my finding this Stuff in one of the Letters to his Wife; I think they call it Savin, and there are some Directions in the Letter, concerning the poisoning his Children.
Mr. Coke. I have some Knowledge of the Prisoner's Hand-writing, and I take this Letter (which came with the Bundle) to be wrote by him. I have seen him write, and have Receipts now in Court, and a Letter which he sent me the
The Letter produc'd by Mr. Barber, was read.
I Have sent your Cloak and Hood, and if that Person comes, that I used to call my Husband, for the Box, let him have it; for I promised when he parted with me, to leave it at Mrs. Lamb's till he called for it, and was never to see him any more: When I heard he was coming, I thought it my prudent Way to make off, because I have run him so much in Debt. I am now gone to a Relation in the Wild of Kent. Take what other Things there are left, I mean, to pay you and Mrs. Lambe; if there should not be enough, what is left unpaid, I will send as soon as God sends me any (Thing;) but I was ashamed to stay, when I found it was known that I was not his Wife.
Directed to Mrs. Barber, a Grinder, near Cripplegate.
Mr. Barber. Chambers was the Deceased's Maiden Name; and this is the very Letter which I received with the Hood and Cloak on Tuesday October 11. When the Prisoner was examined before the Lord-Mayor, I was present, and heard him own, that he took her out in a Chaise from a House near Cripplegate, and that he delivered her to a Man at the Monument. After I had received this Letter, I went to Mrs. Lamb's, and there I found the Prisoner; I told him I was afraid he had made away with his Wife; he declared his Innocence, and I told him, I had received a Letter which tended to make him innocent, but I doubt you wrote that Letter yourself. Upon this he burst out a crying, and desired me to have a Care what I said, for (says he) my Master will not trust me to shave him, if he should hear I am suspected of such a Thing I charged him with having taken his Wife out in a Chaise from a House at Cripplegate; but he denied it to me, and said he was that Night at the Playhouse, without mentioning which of them. I taxed him farther in the Presence of his Fellow-Servant , upon which he said he would go home to his Master who understood the Law, and he should clear him: He went home to his Master, but he absconded that very Night; all this passed on the same Day I received the Letter and Bundle, October the 11th, and that very Night he ran away.
When I heard of a Woman being found murdered at Hounslow , I went thither, and knew her to be Mary Price ; I found her in the Stock-House at Isleworth, I am positive it was the Deceased, and I found the Scar of a Wound upon her right Leg, which she received by a Pitch-fork when she was a Girl. When the Prisoner was before the Lord-Mayor, among other Questions, he was asked how he came by the Chal'e again, for it appeared that he brought it home again at Night? His Answer was, That he left his Wife and the Chaise with another Man at the Monument, who drove away with her, and that he found it again at Night near the same Place, a Boy having brought it thither.
Martha Barber . The Deceased lodged at my House between three or four Months; on the 10th of October she went out about eight o'Clock in the Morning, and came home about 10 and 11, and borrowed a Hood, a Cloak, and an Apron, to go out again in; but as she did not come Home all that Night, I got Mrs. Lamb to go to Mr. Coke's, to enquire if the Prisoner had seen her; he sent me Word he had not den her, but if she ow'd me any Thing, he would come and make Satisfaction. The Deceased having told me when she went out, that she was going to meet her Husband, who was come that Morning out of Kent by the Hoy, I sent to the Master of the Hoy, and found that she had met him that Morning. I was uneasy about my Hood and Cloak, but the next Afternoon (Tuesday) the same Hood and Cloak which I lent the Deceased, was brought Home, with the Letter that has been read, by a Man who said the Parcel came by the Post; the Apron was found in Mr. Coke's House after the Prisoner absconded. The Prisoner promised to pay me what his Wife might have left unpaid.
Prisoner. I don't know these People, nor did I ever see them till they charged me with this Fact.
Jonas Harris . On Monday October 10. the Deceased came into the Woolpack in Monkwell Street, and called for a Pint of Beer; I had some Knowledge of her, and so we fell into Discourse. She told me her Husband was that Morning come from Canterbury, and she was waiting for him; she said he had provided a Place for her at Wandsworth, and was to come and carry her thither in
Mr. Coke. The Prisoner went away in a Blue Livery; that is the Colour I give.
Mr. Harris. When we heard of a Woman being found murdered at Hounslow, I went down with Mr. Barber to view the Body, and I am positive it was the reputed Wife of the Deceased; she had a particular Mark upon her Arm.
Jane Hart . The Prisoner came to our House the 10th of October, between 11 and 12 in the Forenoon, to hire a Horse and Chaise: I told him we had only a Chaise, but I recommended him to Mr. Milling's for a Horse; he went and hired the Horse, then he came back and agreed with me for the Chaise; he gave me but 2s. for it, because he told me he wanted it only to give an Acquaintance an Airing, and should go no farther than Sir Gregory Page 's on Blackheath. He had the Chaise from us between 2 and 3 in the Afternoon, and my Husband help'd him to put the Horse in it. The Same Night about 12 o'Clock, the Prisoner brought Home the Horse and the Chaise, and I saw my Husband unharness the Horse; then he desired to know if he could not lie at our House that Night; but we told him we had People come from Canterbury, and that our Beds were full. The Prisoner said, if they were Canterbury Men he would go and see if he knew any of them, and he went into the Rooms where they were; but not knowing any of them, he said he would go Home to his Master's House.
William Hart . The Prisoner paid me 2s. for the Chaise, and Mr. Millings at the Three Colts, had 4s. for the Horse; I saw him drive away, and when he returned with the Horse and Chaise at 12 o'Clock at Night, I told him he had been a long while at Blackheath; I have been further (says he) I have been at Dartford. Have you, says I? then the Horse has had a bloody hard Job of it, to go so far in so little Time, when the Roads are so very bad. The Horse had sweated much, but the Sweat was dry'd upon him when he came Home.
Jane Prosser . On the 10th of October in the Morning, the Deceased came to my Master Coke's House, to know if her Husband was come from Canterbury; when she heard that he was expected that Day by the Hoy, she said she would go down and meet him at the Hoy. About 11 o'Clock she returned to our House, and told us he was come, and she had got his Bread and Cheese, and the Dram that his Mistress had given him, in case he should be sick, and she could not stay at all with us, because he had appointed her to meet him some where by Wood Street, to carry her to see a Place which he had provided for her. I asked her if she would go with him, when she knew he had attempted to poison her? Yes, says she, I will, I neither love him nor fear him. I desired her to let me hear from her, and she told me she could, and that if I did not see her next Morning, or before Noon, I might depend upon it she was kill'd; then she went away. Between 12 and 1 o'Clock that Night, the Prisoner came Home to my Master's House, and complained that his Back aked very much, and he wished he had had the Dram that his Mistress had given him; but (says he) I left it behind me at a Publick House. Upon that I asked him if he had not seen his Wife? No, says he, as God's my Judge, I have not seen her since I parted with her at my Uncle's: I have had two Children by her, but I have parted with her. While we were talking, a Woman knocked at the Door and enquired for him. He took her into the Laundry, as she passed along, I heard her say, - Why, when did you see her? Hearing this, I went into the Laundry, and asked her, if she did not come to enquire after George's (the Prisoner's) Wife, or Sister? (as he call'd her.) Yes, she told me she did, and asked me if she did not come there last Night. I told her she did not, and would have had more Discourse with her, but the Prisoner was too intent upon getting her out of Doors, so I followed her, and overtaking her, I took her to the Three-Tun Alehouse; I asked her what the Prisoner had said concerning the Deceased? Why (says she) he says she is none of his Wife, and what can any body do to him then? But must the Woman be murdered, says I, because she is not
Mrs. Barber. I believe this is the Apron I lent the Deceased, but this Handkerchief I am positive to.
Prosser. I taxed the Prisoner with having seen her that Morning, and he then told me positively he had not, and that if he ever did see her again, he would shoot her. But when he was examined before the Lord-Mayor, he confessed that he took her from Wood Street, and delivered her at the Monument to a Stranger, and if she was killed, he supposed it was for the Sake of a Guinea which he had given her to buy her a Gown to go to her Place in. He likewise owned that he had seen her at Bear Key that Morning, and that he bid her go Home and get a clean Apron, that she might go out with him.
Prisoner. Were there any Marks of this Villainy on my Cloaths?
Prosser. No; only you complained of a Pain in your back.
John Taylor . I saw the Prisoner that Day at Mr. Hart's; I asked him how he did? he said he was just come out of the Country, and had a little Business to do, which would prevent his going Home that Night; he desired me to take no Notice that I had seen him, because he should not go Home before Morning.
Prisoner. Did I say punctually that I should not, - or that I only believ'd I could not go Home till Morning?
Taylor. He said he had a little Business to do, and could not go Home till Morning.
Margaret Lamb The Deceased had been at a Town call'd Sea Salter, and when she came Home she visited me, and told me her Husband was a murthering Rogue, and had a Design upon her; that he had sent her Physick to take, and it prov'd to be Savin. She pulled a Letter out of her Pocket and shewed it me at that Time, it was to desire her to lodge at Clerkenwell, and not to go near any of her Acquaintance.
Mr. Coke. This I take to be the Prisoner's Hand-writing.
My dear Fellow-Servant,
'' I Find how the Villainy has been contrived '' that sent me away, but hope God will provide '' for me. She met me at Bear-Key, and I '' was surprized to see her, having parted with her '' before. So, says she, how do you do? My '' Heart came in my Mouth, and I could make '' her no Answer. Well, says she, if you turn '' me off to seek my Fortune, will you tell me '' good News? My Resolution is, says I, to have '' no more to say to you. Has the young Man '' had his Shirts? Yes, says she. Have you got '' a Service in Town, or do you go to your Aunts, '' says I? I am to have a Nurse-Child from Putney, '' says she, and there is a young Man who '' knows you very well, will help me to the Child, '' but I want Money to pay for a Horse and Chaise '' to carry me thither, and this is the last Time '' I'll trouble you, says she. I being over-joy'd '' at that, said, I would hire one for her. She '' said if I would give her the Money, she would '' hire one herself. I thought I should be cheated '' of the Money, so I told her she must stay '' till To-morrow, for I must go home with my '' Master's Things. It will be too late then, '' says she, and I must go thither to Night. All '' this passed at a Publick House in Tower Street, '' by Mr. Watts's Academy where I gave her '' the Bread and Cheese which I had in my Basket.
Your Unfortunate Fellow Servant,
Oct. 17. 1737. George Price.
P. S ''If you please, shew this Letter to my '' Master, and to all those I owe Money to; tell '' them with the Help of God, I will pay them '' all I owe, which will not come to 7l. I asked '' her what Time the Man was to come Home '' with her? She told me, she would have me '' wait. I said, I thought they might be back about '' 10 or 11 o'Clock; they told me, if they '' did not come back by that Time, they would '' not come 'till next Morning. I said, that I '' would go then to the other End of the Town; '' but she repeated her Words, that I must not go '' till she saw whether she should have this Child '' or no, and that I must swear I had not seen her. '' I misfortunately promised to say as she desired '' me, it being the last Time that she trouble'd '' me; so I went to Drury-Lane, and from thence '' I run to Fishstreet-Hill, where I found a Boy '' leading the Horse and Chaise, who told me, he '' had 6d for bringing them from St. George's '' Church in Southwark, by a Man who looked '' like a Sailor; but it was not like the Man that '' went out with her, for he was like a Carpenter. '' The Boy told me, the Man came with him to '' the Foot of the Bridge, then left him, telling '' him, he would meet some body to take the '' Horse from him. I lay'd down my Dram upon '' a Table, as God is my Judge I never tasted it, '' and you say she got it. She gave me the strictest '' Charge to say, if I chanced to meet any '' Body that knew her, that I had not seen her. '' I did so, but there is a God in Heaven, who by '' some Means or other will right my Cause. At '' present I am Fatherless, Motherless and Friendless. '' I went to look for a Horse that would '' carry double, but I could not find one, so I got '' a Chair, and took her to the Bridge-Foot, where '' I met this Man, whom I never saw before, and I '' asked him, the Reason of his going that Way '' to Putney? He told me, 'twas to save the Expence '' of going over Sir Robert's Bridge. I gave '' her Half-a-Crown, at the Alehouse in Tower-Street, '' which I suppose she spent; for before '' she went off, she gave me her Handkerchief, '' Cap and Apron to be wash'd."
Prosser This Cap and Apron was found as I have mention'd, and the Letter was brought me, by a Man who look'd like a Countryman, and he asked me, if I knew one Jane Prosser ? He told me, it came by the Carrier that comes in at the Old-Change. I shew'd my Master the Letter, and he kept it 'till this very Day.
Mrs. Barber. The Apron was clean when I lent it to her, and the Handkerchief I know she had on, that Morning she went out.
Tho Ansol , Surgeon. I was sent for, to view the Body of the Deceased, by Order of Mr. Higgs the Coroner. I found a large Contusion on her Neck, and a large Cut, which entirely separated the Tendon of the Neck, and divided the jugular Vein. Her Nose was likewise slit, and she had a slight Wound above her Eye-Brow. These Wounds were curable, but the others in the Neck were mortal.
Tho Scot . On the 10th of October, about a Quarter after 6 in the Evening, I was going over Hounslow-Heath from Work, and I heard a Woman's Voice, I thought, about 2 or 300 Yards from me. I laid my self down upon the Ground; for we Country-Folks imagine we can hear any Thing at a Distance, much better in that Posture. I heard the Woman cry, O Lord! My Dear! My Dear! I will never trust you any more, if these are your Favours. The next Day, the Woman was found murdered about 2 or 300 Yards from the Place, where I heard the Voice.
Mr. Coke. I had been in Kent all the Summer, and towards the latter End of it, I came up to Town with the Prisoner; as we came along, he had a Fall from his Horse and hurt himself, so I made him go back, and order'd him when he was better, to come up by the Hoy. He came Home on the 10th of October, about 12 o'Clock at Night, as I was informed; I did not see him that Night, for my Brother got out of Bed and let him in. He was angry with him for being late, and to justify himself, he told him, the Hoy was but just arrived; he told me the same Thing the next Morning. I asked him what was the Reason that he did not lie on Board, as the Hoy was so late?John Taylor , and he told me your Brother and you were out of Town. I thought these Excuses a little odd, for Mr. Midford's Man had seen him at 12 o'Clock at Noon that Day, and he had desired him to say, he had not seen him at all. However I gave him 3 Guineas to fetch something from Mr. Godfrey's the Chymist, I knew 'twas a costly Thing, and did not know the exact Price; he brought Home what I sent him for, which cost but 10s. and that Day he absconded with the rest of the Money; for when I came Home in the Evening, about 6 or 7 o'Clock, I call'd for him, and my Brother's Man told me, he went out about 5 or 6, and said he was coming to me at the Coffee-house; but he was not return'd, and he believ'd he would come no more; from that Time he never came to my Service. The next Day he wrote me a Penny Post Letter, telling me therein that he was over Head and Ears in Debt; that he must go to Sea, and that he dare not shew his Head. He pretended he ran away for Debt, but in that long Letter to Prosser, which has been read, he says, all his Debts in the World were but 7l. 4 Guineas of which he owes my Brother's Man, who would never have troubled him for it. I have told you the Excuse, he made to me and my Brother for coming Home so late, was, the Hoy was but just arriv'd; but the Reason he gave to Prosser was, that he had been at Drury-Lane Playhouse.
The Prisoner's Defence.
My Lord, I declare I am entirely innocent of all that is laid to my Charge; and I am so far from knowing any Thing of the Murder of my Wife, that I can take a solemn Oath, I know nothing at all of it. 'Tis very plain, my Lord, that there is a Scheme of Villainy laid before you, but when I lay the manner of its Contrivance before you, I make no Doubt but you will think so too. My Wife I lov'd as I do my own Life; I marry'd her for nothing else, and indeed she merited all my Love, being a vertuous, sober, good Woman. If she was not so frugal in the Management of what little we had, it was our Misfortune only. I hope your Lordship and the Jury will put a charitable Construction on my leaving my Master's Service. You will find I did not, without good Reason, and that I am not the Villain I have been represented. If I was, I think I should never have had the Confidence to have look'd your Lordship and the Jury in the Face. I have no Friend but God to be my Councellor, and Innocency must be my Defence. And I believe several People now in Court have Reason to think I speak the Truth. I think they have now discharg'd their Duty to the King; - now let them declare, whether they think I deserve some of my Wife's Speeches I have taken Pains to preserve her Life, - never any to destroy it. If any of them can say I ever misused her, than let me suffer Blame, but till then, I hope your Lordship will hear my Cause. Ask Mrs. Lamb in what manner I used this Woman, - this Wife of mine?
Mrs. Lamb. He used her very well. In a Fit of Sickness she had, he fetch'd his Master's Apothecary to her, and desir'd him to discharge his Conscience to her, and make her well. When she did not take her Medicines, the Prisoner would blame her. He paid her Lodging and her Nurse. I know no Fault in him; how this happen'd I cannot tell.
Counc. How long is it since the Deceased had this Fit of Sickness?
Mrs. Lamb. About 7 or 8 Months ago. I am not sure whether the Apothecary is paid or not.
Prisoner. He is not paid: This is his Bill. Pray call Mrs. Sherwin, and ask her where I spent the Evening on Monday the 10th of October?
Mrs. Sherwin. I remember nothing of it. There is a Woman under Misfortune in Newgate, and I went with an elderly Man to see her. While I was there, a Breviate was wrote out, by which I was to clear the Prisoner. I was to say, that he and his Wife were with me at Supper that Night, and I was to be well paid for my Trouble. This is the Paper of Instructions which I received from the Prisoner, and thus far (pointing to the middle of the Sheet of Paper) he wrote himself. I was carried to Newgate by this elderly Man, to do Service for somebody, - I did not know who; when I came there, I found 'twas for the Prisoner, and was to be paid for doing it, but I don't desire to get Money at such a Rate.
The Paper was read.
'' My Lord, On Monday October the 10th, '' about 9 o'Clock in the Morning, Mrs. Price '' came to my House in Aldersgate-Street, and '' drank Tea with me. She told me she was going '' to see a Place, but that she must stay 'till
Sherwin. These were my Instructions, and this was what I was to swear here: I received this Paper from the Prisoner Yesterday Morning, I had it to peruse often over; it is Part of a Play which I was to act here, and was to be paid very handsomely for performing my Part.
Mary Pennistone gave an Account that the Deceased lodged with her three Quarters of a Year; that she had 2 Children in her House, that she went from her House last Christmas was 12 Months, and that during the Time she lived with her, the Prisoner used her well.
Mary Finch . I knew the Deceased before she married the Prisoner; she lodged in my House, and was with Child by him, and she was delivered of 2 Children three Doors from where I live; I nursed them for some Time, and parted with them last Whitsunday. He and she have dined with me three Days together, and I saw nothing but that he used her well. He paid me for nursing the Children to a Farthing, at the White. Horse in Bond-street. He was civil to the Children, and never came empty-handed, without Biscakes, or half a Pint of Wine for them, but I can't tell what's become of them now.
Councel. Do you know what Month it was when he paid you?
Finch I can't tell.
Councel. Was it May or June?
Finch. I don't know.
John Johnson gave an Account, that the Prisoner on Monday November the 5th, sent for him to the Bear and Harrow Tavern, and told him he surrendered himself to him, and desired to be carried before a Magistrate; that in St. Clement's Church-Yard, he left the Prisoner to go Home for his Hat, that he found him there again, and that they went directly to Mr. Coke's; that the Maids there were afraid they were come to murder them, and call'd in some of the Neighbour's Servants, that when the Constable came, he was not willing to take Charge of the Prisoner, till some Threats were used to him; that the Prisoner said before the Lord Mayor, he had hired a Chaise for his Wife and a Man had drove away with her in Gracechurch-street, who was an Acquaintance of hers, and that he had the Chaise again from a
Prisoner. As soon as I parted with my Wife at the Monument, a Man told me he believed I did not know him; but, says he, that's my Friend who is gone with your Wife, and if you'll go with me this Evening, I'll treat you; I thought I must oblige him, because he and his Friend had helped my Wife to a Service, so I went with him to Drury-Lane Playhouse, and there being no Play acted there that Night, we went to Covent-Garden, and saw Volpone, or The Fox, with the Entertainment of the Mock Doctor.
Guilty . Death .