Offence: Killing > murder
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22. Michael Erant , of London, Labourer , was indicted, for that he, not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, but being moved by the Instigation of the Devil, of his own Malice and Fore thought, did willfully make an Assault on , and with a clasped Knife, gave her one mortal Wound, the Depth of four Inches, in her Belly, of which Wound she instantly died . May 23 .
He was likewise a second Time indicted on the Coroner's Inquest for the same.
At the Prisoner's Request, the Witnesses were examined a-part.
Court. Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar ?
Court. When did this happen?
M. Jones The 23d of May the Murder was committed: Going by the Door, and knowing them to be at variance, and hearing them quarrelling, I went in, and the Deceased asked me to look for a Pack of Cards, she (the Deceased) looking on the Shelf, saw a Coffee cup, and said, it was hers, and swore she would have it, the Prisoner swore she should not; then she swore again she would; and with that, he gave her three or four Blows on the Face, and said, if she would not lay it down, it should be the worse for her, and then went her very much, with that she pulled a little Knife out of her Pocket, and
Court. How long did she live after the Wound was given.
M. Jones. A few Minutes: They had had some Words for a Week before, and she lived with me.
Court. Was you present at any Dispute before?
M. Jones. No Sir.
Court. Did they live together as Man and Wife?
M. Jones. Yes, for about 12 Months.
Prisoner. Is your Name Jones?
M. Jones. Yes.
Prisoner. And please you my Lord, her Name is not Jones; did you see any Knife in my Hand?
Mr. Jones. Yes.
Prisoner. Did she not threaten my Life.
M. Jones. My Lord, she threaten'd his Life, and took a little Knife like a Penknife out of her Pocket, but put it up again without offering to open it.
Edward Standin . I was in the House when the Murder was committed, but did not see him strike her; there were Words arose about a Coffee-cup, and she pulled out a Knife without offering to open it, and put it into her Pocket again; in a short Time afterwards, Mary Jones said, O Lord! he has stabb'd her, and I looked and saw she bled very plentifully, the Knife fell down between the Bed and the Drawer; I went to Doctor Hazleworth , and he came.
Court. Was she alive when the Doctor came?
Court. How long did she live from the Time she receiv'd the Wound?
Standin. She liv'd about a Quarter of an Hour.
The Knife was then produc'd in Court.
Court. Is that the Knife?
Standin. Yes, my Lord, that is the Knife with which the Murder was committed.
Prisoner. Pray was not I in Bed when you came, and did not you strip on purpose to fight me?
Standin. No; - There was a Warrant in the Pocket of the Deceased, where she had sworn her Life against him, she had a Mark upon her Breast, as broad as a Crown Piece, and as black as ever you saw any thing in your Life, but this Mark she had before this Murder happen'd.
Mr. Whittell. Please you my Lord, the Quarrel first begun about a Tea Cup, she took it up in her Hand and said it was hers, and would have it, and he said if she took any thing out of his House he would beat her, but she insisted on keeping it, and he gave her two Blows on the Face; she took then a little clasp'd Knife from her Pocket, and swore she would either have his Life, or he should have her's.
Court. What did she do with the Knife?
Whittell. I can't tell what she did with, for I saw it no more, and I did not see when the Wound was given, but when I saw Blood I thought her Finger was cut, and as soon as I understood the Wound was given, I went out, and can't tell how long she lived after it.
Samuel Fletcher . My Lord, last Sunday 7-night, I saw a Concourse of People, and I went into the Room and saw a Corpse lie on the Floor, a Coroner was sent for, and I found a Wound in the Abdomen about 3 quarters of an Inch long, and when I open'd her Body, another in the Liver, about 2 Inches and a Quarter deep, which I believe was the Cause of her Death.
John Jones . My Lord, I had been along with my Wife, my Father and Mother, and coming by where the Prisoner lives, I heard a Noise and went in, and I found the Deceas'd had taken up a Cup, and the Prisoner desired her to lay it down again, and she said she would not, upon that, he ( the Prisoner ) struck her 2 or 3 blows; she then pull'd out a Knife from her Pocket, and swore she'd kill, or be kill'd, and then he run up to her, and said, that is what I wanted, and I'll begin first.
Prisoner. Did you hear me say so?
Jones. Yes, and he run up to her, and I thought he struck her 'till I saw him fling the Knife down, and said, Lord! Lord! what have I done?
Jury. Did you see him stab her with the Knife.
Jones. No, I saw him run at her.
Prisoner. My Lord, she run at me.
Jones. She sate by the Dresser, when he run at her, and I saw the Blood stie upon my Wife's Apron.
Court. Did you stay there 'till she died?
Jones. Yes, my Lord, but before she died he desired a Surgeon might be fetch'd, when the Surgeon
Court. Who was the Surgeon?
Jones. I don't know the Man's Name.
Court. Was she alive when the Surgeon came?
Jones. Yes, my Lord.
Court. How long did she live after he came?
Jones. A small Time.
Prisoner. I desire to know if Jones has a Wife?
Jones. Yes, my Lord, the Blood of the Deceased flew upon my Wife's Apron (The Apron was produced in Court stained with Blood).
John Corbet . I and another went into the Prisoner's House who sold Drams, and we called for one, and whilst we were drinking it, the Deceased took a Cup from the Shelf, and he damn'd her, and told her she should not have it, she said she would, and he struck her 2 or 3 Blows, and after that she went and sat down, and got up again, and went to kiss him, and he struck her again, then she took a Knife out of her Pocket, and put it up again, without opening it, and the Prisoner went up to her, and I thought he went to strike her as before, I did not observe any Knife in the Prisoner's Hand, and when I saw the Blood run down I was frighten'd out of my Wits, and he sent for a Surgeon, and said, for God's Sake save her; afterwards went out of the House, and was taken in Hog-Lane.
Stanton. Last Sunday Sen'night I went into the Prisoner's House to drink a Dram, and after that I went to the back Window and staid there, but heard no Words, nor saw no Blows, when I turned about I thought I saw Blood, and when I ran in I saw it was the Deceased that bled, I have nothing more to say.
Counc. Did they live together?
Stanton. They liv'd together about 10 or 11 Months.
Court. Did they pass as Man and Wife?
Stanton. He always acknowledg'd her as his Wife.
The Prisoner then called several for his Character.
Thomas Markham . I have heard the Prisoner forwarn this Woman (the Deceased) his House several Times, she came and bred Riots, and threaten'd his Life more than once or twice the Saturday Night before this happen'd, I was present when Mr Grant was coming along, she said she was determin'd to stick a Knife in him.
W. Chambers. Mr. Grant took an Appartment of mine, and the Deceased and she liv'd about 10 Weeks in it, that's all I have to say.
Mr. Pearson. I have known the Prisoner a great many Years, we were School-fellows together, and I never heard any Harm said of him or his Mother, and this is all I have to say in his Behalf.
Court. Did you know his Wife?
Wittingham. No, Sir.
Eliz. Cross. I have known the young Man a great while, almost ever since he was born, he was brought up within 4 Doors of me, he always appeared to be a very honest saving young Man, I keep a Publick-House, and I never knew him breed a Quarrel in my Life.
Eliz. Tipping. I have known the Prisoner 8 or 9 Years, I keep a Chandler's Shop next Door to him, he always behaved very well in the Neighbourhood, I never heard he had a Wife, he lived with a Woman, but I believe they lived together not as Man and Wife.
Court. Did you ever hear they liv'd together not as Man and Wife?
Tipping Yes, Sir.
The Deceased drew her Knife, and swore she would have my Life, or I should have hers, upon which I drew my Knife in my own Defence, and she run up against it, and stabb'd herself. Guilty , Death .