Thomas Clements, Killing > murder, 16th April 1740.

Reference Number: t17400416-33
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

226. Thomas Clements , late of the Parish of St Clement-Danes , Butcher , was indicted for that he not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, but being moved and seduced by the Instigation of the Devil, on the Twenty-second of February , in and upon William Warner did make an Assault, and a certain Knife, made of Iron and Steel, val. 6 d. which he the said Clements had and held in his Right-Hand, towards the said Warner , did cast and throw, and him the said Warner , with the Knife so cast and thrown, on the left side of the Belly, under the Ribs, feloniously, wilfully, and of his Malice aforethought did strike; giving to him (the said Warner). with the Knife as aforesaid, on the left Side of the Belly, under the Ribs, as aforesaid, one mortal Wound, of the Length of one Inch, and of Depth of three Inches; of which mortal Wound, from the 22d of Febr. to the 14th of April, he languish'd, and then died , in the Parish of St Bartholomew the Less , London.

He was a second Time charged by virtue of the Coroner's Inquisition for the said Murder.

John Spratley . I was talking in my Uncle's Shop (which is next Door to the Prisoner's) in Clare-Market , this Day 8 Weeks ago; and I saw the Prisoner take up a large Carver from his Stall-board, and throw it at the Deceased. This was the Carver; it struck him on the left Side of the Belly, just under the short Ribs . The Point of it took him just under the short Ribs. It made a Wound, and I saw some Blood and some Fat come through the Wound; for his Breast was opened by a Neighbour or two, who came in, after he was hurt. The deceased had given the Prisoner no Provocation at all, as I heard, - for I was but just come to my Uncle's Door.

The Knife was flung at the deceased, with as much Violence, and Force as he was able to do it, -

I don't know whether it was flung in Sport, or no.

The man died last Monday, and I have seen him since his Death; but I am not a Judge whether the Wound was the Cause of his Death.

Prisoner . Did not the Carver rase on the Stall-Board before it hit him?

Spratley . I am not sure of that. - I heard no Words pass between them. The Prisoner was sitting on his own Bench, and the deceased was sitting on the other side of the Shop, by the Door-Way.

Susanna Whitcomb . I have Part of the same Shop, which the Prisoner occupied. I have one side of it, and he has the other. The Prisoner had a fine Tongue, which lay on the Stall-Board, and a Gentlewoman came by, and cheapened it. The Deceased told her it was bespoke: and the Prisoner said, - it was not sold. The Deceased told him it was already sold to a Customer, and was to be sent home, but the Prisoner still insisted that it was not sold . My Head was down at the same Time, and they changed about half a dozen Word, and then I immediately saw the Knife stick in the Side of the Deceased's Belly. The Deceased took it out himself, and then fell down on the Ground, and I ran and called his Wife. The Knife was ly ing near the Prisoner, before it was thrown at the Deceased, but my Head being down at that Time, I did not see the Prisoner throw it. I happened just at that instant to be stooping down for something, and when I lifted up my Head, I saw the Carver sticking in Warner's Belly. The Prisoner and the Deceased were about three Yards asunder, and the Knife was but just come home from the Grinder's, and lay near the Prisoner.

Anne Phillips . I was standing at the next Shop to the Prisoner's, and saw him take up the Carver and throw it at the Deceased, and I went immediately to him, and saw it stick in his Left-Side. I can't tell whether any Words had passed between them, for I had but just turn'd my Head that Way, when I saw the Carver fly. I heard no Words pass then, before it was flung, The Prisoner flung it at the Deceased with great Force, and I believe it did grate upon the Stall-Board before it struck the Deceased. The Prisoner was about 2 Yards from the Deceased , when the Carver was flung, and it stuck in his Belly, as he was standing at the Corner of the Door.

Prisoner's Q. What Part of the Knife hit upon the Stall-Board?

Phillips . I can't tell that; but I saw it fly with a great Force, and saw it stick in his Belly: then I was frighted, and ran away, so I did not observe the Wound.

Prisoner's Q. Did not the Deceased and I use to drink together?

Phillips. Yes; and I never heard them quarrel.

Ann Leavers . I saw the Carver sticking in the Deceased's-Body, but I can't tell who flung it at him, nor did I hear any Words pass between them, before it was thrown: but I saw the Deceased pull the Knife out of his Belly, and both Blood and Fat came out at the Wound.

Prisoner's Q. Were not the Deceased and I Friends? And had not we been drinking together?

Leavers. I can't tell whether they were Friends or no: nor whether they had been drinking together, before the Fact.

Thomas Turner . I was in my own Shop, five Doors above the Prisoner's; so I did not see the Carver thrown, but hearing the People say, a Man

was kill'd , I ran to the Prisoner's Shop, and saw the Deceased, stooping, - in a stooping Posture, with his Hand on his Side. I asked him, if he was hurt? He said, yes, I believe I am. I opened his Breast, and saw a Wound just below his short Ribs; the Blood ran out of the Wound into his Breeches, and a Lump of Fat, or Caul, appeared out of the Wound about the Bigness of an Egg. The Deceased looked like a very hearty Man; I have drank with him several Times. I heard no Quarrel between them, for I was writing in my Shop, when this happened, and ran out, hearing the Noise.

Prisoner's Q. Were not I and the Deceased intimate together?

Turner . Yes; and I have been often Times drinking with them both; but I don't know whether they had been drinking together that Day. I did not see the Stroke given; but I undid his Clothes, and saw the Wound, and that the Caul came out, and then I came away directly.

Ann Warner , the Deceased's Widow. I was in my Room the Day this happened, and Murder was called three Times at my Window, and my Child came running up Stairs to me, and said - My Father is killed! Who, Child, says I, would kill your Father! But People still crying out, Murder! I came down Stairs, and asked, who had killed my Husband! Mrs Whitcomb said, - that Man there (the Prisoner). Where is my Husband, I cry'd! They told me, he was gone to Mr. Biggs's the Surgeon: and I ran away before him, to get Mr Biggs's People to have the Door open against he came. These are my Husband's Clothes; here are two Coats, and a Flannel-Waistcoat; this is the Shirt; he had all them on that Time, and here are the Holes thro' them all. Here is the Handkerchief, with which he wip'd his Hands. They all appeared very bloody.

Thomas Dimmock . The Day this happened, I was at the Feathers Alehouse , and the Deceased came in, and asked for six Penn'orth of Halfpence for his Mistress (Mrs Clements ). He told me, he had just done his Work, and would come and spend three Halfpence, and smoak a Pipe with me. Upon this he went out of the Alehouse with the Half-pence, and presently John Loop came in, and said - Warner was murder'd. Upon hearing this, I ran out, and found the Deceased stooping on Mrs Whitcomb's Stall-Board. I asked him, what was the Matter! He cry'd, - O Lord! Lord! I am murder'd ! Who has murder'd you, said I! He answered, - Tom Clements . This was not above two Minutes after he went out of the House, with the Halfpence.

Jury. Did your hear of any Quarrel having been between them?

Dimmock . No; I heard of none. I have known them both for a considerable Time, and they and I have drank several Times together. The Deceased drank with me the Minute before he went out of Doors.

Prisoner's Q. Was there not a Friendship between us?

Dimmock. As for their Friendship, I know nothing of that. I never saw any Quarrels between them; especially if the Prisoner was sober; when he was drunk, he would be jarring with him. The Deceased was a meek Man at all Times, as far as I have seen; but the Prisoner used to jarr with him, when he was in Liquor. - Mrs Whitcomb's Shop, and the Prisoner's, are both in one: She has one Side, and he has the other. When I saw the Deceased, (after he was wounded) he was leaning on Mrs Whitcomb's Stall-Board, near the Door, and the Prisoner was fitting on the other Side of the Shop, about two Yards off from the Door.

Thomas Boulter . I was sitting in the Feather's Alehouse , and the Outery coming, that Clements had killed Warner. I ran out, and saw him leaning on his Belly, in Mrs Whitcomb's Shop; and I looked on his Body, and saw something like Fat, about the Bigness of an Egg, came out of the Wound.

I served my Time with the Prisoner, and he was as good a Man, as any in the Neighbourhood: I can't think what the Devil perswaded him to do such a Thing. He was well enough when he was sober, but when he was drunk, he used to be troublesome. The Deceased and he often drank together in Friendship. I keep a Shop now next Door to the Prisoner.

Elizabeth Allen . I saw nothing of the Accident. - What I have to say is something the Prisoner declared, after the Fact was done. When the Deceased was carried to Mr. Biggs's (the Surgeon's) the Prisoner came to me, as I was coming thro' the Entry, and said, Damn you, - I would do it. This was after the Deceased was carry'd to the Surgeon's He came a - cross the Yard, into the back Entry, and said, - Here I am, and G - d d - mn you, I said, I would do it, and I have done it. On my Oath, I heard him say it: and I answered, you have done it, like what you are; and I hope you'll have to your Deserts.

Jury. Did you call to the Prisoner before he Spoke to you?

Allen No; he came into the Entry, and I said to him, - you have done for yourself, like a Rogue as you are.

Prisoner. Ask her if she did not speak to me first, and tell me I had killed the Man?

Allen. No; I did not: He came to me, in the Entry, and said, Here I am; I am coming; and G - d d - mn you, I said I would do it. He was coming thro' the Yard, cross the Entry towards Clement's-Lane, at the same Time; and one Hannah Jackson the Wife of Edward Jackson , a Barber, was at her own Door, cross the Lane, and heard the Words. I was at my own Door, and the Prisoner stood at the Post over against me. The Fact was done in our House, where we all live together. The Prisoner lives up two Pair of Stairs, and I live up one Pair.

Prisoner's Q. Was you examin'd before the Coroner?

Allen. No, I was not. I was before Colonel De Veil, but I was not examined.

Prisoner's Q. Is Hannah Jackson here?

Allen. She lives at the Barber's Pole, in Clement's-Lane, but she is not here.

Mr Biggs, Surgeon. About eight Weeks ago, - I believe it was this Day eight Weeks, - I was coming to my Door, and saw about two or three hundred People in the Yard. I thought there might have been some Quarrel, and so I would have passed by, but some People in the Croud knew me, and would not let me. When I came in, I saw the Deceased sitting in a Chair, and my Man was stitching up the Wound in his Belly. The Teguments of the Belly were pierced through, and the Caul appeared. I saw my Man had stitched up the Wound properly, and as the Deceased was a poor Man, I advised them to carry him to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where there would be more Care taken of him, than any poor Man can have, in his own Habitation; and it happened to be my Week to attend there. Accordingly he was carried thither; and three Days afterwards, I found the Parts inflamed; the Man was in Pain, and restless, and I was afraid of him. I then observed a great Quantity of Matter, which had pressed out between the Muscles, and the Skin, and that it was likely to be licked up in the Blood; I therefore opened it about three Inches, and after this, the Wound healed kindly, and the Deceased made no Complaints. Where the Deceased was wounded, there was nothing farther to hurt but the Guts, and in this Case there was no Part wounded which was mortal: For if the Guts had been wounded, I should have found it out, by Cholick and Reachings. I did think at first, that some Gut might be prick'd, and that a Mortification might ensue; but afterwards I found, that for three or four Days he went to stool regularly, and complained of no Cholick, or Inclination to reach, and I was not afraid of his doing well; for the Wound healed up, to the Compass of a silver Penny. The Wound that I had made, was not through the whole Integuments , but only between the Skin and the Muscles; and after about a Fortnight, I apprehended the Man was out of Danger; and I was teized to make an Affidavit to that Purpose, that the Prisoner might be bailed: But I deferred it for three Weeks; and after about five Weeks I was under no Apprehension, that he would not do well; for there was no Matter came from the Wound to wet the Lint; and it was dressed lately with dry Lint. Then I made an Affidavit before Colonel De Veil, (about three Weeks ago) that I apprehended he was in no Danger from his Wound. But about four Days afterwards, I observed him to sink and waste; tho' he made no Complaints, and there was no Fever. When I asked him how he rested, he only complained of the Noise of the Persons in the Ward. When I first saw him, he appeared to me to have a bad Habit; and when I went to the Market, I enquired, and found that both he and the Prisoner had been given to drinking; and when a Person has been addicted to drinking, Things not fatal may turn so. Our Mens Wards are close, and confined, and we have been (during the severe Season) fuller of Patients than is convenient; and I apprehended, that as Butchers live in the open Air, the Cause of his Alteration might be attributed to the close penning him up. At last the Wound grew slabby, as Wounds do when the native Heat is gone; but it is a nice Point to determine whether the Wound was the Occasion of his Death. I take it not to have been the immediate Cause; but consequentially, by confining him to his Bed, and by keeping him in one Posture.

Q. Is it your Opinion that he would have been dead by this Time, if he had not received this Wound?

Mr Biggs. I can't say that. I was apprehensive, that as we were forced to expose the Body of the Deceased, he might get cold; and I observed him to be low-spirited; but they did not give that Notice to the Coroner, which they should have done, so it was impossible to make the Discoveries we otherwise should have done. I do believe the Wound contributed to his Death; and I have seen Trifles of Wounds contribute to a Man's Death: I have known a Pin in a Man's Coat, to prick his

knee, and the Consequence has been fatal to him. - In this Case, here was no neglect in the Hospital; there's more Care taken there, than any private Person can have taken of him elsewhere. To give the Deceased his due, he was as regular as any Man could be; and consequentially the Wound was the Occassion of his Death. I saw him in a Quarter of an Hour after the Wound was given; we don't take a Wound in the common Integuments of the Belly to be mortal, nor if the Caul be wounded.

Prisoner's Q. As I understand you, you say the Wound originally given was not the Cause of his Death; and did not you say, the Deceased was so far cur'd of the original Wound, that there was not above the Breadth of a Silver Penny that penetrated into the Cavity of the Belly?

Mr Biggs. Yes; - the Man seemed to me, to be of a sallow Complexion, and an ugly Constitution; and I heard he had been a very hard Drinker. He was in our Hospital, from the first Day, to the Day of his Death: for in all accidental Cases, Patients are taken in, at any Hour of the Day. - As to the Decay of Strength in the Deceased, it might be occasioned by some Matter, which might be licked up with the Blood in it's Circulation; and the Wound, in Consequence, might be the Occasion of his Death. I saw a Man the other Day, who had a Cut upon his Cheek, and a hallow Wound was made; the Matter was lick'd up by the Blood, in it's Circulation, and was thrown upon the Lungs, and he pin'd away, and fell into a slow Fever.

Prisoner's Q. Then a Cut upon a Man's Finger, may be consequentially the Occasion of his Death; how deep was this Wound?

Mr. Biggs. It penetrated the Cavity of the Belly, and then whether it went 3 or 4 Inches, it was no Matter, provided it did not wound the Guts. When we cut, to reduce the Guts in Ruptures, we cut thro' all the Cavities; and if we take off Part of the Caul, we tye it up, and People do well. Had any principal Part, in the Deceased, been wounded, the Symptoms would have appeared at first: but he went on well, for 5 Weeks. The Wound was not throughly cur'd, but it was cur'd to the Bigness of a Silver Penny: and such a Wound if given to 20 Persons, of an healthy Constitution, 19 of them might be cur'd, unless there were any concurrent Causes to the contrary.

Prisoner's Q. Had you ever any Conversation with the Deceased about this Accident?

Mr. Biggs. We only ask Questions of our Patients, which may relate to their Cure; - we never ask them any other Questions.

Prisoner's Defence. The Deceased for several Years has cut up my Meat, and we commonly drank together, 3 or 4 Times o'Day. I never had any Malice against the Man, but supported him all that lay in my Power.

Ann Stonebank . I knew both the Prisoner and the Deceased; I have known them both many Years; ever since I was a Child in the Market, I never heard of any Quarrels between them, but I was little acquainted with them otherwise. On the Twenty-second of February, when this Accident happened, as near as I can guess 'twas that Day, Warner (the Deceased) came to my Shop, and asked me what Beef I would have cut? Billy, says I, I can't tell; and so he fell a talking to me about my little Boy. I said, Billy, you seem to have drank more than you have bled to Day. So I have, said he, for my Master Clements and I have had 2 or 3 Drams together; but I will go and see what Beef he will have cut to Day, and then I will go home to Bed: and immediately after this, I heard of the Accident. When the Prisoner is sober, he is a very sober Man, but when he's drunk, he is like a Mad-Man.

Prisoner's Q. What do you mean, by being like a Mad-Man?

Stonebank . That is, he hardly knows what he does. I never knew him but doing all the Good he could; and he would treat every Body he come near, not knowing what he does, but as good natur'd a Soul, as any Body could come near.

Mary Huntsfield . I don't know the Prisoner. I am the Nurse in the Ward where the Deceased died. He neither desired the Prisoner might die, nor did he ever forgive him: He said, he had been drinking the Day this Accident happened. Mrs Clements, (the Prisoner's Wife) took a great deal of Care of the Deceased till he died, and let him want for nothing that he had a mind to. I never saw a Wound look fairer than the Deceased's, till about two Days before he died.

Mary Hammond . I have known the Prisoner many Years; I likewise knew the Deceased. On the 22d of February, (when this happened) the Prisoner and the Deceased had been at Dinner together at the Feather's Alehouse , and there appeared to be no Difference between them. The Prisoner was much in Liquor, and eat no Dinner at all. The Deceased cut a Piece of Mutton, and put it on a Piece of Bread, and went directly to the Prisoner's Shop to eat it. No Words passed betwe en them; and this was not an Hour before he was killed. The Prisoner is as peaceable as can be, when he's sober, but when he's in Liquor, - I can't say any thing so it.

Prisoner's Q. When I am in Liquor, do I do any mischievous Actions ?

Hammond. He does Things out of the Way: nothing at all of this Kind. I can't recollect any thing in particular.

Robert Thomlinson . I know Clements (the Prisoner) to be a very civil Man when he's sober; but when he's drunk, he is like a Madman; he knows not what he does, but behaves like a Madman. I can't say I ever saw him do any Mischief . - I was at the Hospital to see the Deceased; but he did not say any thing how the Accident happened; he said, God Almighty forgive him: I do; for I would not have him hanged if I die.

Elias Pritham . I know the Prisoner, but I know nothing of the Accident. The Day it happened, the Prisoner, the Deceased, and his Wife, dined together at the Feathers Alehouse, in Clare-Market, and they had three or four Pots of Beer together at Dinner, and I saw no Quarrel between them. The Deceased went from the Alehouse to the Prisoner's Shop, once or twice, and came in again, and drank; and after they had been at the Alehouse about an Hour, or three Quarters of an Hour, they paid the Reckoning, and went out together. I never heard them quarrel; I took them to be Friends. When Clements is sober, he is a civil Man; but when he is drunk, he is crazy: but I never knew him do any thing like this in my Life.

Prisoner. Did not I always do every Thing to support Warner, and his Family?

Pritham. I believe he gave him something sometimes; but not always. I have seen him give the Deceased a Joint of Meat at a Time.

Henry Birt . I know both the Prisoner and the Deceased. The Deceased often worked for me, and behaved as an honest, civil, quiet Man. I heard of the Accident after it happened, and when he was in a fair Way of doing well, (which was about three Weeks afterwards) I went to see him, and asked him, if he could drink? He said, he believed he could; and I gave the Nurse Money to get him half a Pint of Wine: but I came away before he drank it. He then complained of the Noise of the People in the Ward. I never knew Clements do an ill Thing in my Life, and have heard Warner say, his Master was kind to him.

Joseph Urby . I have known Clements these ten Years, and never heard a misbehaving Word from him in my Life. I used his Shop, and he treated me always civilly. I am a Victualler, and he has drunk at my House many Times, and always behaved peaceably and quietly. I have likewise drank with him several Times at other Houses about Clare-Market. I visited Warner in the Hospital, and was ordered by him to be one of the Prisoner's Bail, because he liked me. I asked him, if he wanted Wine, or any thing else? He said, Mrs Clements sent him Wine, and Eating, and whatever he desired, to the Hospital: and I have seen Wine there, which he said Mrs Clements had sent him.

Robert Stonebank . I have known the Prisoner many Years; and I knew Warner the Deceased. They were both well acquainted together, and very good Friends: I never knew of any Quarrel that was between them, They were always very friendly; and if Warner asked Clements at any Time for a Pint of Beer, he used to give it him. The Prisoner was one of his Masters; and the Deceased worked for me, as well as for Clements. Clements, the Prisoner, was a sober Man, - but when he was in Liquor, he was a quarrelsome Man: I can't say, (of my own Knowledge) that he ever did any Mischief.

Matthew Hobbs . I knew both the Prisoner and the Deceased: I was a Tenant to the Prisoner, for 7 Years within a Fortnight or three Weeks. He behaved handsomely, as a Neighbour, - or any thing of that Kind. As to his Character, 'tis that of an honest Man; but when he gets in Liquor, he is apt to be passionate; but I never knew him do a mischievous Thing in my Life, and I have been 15 Years in his Neighbourhood. I know nothing of the Accident.

Richard Plimpton . I have known nothing of the Prisoner for these six or seven Years last past; but about seven Years ago I lived in his Neighbourhood, and he then was not given to Drunkenness.

Peircey Harding. I have known the Prisoner about twenty Years; I have seen the Deceased, but I had no great Acquaintance with him. I live in White-Cross-Street, but I have been in Clare-Market three or four Days in a Week, and never knew but the Prisoner was a very quiet Man. He always behaved quietly and civilly to me, and to every one else, as far as I know.

Sam Wasey . I have known the Prisoner eleven or twelve Years; he was always civil, except he got in Liquor: and I never saw him do any mischievous Actions then. I know nothing of the Accident.

The Jury found the Prisoner Guilty , Death .


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