Samuel Prigg, Killing > murder, 15th May 1746.

Reference Number: t17460515-20
Offence: Killing > murder
Punishment: Death

216. Samuel Prigg , late of the Parish of Christ-Church , was indicted for that he, not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, and being mov'd by the Instigation of the Devil, on the 6th of May, with Force of Arms, on Thomas Girl , feloniously, with Malice Aforethought, did make an Assault, with an Iron Penknife, upon the Right-side of the Belly of the said Thomas Girl , and give him one mortal Wound, the Breadth of six Inches, whereof he died .

Q.(to Paul Burroughs ) Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar, Samuel Prigg ?

Burroughs. Yes.

Q. What have you to say about the Death of Thomas Girl ?

Burroughs. My Lord, I saw him stab him; my Lord, I will tell you what I saw pass. I saw the Prisoner at the Bar and Thomas Girl disputing together. My Lord, I was Tapster at the Ship and Anchor in Wheeler-Street, Spittlefields .

Court. Now tell us what past.

Burroughs. They had been disputing, my Lord, together.

Q. Who was there besides them?

Burroughs. All these Witnesses. They charg'd one another with Sodomitical Practices. The Deceas'd desir'd him (the Prisoner) to quit his Company; he said he would not: With that he did but come into his Company again, and in about ten Minutes Time he stabb'd him.

Q. Then you was backward and forwards, and not in the Company. Upon what Occasion were they met together, or was it any publick Time?

Burroughs. It was what they call a Chair-Night. The young Men in the Neighbourhood come frequently to that House. These two quarrell'd and wrangled with one another for the Space of Three-quarters of an Hour.

Court. They charg'd one another with Misbehaviour; What past about that Time?

Burroughs. I was leaning over the Suttle while they were wrangling.

Q. What did the rest of the Company do, did any body interpose, or say any thing to them?

Burroughs. The Prisoner at the Bar, he had a Penknife in his Hand, that no body could discern : I did not see him give the first Stab. He gave him a rip up, and he fell back, and said, Oh! Oh! Then the Prisoner at the Bar, after he had ripp'd him up, gave him three or four Punches in the Breast with his Double-Fist.

Q. You said just now that the Prisoner had gone out of the Company; How long was it after he return'd that this Misfortune happen'd?

Burroughs. I believe about six or seven Minutes.

Q. Was you there when he came into the room again?

Burroughs. All the Time, my Lord.

Court. When the Deceas'd got up to go out of his Company the Prisoner then stopp'd him.

Burroughs. Yes.

Q. Was the Deceas'd upon his Legs?

Burroughs. He mov'd, and came towards the End of the Table; then the Prisoner ripp'd him up.

Q. What did the Deceas'd say?

Burroughs. He said he must quit his Company, or he should get out of his.

Q. Now when the Deceas'd said that, and was moving along, what did he say?

Burroughs. I did not hear him say one Word.

Court. You describ'd the young Man as leaning back, and crying, Oh! Oh!

Burroughs. I did not think he was stabb'd: They came out when he was hitting of him, and had, as it were, all the Room to themselves.

Q. Now before the Prisoner went out the first Time, what past about the Prisoner's leaving the Company.

Burroughs. The Prisoner was persuaded to leave the Deceas'd's Company; then afterwards he came again.

Q. When the Deceas'd fell down, was it any Distance?

Burroughs. The Prisoner follow'd him two or three Steps, and stabb'd him in the Breast.

Q. What did you do then?

Burroughs. Immediately seiz'd him, as soon as he had struck him. I twisted his Arms when I laid hold of him; and he said, Let me go, or I will stab some of you.

Q. When the Deceas'd came to go out at the End of the Table, as you have been describing, Did he strike the Prisoner, or was he in a Temper of Striking?

Burroughs. My Lord, he spoke with all the Mildness in the World; said, he would not stay in his Company if he continued wrangling.

Q. Did he strike the Prisoner?

Burroughs. No, my Lord.

Q. Did he justle or push him, or any thing to provoke him? Then he was not come up to him to strike; which would be very material. Did the Prisoner do any thing to hinder the Deceas'd's geting out.

Burroughs. I never saw any thing but the Stabs upon the Breast.

Q. Do you know any thing else relating to Circumstances? Had you any Discourse with the Deceas'd after he was wounded.

Burroughs. When they had secur'd the Prisoner I ran out to see for a Surgeon; when I came back there was two there before me.

Q. (to the Prisoner) Would you ask any Questions of this Witness?

Prisoner. No, my Lord; but he has said Things that are not true.

Q. What has he said that is not true.

Prisoner. I can't remember what he has said.

Q. (to Burroughs ) Did you know both these?

Burroughs. I never saw the young Man that is dead, nor the Prisoner, before.

Court. You say he struck him four or five Times; Did you see the Wound? Did he strip off his Cloaths? Did you see the Wound ?

Burroughs. My Lord, I saw his Bowels; I saw the Shirt that was bloody; he pull'd it up, and his Bowels came all out.

Q. When you took this Penknife out of his Pocket, did it appear to be bloody?

Burroughs. My Lord, I did not take it out of his Pocket.

Q. (to William Merrit ) Was you in this Company?

Merrit. I was in the Company from the Time it began, to the Time of the unhappy Accident.

Q. Was you acquainted with this young Man? You was all of a Club, was you?

Court. Tell us what past previous to this Misfortune.

Merrit. The young Men, the Society, newly came from another House; they are Neighbours, and such like, together; and the Landlord offer'd to give us an Entertainment. We came to Supper after we had left Work. A little while after we had been there, the Prisoner at the Bar came along with another Man up Stairs; they were ask'd to sit down before Supper, which accordingly they did. By and by the Deceas'd came into the House, and enquir'd for Mr. Church; but a young Man said he would bear him Company 'till he came, he believ'd it would not be long. After Supper was over the Prisoner went down to the Deceas'd, and came up again; and some Time after the Deceas'd sent up, If any of them had any thing to say to him, they might come down.

Court. Then the Deceas'd was not in the Room?

Merrit. No; the Deceas'd had some Steaks dress'd for himself in another Room. When the Prisoner went down most of us went down with him.

Q. How came you to have any Curiosity to hear ?

Merrit. Because they were accusing one another with Sodomitical Practices. The Prisoner told the Company the Deceas'd was one concern'd in Sodomitical Practices. All of us came down, and stood round the Table. Several Words and Squabbles past between them. The Deceas'd said, Bear Witness what the Man says to me. Please you, my Lord, after several Words had past we went up again; I can't say there was any thing more 'till the unhappy Accident. When we had paid the Reckoning the Prisoner said, Are your Company gone? the Landlord said, some are below and some above. Then said the Prisoner, I'll go and have a Look at them. Now his Friend, one Shaw, desir'd that he would not go; but he insisted upon going in to look at the Deceas'd. Some of the Company desir'd him not to set before the Gentleman, because it would be an Affront to him; so he sat down at the End of the Table; and a great many Things past upon the Subject. At last he turn'd about and said, he would withdraw out of his Company, or else the Prisoner should go away.

Court. Then you had paid your Reckoning above Stairs?

Merrit. Yes.

Q. After the first Wrangling who did you leave in the Room with the Deceas'd.

Merrit. There were, I believe, two or three; the Prisoner said he would go and have one Look more at him; and his Friend told him he was afraid. Mischief would come of it: He said these Words, or to that Effect.

Q. You all went into the Room; pray tell what pass'd then?

Merrit. He sat down at the End of the Table; some of the Company desir'd him to get off, telling him he should not sit before the Gentleman, meaning the Deceas'd, but he continued sitting at one End of the Table and the Deceas'd at the other, when the latter desir'd him to withdraw.

Q. Did the Prisoner urge the Quarrel again?

Merrit. Sometimes Words ran high, and sometimes abated; then the Deceas'd desir'd him to withdraw, or he would go into a private Room and talk with any of us; but as for that Man, meaning the Prisoner, he would have nothing to say to him; so some of the Company made an Opening for him, and as he was coming out the Prisoner met him; he lifted up one Hand and with the other made several Motions at his Belly; I did not see the Gentleman make any Return, but cry'd out, Oh! Oh! then he said I am ripp'd; I did not hear him say he was ripp'd up, but I am ripp'd;

with that he fell backward, and the Prisoner stepp'd forward and gave him some more Pushes; I saw his Powels come out, and there were two or three Wounds upon his Breast.

Q. Did you take the Knife from him?

Merrit. No, my Lord; but the Gentlemen who were by took the Knife out of his Pocket: When the Deceas'd open'd his Cloaths a considerable Quantity of his Blood and Bowels flew about.

Q. I would ask you the same Question as I did the other Witness: Did the Deceas'd, when he was going out, or towards the Prisoner, come in a Way of fighting, threatning or striking, or did he make any Motion at the Prisoner? You used an Expression just now, I would have you explain it; you said the Prisoner met him, as he rose up he turn'd the Corner of the Table.

Merrit. Yes.

Court. Then if he turn'd the Corner of the Table that Way, he was in the Way of the Prisoner's coming out. How far might it be that this poor Man, who is dead, fell back, when the other stabb'd him again?

Merrit. His Body fell back, I believe, near four Feet.

Court. You said there were two Men that sat at the other End of the Table.

Merrit. Yes they did, my Lord.

Q. Have you any thing more to say?

Merrit. No, my Lord?

Q. (to John Church.) Was you in this Company?

Church. Yes, please you my Lord, I supp'd there.

Q. Was you of the Company above Stairs.

Church. Yes, my Lord.

Court. Pray give us an Account of this unhappy Affair. Was you by when this Man was wounded ?

Church. When he Deceas'd came in first he sent for me to drink with him; please you, my Lord, the Prisoner at the Bar came down after I had been there a little while, and said, How do you do, Mr. Girl? The Deceas'd said, let me alone, let me eat my Supper in quiet.

Court. Then the Prisoner came down almost as soon as you.

Church. Yes, my Lord.

Q. When he ask'd this Girl how he did, what was the Manner of it?

Church. I could not know the Heart, but I thought it was in a scornful Sort of a Manner. Please you, my Lord, the second Time he came down he began to asperse him very much; they accused one another, and neither of them made any Defence. The Deceas'd desir'd me to go up Stairs and enquire whether any of the Gentlemen had any thing to say to him, if they had he would answer them; with that the Prisoner came down, and another or two with him, when a pretty deal pass'd between both: The third Time when he came down he sat himself upon the Table; after some Words the Deceas'd got up to go out of the Room, whereupon the Prisoner said he would make way for him to go by; but as he was coming out of the Box the Prisoner met him and gave him the Rip: He cry'd out Oh! Oh! Oh! and the Prisoner gave him two or three more Stabs.

Q. Was the Deceas'd in a Posture of attacking or striking the Prisoner at that Time, or was he going out in a quiet Manner?

Church. Please you, my Lord, I saw no Offer of any Blows at all; I did not see him lift his Hand up.

Q. Did you see the Wound?

Church. I saw it; but it was in such a Condition I could not bear the Sight; I believe the Cut was six Inches long, and the Bowels that came out were as many as I could put into my Hat.

Q. How long did he live?

Church. I believe my Lord he liv'd about five or six and twenty Hours. I cannot tell.

Q. Who was the Person that took the Knife away?

Church. One Abraham Mood , my Lord.

Q. The Prisoner says you was sent for him. In what Manner was you sent to call the Prisoner down?

Church. The Deceas'd desir'd me to go up and to say, that if any Man had any Thing to say against him, he desir'd to hear it.

Court. But if I understand you, the coming down of the Prisoner and the rest, was not the Time when the Mischief happen'd, for they all went away.

Church. Yes.

Court. Now tell me how they came into the Room the third Time.

Church. Please you my Lord, I cannot tell what Reason the Prisoner had to come into the room the third Time.

Q. (to - Mode. Tell us what you know of this Matter.

Mode. We had Supper brought about Eight o'Clock, at the Ship and Anchor. The Prisoner at the Bar came up, and Mr. Shaw along with him: When Supper was brought to Table, I was in Company

with the Deceas'd; he had not eat any Thing all Day, and he had some Mutton Chops, and he had them broil'd.

Q. Was you there when the Prisoner was in Company?

Mode. Yes. The Gentleman had his Supper, and the Prisoner came in and said, how do you do Mr. Girl, alias Jones; the Deceas'd said I have nothing to say to you, let me eat-my Supper in Quiet; with that the Prisoner went up Stairs. Afterwards the Deceas'd sent up to know if any Body had any Thing to say to him, if they had they might come down; then the Prisoner went down and two or three more with him; with that they were sending and proving for some Time: When we had paid our Reckoning, I saw the Prisoner at the Bar come and sit down at the End of the Table, and they brought a Stool for him; and the Deceas'd said, Gentlemen, I should be glad of all your Companies, except that Man. With that he was a coming out, the Prisoner met him and ripp'd up his Belley, and he fell backward a little, and cry'd Oh! Oh! Oh! With that the Prisoner follow'd him and gave him three or four Stabbs. I took the Knife out of his Pocket, bloody. Some run for the Surgeon, and others to the Watch-House for the Officers.

Q. What Wounds did you see?

Mode. I saw the Wound in his Belly, six Inches and a half long, and three Wounds in his Breast.

Court. And it let his Bowels out.

Mode. Yes, It let his Bowels out.

Q. (to William Buttle ) What do you know of this Matter?

Buttle. My Lord, we had a Supper at this House; I was there along with the rest of the Company; the Prisoner at the Bar and Mr. Shaw came in, and were ask'd to sit down at Supper; they fell into Discourse about what the Deceas'd said: A Person came up to ask for one Mr. Church; the Answer was, that he was not there; but I was told somebody was gone for him, and he came up, and the Company desir'd if the Prisoner at the Bar could clear himself he would go down, for they were uneasy at having such a Companion; some of us went down with him, when they accused one another Face to Face; tho' neither of them said they were not guilty, but only cast Reflections upon one another.

Q. Where was you when the Prisoner and the Deceased were together the third Time?

Buttle. Please you my Lord, I did not go into the Room with the Prisoner at the Bar the last Time; as we heard Words rise very high, we arose from the Table and went into the Room; when I came into the Room I found the Prisoner sitting upon the Table; in two or three Minutes I saw him sitting upon the stool or Chair; after that I saw the Deceased rise up, and he told the Company they should let him go by, he would not stay with the Prisoner: The Prisoner at the Bar turn'd at the Corner of the Table; I saw him push against the Deceased's Belly, and the Deceased sell back in a sort of a Laughter, ah, ah, ah. I thought it was some Action of their old Way of Discourse; presently the Deceased cry'd my Bowels are out.

Q. Did you see any Knife in the Prisoner's Hand?

Buttle. No.

Q. Did you see the Wounds afterwards?

Buttle. Yes, please you my Lord.

Q. (to John Duncan ) What do you say to this Matter?

Duncan. I was in Company, my Lord, at the same Time when Mr. Shaw and Mr. Prigg came. The Deceas'd had accus'd the Prisoner at the Bar: Mr. Shaw said that Girl did not dare to face them. Girl came afterwards into the House, and sat down in a back Room below Stairs. When we heard that Girl was come, some of the Company said to Prigg, that he had as good go down and clear himself; so he went down and several others; so Prigg said to Girl, your humble Servant Mr. Girl, and he look'd at the Prisoner at the Bar, and said, who does he speak to. The Deceased farther said, mind, Gentlemen, what he says of me; with that we all went up Stairs again, and when the Deceased had supp'd, he sent up one Church to tell us, that if any of the Company had any Thing to say to him he would answer them; Prigg immediately said, he should be glad if some of us would go down with him, to hear what he had to say; accordingly we did so, and many Words passed between them; then we went up again to pay our Reckoning; and coming down Stairs Mr. Shaw and the Prisoner went into the other Room to the Deceased; I went in also, and lean'd over the Box to hear their Discourse; The Prisoner at the Bar sat on the End of the Table, and one of the Company said, get Mr. Prigg off the Table, for it will affront the Gentlemen to sit before them; whereupon a Stool was brought him, and he leaned with his Right Hand on the Table, and they talk'd pretty deal. The Deceased said, Gentlemen, bear Witness, I have nothing to do with this Man; and desir'd he would get out of his Company: The Prisoner said, he would sit there, as it was a publick House. The Deceased

said he was glad to see his Friends about him, but he did not like that Man. The Prisoner said, if you do not like my Company make a chalk, or lay your Cane across the Table; but that did not satisfy the Deceased, he got up and would go into another Room to see if the Prisoner would follow him. John Tillen sat next the Deceased, one Thomas Parks sat at the outside, and Prigg sat with his Hand in his Pocket; as the Deceased was coming out, Prigg jump'd up and gave him a Push and he fell backwards, crying Oh! Oh! Oh! He gave him a Wound six Inches. I went to him, he pull'd up his Shirt, and my Hat would not hold the Quantity of Bowels that came out of the Wound; with that some went for the Watch, and others for the Surgeon.

John Nicolas Jecquin . I was call'd about Two o'Clock on Tuesday Morning to come to one that was wounded at the Ship and Anchor; when I came Thomas Girl lay on the Bench with one of his Legs on the Table, when I look'd on him and found two Wounds on his Right Breast, neither of which had penetrated into the Cavity; and, finding his Bowels very cold, I got some warm Water and Brandy, for laying so long they were grown stiff and hard; I reduced them into their Place and sew'd up the Wound.

Q. You did not see the Intestines wounded?

Jscquin. No, the Man was very well at Ten o'clock; that is, found in his Judgment, he was not delirious, but in an Inflammation, a Fever, [the Surgeon was a Foreigner, so did not speak quite intelligible in every Thing,]

Q. Do you apprehend this to be the Cause of his Death?

Jecquin. Only I would observe the Man was a long While before he had been dressed.

Q. (to the Prisoner.) Now is your Time to make your Defence. What have you to say for yourself?

Prisoner. I have nothing to say, I commit my Cause to God.

George Williams . About a Fortnight before this Fact was committed, the Prisoner came to my House and ask'd for Mr. Girl, we told him he was not at home; he asked where he was, he said he would search Ormond-Street for him, and wherever he met him he would rip him up and let his fat Guts out.

Q. What Condition was he in?

Williams. He seem'd very sober.

Council. I think this was an Instance of his Madness, to make such a Declaration.

Q. (to Thomas Coates ) what are you Mr. Coates ?

Coates. A Plisterer, my Lord.

Q. Where do you live?

Coates. In Little-Kirby-Street, by Hatton-Garden. My Lord the Prisoner serv'd his Time with me, and work'd with me afterwards for a Twelve-month; but the. Year before he was out of hi Time I was oblig'd to carry him to the Cold-Bath. for an Illness in his Head, and they told me if I did not dip his Head all over he would run mad.

Q. How long was that ago?

Coates. I believe about three Years and Half ago.

Q. When did he work?

Coates. I believe he has not been able to work for some Time: I have seen him lately, and sometimes he has talk'd wildly, and I have taken him to Task as he has been rambling backwards and forwards; he always seem'd a good sort of a Man, and a sensible Man before this Illness seized his Head: I saw him about three Weeks ago, he said he believ'd he should drown himself. I gave him some good Advice, and, then indeed, he seem'd to answer me very well in that Respect.

Q. (to Elias Hare ) How long have you known the Prisoner?

Hare. I have known him between six and seven Years.

Q. What are you?

Hare. I am a Weaver, by Trade.

Q. Where do you live?

Hare. Next Door to the Prisoner, in Bell-Lane, Spital-Fields.

Q. Have you been frequently in his Company within this Half Year?

Hare. I was with him the last Sabbath-Day at Night before this Affair happen'd, he drank to me, and said your Health; said he I believe I shall never drink with you again as long as you live; I said, Sam, you are beside yourself: And he talk'd very out of the Way Things of making away with himself, &c.

Q. Now I would ask you, whether in that Conversation you had with him he did not understand the common Affairs of Life? How long were you together that Night?

Hare. From Six o'Clock to Ten.

Q. Did you talk of News, &c.

Hare. None at all: We went to Hackney after the Evening Service, and he seem'd to be very melancholy.

Q. Pray tell me whether he did not talk of the Weather, the Fields, and the Pleasures of the Country ?

Hare. He talk'd very rambling; I took him not to be as he should be.

Q. Who was it going to Hackney, you or him?

Hare. My Lord, his Wife was with him.

Q. Were you going to any Friend of theirs?

Hare. We took a Walk after Sermon for Recreation.

Q. Had you ever heard before of any thing that had happen'd to this Man?

Hare. I know he has not follow'd his Business as he should have done this Year or two; sometimes he would keep his Bed for two or three Days in a melancholy Way, and assign no Reason for so doing.

Q. What do you mean that he did not keep the Business of a Pawnbroker as he should have done?

Hare. Sometimes he would take it in his Head to lie in Bed for half a Day together, then he would come down and go up again.

Q. Who keeps the Books?

Hare. His Wife and his Maid.

Q. Have you not seen him about in his Business, though not so diligent as he should be?

Hare. No, my Lord, I have not seen him of late about his Business.

Q. Do you remember that he complain'd of being over-rared, and went to complain about it?

Hare. Yes; but I believe it is near a Twelve-Month ago.

Q. (to Mary Ray .) How long have you known the Prisoner?

Ray. Sir, I have liv'd above twelve Months in the Family.

Court. Pray now give an Account of him; how has he been since you came into the Family?

Ray. Sir, at some Times I have observ'd him to be very melancholy; and one Time he drew a Knife out of his Pocket to stab himself while he was at Dinner.

Q. Had he the knife at his Breast?

Ray. Yes. His Wife said, what are you mad? with that she took the Knife from him. When he took the Penknife out of his Pocket he said he would run it through him.

Q. What did you apprehend to be the Matter?

Ray. I look'd upon him to be in a melancholy Way.

Q. Did you look upon him to be at that Time in his Senses, to understand what he was about, or this to be owing to a sudden Start of Passion?

Ray. I took him to be in a melancholy Way; but no body said any thing to him then; there was only my Mistress and I and my Master at Dinner; at the same Time no body had said any thing to him, for he had not been out of the House all Day.

Q. I would ask you, young Woman, what Trade or Business your Master carry'd on?

Ray. My Master is a Plaisterer and Pawnbroker; but my Mistress and I carry on the Business.

Q. Who keeps the Books?

Ray. My Mistress, not my Master.

Q. Who keeps the Accounts of the Family, and receiv'd and paid Money?

Ray. Some times I took out Money.

Q. In general who paid the Butcher, Baker, and the People that you dealt with?

Ray. I sometimes paid them and sometimes my Mistress; What my Master might pay out of Doors I can't say, but he seldom paid within.

Q. But I ask you, whether you ever took him, at ordinary Times, to be one that did not understand what he was doing?

Ray. Yes, when he has come down Stairs and wanted to go out in the Night time.

Q. When was that?

Ray. About three Months ago; and I have very often seen him sit and cry to himself.

Q. What Servants had he in his Way of Business as a Plaisterer?

Ray. Sir, I never saw any that he had.

Q. Then I ask you, upon your Oath, whether he was not at work as a Plaisterer within three Days before this Misfortune happen'd?

Ray. Yes, I believe he did go out the same Day.

Q. Did he come home from Work at Night?

Ray. Yes, Sir, I believe he did.

Q. Did he not dress himself to go abroad, after he came from work in the Evening?

Ray. Yes.

Q. Did you not hear your Master and Mistress both complain that they were too high rated in the Parish?

Ray. No, my Lord?

Q. Do you know any thing of his appealing to the Parish on account of being high rated.

Ray. I know a Gentleman came to our House.

Q. When was it?

Ray. I can't say the Day; I believe it was about Christmas.

Q. Has he any Family?

Ray. No, my Lord, none but a Wife.

Q. ( to Abraham Shaw .) How long have you known the Prisoner?

Shaw. Six or seven Years.

Q. Have you been well acquainted with him latterly ? Do you live near him?

Shaw. I don't now; but I have liv'd in the House with him.

Q. How long since?

Shaw. It is about three Years ago.

Q. During the Time you liv'd with him was he then different in his Behaviour from other Men?

Have you since discover'd any Thing?

Shaw. About three or four Months ago he came to my House, between Seven and Eight o'Clock; he came up very quick: I ask'd him why he came so very soon? he did not speak. I said there is something the matter that you get up so very soon; with that he look'd at the Glass, and fell a crying. He ran down, and I follow'd as far as Hackney; when I overtook him he fell a crying sadly. I insisted to know what was the matter.

Q. Did you apprehend he was in his Senses ?

Shaw. My Lord, he has been disorder'd in his Senses near a Twelvemonth: I know he has been several Times going to make a-hand of himself, to drown himself, &c.

Q. How can you tell he was going to drown himself when you follow'd him to Hackney?

Shaw. He was running near Hackney-Marsh, and I know that he was about to make a-hand of himself. At some Times he would talk of strange Things, that we could not understand.

Q. I Would ask you, Have you look'd upon him, these two or three Months last, to be in his Senses, or out of his Senses?

Shaw. Out of his Senses.

Q. How often may you have been in his Company within this Month?

Shaw. Seven or eight Times.

Q. Did he behave like a Madman?

Shaw. He us'd to have very slighty Airs.

Q. Had he any Money in his Pocket when you went to the Alehouse?

Shaw. Yes.

Q. Did he ever mistake in his Reckoning?

Shaw. I believe not.

Q. Let me ask you another Thing; I believe you was in Company that Night.

Shaw. Yes, I was, my Lord.

Q. How came you there?

Shaw. We were both invited to Supper at that House.

Q. Where do you live?

Shaw. I live in the Hamlet of Bethnal-Green.

Q. Where does he live?

Shaw. He lives in Spittalfields.

Q. I would ask you, whether, when you call'd him, you did not see him dress'd.

Shaw. When I spoke to him, he said he was going to that House, and I told him I was going there too.

Court. Then he knew that very well.

Q. When you came into the House, did you go into the Company.

Shaw. Yes, my Lord, we supp'd there, and there was a Noise; they said there was a Man come into the House that had something to say to the Prisoner at the Bar; when he came he spoke something to him. As to Particulars, there was such a Noise, that I cannot relate.

Q. Let me ask you whether the Prisoner did not maintain his Dispute with as much Understanding as any of the Company?

Shaw. I can't give any Particulars of that.

Q. Did you not hear him and the young Man that is dead reproach one another? Now the other Witnesses, several of them, have said that the rest of the Company were listening, and attentive to hear what they charg'd one another with. Can the Prisoner write?

Shaw. I believe he can.

Q. Does he write any Letters?

Shaw. Yes; I know he has wrote one Letter, the Letter he sent to the deceas'd Gentleman.

Q. Did you read that Letter?

Shaw. No, my Lord.

Q. Who carried that Letter?

Shaw. I carried it to a Tavern.

Q. (to Mary Fox ) Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar? What have you to say? How long have you known him?

Fox. I have known him from a Child; and for these latter six Years I have been very intimate with him.

Q. I would ask you how he has been for these three or four Months past?

Fox. He has had his Intervals at Times; I have seen him very well at other Times. When his Disorder comes upon him he hares about; by the Help of a Gentleman that has come into my Apartment, we have confin'd him for six or seven Hours together.

Q. Did you take any Observation of him within this Fortnight.

Fox. No.

Q. Have you seen him within this Month?

Fox. Yes; he came to me exceedingly confus'd: I said, What is the Matter, Mr. Prigg? he said, Don't ask me, Good by to you, good by to you.

Q. What do you look upon to be the Matter with him?

Fox. I have seen him all of a sudden break a fine Piece of China; then he has gone up Stairs and thrown himself upon the Bed.

Q. (to Anne Good ) Do you know the Prisoner?

Good. I have been acquainted with him many Years; I have been acquainted with him latterly more than formerly; I have seen him within a Month at least.

Q. Did you observe any thing in him different to his former Behaviour?

Good. I look'd upon him to be very wild with his Eyes, and very melancholy, and like a Person out of his Senses. About half a Year ago he came to me in a very melancholy Way: I endeavouring to know what was the Matter; at last he turn'd himself about, Good by, you will never see me any more alive; I'll drown myself. With that I caught hold of him, and cry'd for Mrs. Fox to help me to keep him from making away with himself.

Q. Do you know any thing later?

Good Last Saturday se'nnight he came and look'd very wild with his Eyes; he threw himself about, but did not sit down; he look'd very strange; he said he was not very well. I ask'd him if his Wife and himself would come and drink a Dish of Tea with me on the Sabbath-Day; with that he look'd in the Glass, and turn'd himself round, and went out as fast as he could.

Q. (to - Humerston ) What do you know of the Prisoner?

Humerston. I have been acquainted with him for some Years; but I have not seen much of him within these two or three Months.

Q. Have you any Reason to think he was different to was he was formerly.

Humerston. He was something phrenzical; he said he was weary of Life.

Court to Charles. Do you know the Prisoner?

Have you been lately acquainted with him within this Month or two? Do you look upon him to be a Man in his Senses, or out of his Senses?

Charles. I have shav'd him for this two or three Years; he always behav'd very well, and paid me for what I had done for him.

We think it may be acceptable to give some Hints of his Lordship's Charge to the Jury, upon this melancholly Cafe.

- What Condition of Mind, or Understanding the Prisoner appear'd to be at the Time this Fact was done; they all of them say that his whole Behaviour was sensible in what he went to do; that he reproach'd the Deceased the same, as the Deceased did him; and all his Actions appear'd to them as cool and as sensible, as any other Person in the Company. The Witnesses were call'd out, and all gave the same Account; they always look'd upon him to be a Man of Understanding. Gentlemen, this is the Evidence to maintain the Indictment. The whole Defence made against it is, that he is a Man that has lately lost his Understanding, has been beside himself, and 'tis open'd by him, or his Council, that this is to be look'd upon as an Act of an Irational Man, who did not know what he said, or did, and is not to be answerable for any Consequences. I must tell you, that in Point of Law, a Man void of all Sense and Understanding, so degraded to the Condition of a Brute, is no more answerable for such a Fact, than the Instrument by which he does it; but then it must be one void of Reason and Understanding, and one known to be so. But if a mad Man happens to be so at particular Times, and has lucid Intervals, as we know such Persons have, if at that Time they commit any of these Facts, they are as much answerable for it, as Persons that were never in that unhappy Condition: Whether that is the Condition of the Prisoner at the Bar, you must determine upon Evidence on both Sides, in order to prove that he is not to answer for any Thing he does. Thomas Coates says, about three Years ago, he fell into a melancholly Way, that he was advised to dip his Head in cold Water, and that he was under a religious Melancholly, expressed himself frighten'd at what would become of him in a future State. These are Circumstances his Master mention'd; he seems to give a candid and sure Account. - Now, Gentlemen, in all Accusations of Murder, 'tis necessary there must be not only unlawful killing, but by Malice; that Malice may be implied and collected from Circumstances. 'Tis not enough for a Man to say, that he did not intend it, because that would be in the Mouth of the Guilty, as well as the Innocent. In the present Case, the Manner of doing of it, if nothing more, implies Malice. It was secretly cover'd, and most effectually done in the Manner that all the Witnesses have describ'd: Done in a Manner, that no Man could possibly make a Defence against; that is all the Evidence of the deepest Malice. - If on the other Hand there is an Evidence given to you, which induces you to think he was a Man depriv'd of Reason and Understanding, that is an Excuse allow'd by the Law; because unless a Man has Understanding, he cannot be guilty of any Crime; for

Crimes are Acts of the Mind. A Man depriv'd of his Understanding, has no Mind to govern him at all.

Death .

View as XML