Thomas Morgan, Killing > murder, 11th September 1745.

Reference Number: t17450911-32
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

337. + Thomas Morgan , of St. Martin's in the Fields , in the county of Middlesex, pipemaker , 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 20th day of August, in the 19th year of his Majesty's reign, with force and arms, at the said parish, in the said county, in and upon Elizabeth his wife, in the peace of God, and our said Lord the King, then and there being, feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did make an assault, and that he the said Thomas Morgan with a certain knife of the value of 2 d. which he the said Thomas then and there had and held in his right hand, in and upon the head, breasts and sides, of her the said Elizabeth, then and there feloniously, wilfully and of his malice aforethought, did strike and stab, giving to her the said Elizabeth, in and upon the head, breasts and sides, several mortal wounds, of which mortal wounds the said Elizabeth, at the said parish in the said county, instantly died. And that he, the said Thomas Morgan , her the said Elizabeth his wife , feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did kill and murder, against his Majesty's peace, his crown and dignity .

He was a second time charged by virtue of the coroner's inquisition, for the wilful murder of the said Elizabeth his wife.

Thomas Morgan . On Monday the 19th of August, the Prisoner desired me to come and burn a kiln of pipes for him.

Q. Are you any relation to the Prisoner?

Morgan. None at all. I was burning some pipes for him at his house in Bedford Bury, by Covent Garden . (I know they have had quarrels concerning jealousy.) She washed in the morning, and he went out with some pipes. He came home about 4 or 5 o'clock, and says to her, Bet, this is the best half guinea I ever laid out in my life, for I have been to ask counsel (for she had bound him over for assaulting her) and I am not afraid that you can hurt me or my bail; for he was bailed out of the Gatehouse , and that bred a sort of a quarrel between them, and he took all the wet linen that was in the washing tub, and bundled them up in a bundle, and would not let her have them; so they quarrelled for a considerable time. There were three women of our trade came to the Prisoner's house in the evening, and the Prisoner and his wife were pretty sociable, and he sent for me to drink with them. About 11 o' clock after the company was gone, I was in the stoke hole, and they were standing looking at me; As they were standing looking at me, he said, Bet, let me have a buss, and make all up, for said he, it is a sad thing we should be always quarrelling and differing; and, as

he said, he went to buss her, and she put his hand away from her, but he took a buss from her partly by force, and he had a buss. She said, Tommy, I can hardly buss you, for I cannot love you. He stood in a pause: well, Bet, said he, if it is so that you can never value me nor respect me, it is the best way for us to separate: there is a 30 l. bond you carried to your father, I have received 15 l. and there is 15 l. coming to me, only let me have that 15 l. and I will resign the trade up to you, and go and travel the country as a journeyman, and take my chance; and I will give you a bond never to trouble you, and you shall give me a bond never to trouble me. Then said she, I will agree to it, and I will take the business into my own hand. Then said he, I will tie you up from one thing, that you shall not employ John Hartley ; (that is the man he was jealous of) Then she made answer, I will not be confined from that, for he is the only person I choose to work for me, and if I cannot be allowed that I will not agree to it. Then he fell a dancing and capering, and said, then it is all off if you will employ him, and fell a singing directly. After that they had some punch, he went out and ordered it. They said there was 18 d. worth, and he drank to me in the stoke hole, and they had no words after that. Said he, Morgan, I have got some pipes that were burnt slack before, and I would have these burnt harder; and he brought me 4 pieces of a coach wheel to burn them harder. Then he came and said, come up and drink your punch, and he stoked down for me, for he said, you are quite hot. I said, I am quite wearied out, I will go to bed. He said, I will stay a little longer, for I love my fire to be out before I go to bed; but I being quite tired went to bed.

Q. Pray did you hear when it was that the woman was murdered?

Morgan. No, I lay in the garret, I went and left him singing; for I was a little in liquor.

Q. What time did you go to bed?

Morgan. About twelve o'clock, and lay till between eight and nine the next morning. When I got up I came down stairs, and he complained for want of pipes to serve his customers. I went to open this kiln of pipes to let them cool, and in the mean time the woman at the Cock and Bottle came over and said our bing is full of foul pipes and will not hold any more. I said I will go and take them away; and there being some company, I staid about an hour, and I said it is a strange thing they should not get up.

Q. Did you see your master in the morning?

Morgan. No, I never saw him after I left off burning.

Q. You say your master told you he wanted pipes for his customers, when was that, over night, or in the morning?

Morgan. It was over night.

Q. What time did you go out in the morning?

Morgan. I believe it was about nine o'clock, and I staid there till between two and three o' clock expecting their coming down. Then I bored a hole in the wall of their chamber and looked through, and saw no sheet upon the bed. I bored another hole, which directed me to the middle of the room, and then I saw a puddle of blood in the middle of the room. Seeing that, I pushed the door a little to look farther in, and I saw two naked legs lying on the floor on the farther side of the bed. I run down stairs to this gentlewoman [Mrs. Moody] and said, for God's sake come up, there is murder in the house, for Morgan has killed himself; she went up and looked upon her as she lay, and thought that he was murdered.

Q. Was the body naked?

Morgan. Yes; the body was naked.

Q. Did she lay at the side of the bed, or under the bed?

Morgan. At the side of the bed.

Q. What reason had you to think it was him that was murdered?

Morgan. I judged it to be him because there was no cap on; and I thought he had made away with himself. Then several women came up stairs. What do you talk, said they, of his being murdered? it is she that is murdered. And they said to somebody, do you go down and take care of the doors, and call some of the neighbours, and when some of the substantial neighbours came, I was secured, and sent to the Gatehouse.

Q. What room did you find the deceased in?

Morgan. In a room up two pair of stairs.

Q. Where is the shop?

Morgan. It is up one pair of stairs.

Q. You say you was a little in liquor, and you went to bed?

Morgan. Yes, I was a little in liquor, and that was the reason I went to bed so soon.

Q. Pray did you see in what condition the body was?

Morgan. I saw the body, but I did not see any wound upon it, for I run down stairs to call the neighbours; and I never saw her afterwards.

[The Coroner said there was a matter of 20 wounds on the body, and 3 of them were mortal.]

Q. Did you hear any noise or any strugling during the whole night?

Morgan. I did not hear any.

Mary Ann Moody . On Tuesday about 3 o' clock in the afternoon, this man [the evidence] came to me, and said, that he was frightened. I said, what have you seen? He said, he had looked through the key hole, and had seen some blood in the room. So I went to call some of the neighbours.

Q. What time was this?

Moody. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon on the Tuesday.

Q. Where did she lay then?

Moody. She lay on the floor on her right side, with her face towards the bed.

Q. Was she naked?

Moody. Her shift was pulled up to her neck, and she was bare headed.

Q. Had she any wounds upon her body that you observed?

Moody. Yes, I observed several.

Q. Can you give any account where the wounds were?

Moody. I believe she had three on the side of her belly, six along her throat, and she had a great many behind her ear.

Q. Had she any other wounds?

Moody. Yes; but I did not take any particular notice of them.

Q. Did you hear any noise in the night?

Moody. Yes; I am sure I heard her cry out murder .

Q. Did she do it more than once?

Moody. Yes.

Q. What time was that?

Moody. The watch called two o'clock, and a quarter before that she was crying something about justice.

Q. Could you hear every thing that was said or done in the house?

Moody. Pretty well.

Q. What did you hear further?

Moody. I heard a sort of a groaning.

Q. Was you pretty conversant with them?

Moody. I was very often with them.

Q. Did they agree well, or how did they live?

Moody. They were always falling out, and she crying murder.

Prisoner. That woman knows no more of me than the farthest woman in this court. Did you ever know any neighbour that could give me an ill word about abusing my wife?

Moody. All the people in the Bury will say the same as I say.

Prisoner. If I could handle my pen, I could take minutes of this, and be able to consute her.

William Ellis , Surgeon. On Wednesday the 21st of August about 4 o'clock in the afternoon I saw the body of the deceased lie prostrate on her back upon the bed.

Q. As you are a surgeon, I desire you would give an account of the wounds?

Ellis. I will give you the best account I can, and I don't doubt but I shall give your Lordship and the Jury satisfaction. I viewed the body and found there had been an attempt to cut her throat, the common teguments and the skin appearing about one inch over the windpipe. There was one wound upon each hand, by which I imagined she had attempted to save herself. Those wounds were on the back of her hands to the bone, as deep as they could be, but about two inches long each. There was a wound under the left ear, and I observed by her defending her throat so well, that the wound by the ear must be given underhanded by a sort of a job, and by my probe I found it to be four inches and an half in depth; and I judged that wound to be given obliquely, and

to have divided the jugular artery, and must have been the cause of her death; for it is a very large vessel (her shift was as bloody, as if it had been dipped in blood.

Q. What were those wounds given by?

Ellis. I suppose by some sharp instrument; upon examining the body I found three punctured wounds, one on the left breast, which must have reached the heart, and a portion of the lungs about two inches deep and half an inch broad; I believe it penetrated into the heart, and touched a portion of the lungs; as near as I could judge by my probe it was about two inches deep: there was another wound much in the same angle below that, of the same breadth; which, upon examining with my probe, I judged to be of the same depth, and I believe touched the lower part of the heart, and penetrated into the heart itself: on the side of the belly I saw another wound much of the same breadth, into which I introduced my probe, which is about five inches and an half long, up to the head of it, but that lower wound I do not take to be mortal, though it was so deep, for it went superficially and sideways, but I do not think the intestines were wounded, but the other three wounds I apprehend to be mortal; I am sure they are.

Q. Did you observe any other wounds?

Ellis. There were several slighter wounds, but I did not examine them: upon observing the wound at the bottom of the breast, I proposed opening the body several times to the Jury, but they thought it needless, they were so well satisfied. There was a stream of blood that run from the body, which was coagulated: a stream, as if a person had been killing an ox, and must have come from the heart, and was the occasion of her death.

William Walker . (the father of the deceased) On the 17th of July my daughter came to me to make her complaints, tho' I had not seen her for two years before. She told me her grievance with relation to her husband's usage.

Q. Give an account Sir, of what you know of your own knowledge.

Walker. The Prisoner called upon her, and said, Bett, come home, I cannot go on with my business without you; she said, Tom, if I do you will use me as you used to do. On the 30th of July we met at the Cock and Bottle in Bedford Bury, and had some discount about the affairs that used to happen, and he promised he would be better than he had been. This passed till the 9th of August, and then I had a letter from her, wrote by one John Adams , a journeyman, who worked there, begging me to come up, and rectify matters ; acquainting me, that he had struck her upon the breasts in such a manner, that it appeared to be mortal: I came up at her request, and he promised amendment. When I saw her breasts they were as black as any woman's breasts could be; I advised her to go to Sir Thomas Deveil , which she did, and he granted her a warrant, and upon her oath, Sir Thomas sent him to the Gate-house.

Prisoner. Did not she carry 20 l. away, and did not she take a bond of 30 l. that you gave me? She robbed me, and carried my effects away.

Walker. She never brought tho bond , or any effects to me.

John Adams . I worked with the Prisoner till within a week of the time that the woman was murdered.

Q. How long did you work with him?

Adams. I worked with him about 5 weeks, and during that time they were often quarrelling, scarcely a week passed, but they were quarrelling, two or three times in a week.

Q. Did you ever observe any blows between them?

Adams. Yes, I saw him give her two, one Saturday night, and I persuaded him not to be so rash.

Q. Upon what part of the body?

Adams. About the head. She persuaded me to write a letter to Mr. Walker, to let him know of the blows upon her breasts. I said , Mr. Morgan, I wonder you should abuse your wife so; he said, he was too good for he: I believe the blackness on her breasts was occasioned by a blow; I believe the blackness was as broad as my hand; after this he promised to be easy. I was tired of staying they had so many quarrels; if she could not eat (for she was not well) he was angry with her for that,

and followed her with a hammer in his right hand, to the fore part of the shop.

Q. What sort of a hammer was it?

Adams. An iron hammer, I believe the head weighed two pounds; and he had a knife in his left hand, but I cannot tell what sort of a knife it was: I do not know but it might be the knife he was eating his dinner with. He said, he had a good mind to hit her with the hammer. I went away from the house, because there were such continual debates.

Daniel Franklin . I am a waterman; on the Wednesday after the murder was committed, the Prisoner came to King's Arms Stairs at Lambeth, and I carried him from thence to Hungerford; he ordered me to come on shore, and said he would give me, a pint of beer, and pay me: when I came on shore, I said to the landlord at the Swan, where is the gentleman that called for a pint of beer? and he said, the Prisoner was gone away; and somebody said, that is the man that murdered his wife. I knew him very well.

Christopher Fisher . On the Tuesday morning the Prisoner came to my shop in Rosemary Lane, and wanted to swap and get a better coat than his own; we could not agree about the price, so he went away, but he came back again, and bought a coat of me.

Alexander Cowan . About 9 o' clock on the Monday night, my wife and the deceased were together; I was standing in my bar, next door but one to the Prisoner's house in Bedford Bury, said I, Mrs. Morgan, how do you do? she said, but very indifferent: she told me, the Prisoner had taken all her linen out of the wash; but that, he asked her first whether she would clear his bail, and she said, I will tell you another time; that he sell a dancing and capering, and she was afraid he would kill her, I never saw her any more after that.

Q. Do you know any thing of the Prisoner's being from or at his habitation, after that time?

Cowan. I never saw him from that time, till I saw him in Oxford Castle. I have a letter from Esquire Lenthal, to let me know, that such a person was secured in the Castle.

Margaret Griffith . I worked journey-work with the Prisoner five or six months. I was out of the house ten days before the murder.

Q. How did they live together?

Griffith. They would oftentimes disagree in falling out.

Q. Did they ever proceed to violence and blows?

Griffith. I have seen him beat her in a very unmerciful way.

Q. Did he beat her with any unmerciful weapon?

Griffith. He has struck her with his fist, and said, he would stamp her guts out, and break her back, and the deceased said, she was where she should be killed; and the deceased said twice to me, Mrs. Griffith, if my husband kills me, he will kill you.

Prisoner. As to the last witness, I said, I would not have that woman at my house to live in a scandalous manner; she used to send her child to fellows that kept my wife company. I went one day to Chelsea, and my wife said, bring me a bun; and I said, I will my dear: and when I came home, my wife and she were drunk together. Did not my wife say, Mr. Morgan, that she would go to Hartley, and would go through the world with him, whether he would or no?

Thomas Morgan . That was several hours before what I have been speaking of; you were talking about him, but she did not say she would keep him company then.

Prisoner. I had a quarrel with my wife, but I lay all night with her; I went out that morning about six o' clock, and left her well, and she got up to put my stock on: I did buy a coat of that gentleman, I did not buy it of him, I bought it of another man in his shop; then I went to King's Arms Stairs and took water; I used to employ that man, did not I use to employ you, Franklin?

Franklin. Yes.

Prisoner. I said to this man Franklin, go and get a pot of beer, and I will pay you; then I met one Griffin, and we went to the White Ship at Kensington, and then I went to Oxfordshire.

Q. Was not you taken up there?

Prisoner. Yes, I was taken up there, and carried before a Justice, and he asked me if I was guilty, and I said I was not guilty. I said I would willingly surrender myself, and the Justice said, that if I would pay two men for a guard to look after me, he would not commit me. There was an advertisement in one of the papers after John Morgan ; and there was another advertisement after Thomas Morgan , and then I was taken up. Guilty Death .


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