William Garner, Sexual Offences > rape, 7th September 1748.

Reference Number: t17480907-50
Offence: Sexual Offences > rape
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

440. + William Garner , of the Parish of St. Andrew Holbourn , was indicted for that he, not having the fear of God before his eyes, &c. on the 6th day of July, in the 21st year of his Majesty's reign , in and upon Hepzibah Dover , spinster, did make an assault, and her, the said Hepzibah, did feloniously ravish, and carnally know and abuse , against the form of the statute in that case made and provided.

Hepzibah Dover sworn.

Q. What age are you?

Hepzibah Dover . I am 12 years of age.

Q. When was you 12 years of age?

Dover. I can't tell.

Esther Northam . My daughter makes a mistake ; she was 13 years of age in June last.

Q. to Dover . You are upon your oath, and the prisoner's life is at stake; you must speak nothing but the truth .

Dover. I will not, my lord .

Q. Where do you live?

Dover . I live with my mother in Eagle-street .

Q. Does that man live with your father or mother ?

Dover . No.

Q. What is he?

Dover. He is a carpenter , and work'd just by.

Q. What is your father?

Dover. A clockmaker.

Q. How came you to be with him?

Dover. My mother sent me there for some chips and shavings, and he was in a two pair of stairs room; and he called me up where he was at work:

Q. Where was he at work ?

Dover. At the corner of our street .

Q. When was this?

Dover. In July, I think.

Q. What day of July?

Dover . I can't tell.

Q. Was it the beginning, middle, or latter end?

Dover. It was, I believe, the beginning of July.

Q. What time of the day was it?

Dover. It was in the afternoon.

Q. Was the house inhabited, or was it an empty house?

Dover . It was an empty house.

Q. Were there any workmen there besides himself?

Dover. There were none but him and me in the house.

Q. What did the prisoner say to you?

Dover . He asked me to come up to the two pair of stairs room.

Q. What did you go up stairs for?

Dover . He said if I came up, he would give me some shavings ; and I went up to him.

Q. Was the two pair of stairs room backwards, or forwards ?

Dover. It was next Eagle-street.

Q. When you came up there, did he give you any shavings ?

Dover . The minute I came up, he threw me down, and stopped my mouth .

Q. Did he say any thing to you?

Dover. He threw me down, and stopped my mouth .

Q. Did he say any thing to you?

Dover . No.

Q. When he threw you down, did you endeavour to cry out?

Dover. Yes; but he stopped my mouth, and I could not cry out .

Q. What did he stop your mouth with ?

Dover . With his hand.

Q. Was there a bed in the room, or did he throw you down upon the ground?

Dover. He threw me down upon the ground.

Q. What did he do then?

Dover. He pulled up my petticoats .

Q. What then?

Dover. After he had pulled up my petticoats, he hurt me most sadly.

Q. Were his breeches down, and unbuttoned?

Dover. Yes.

Q. Did he come and lie down by you, or upon you?

Dover . He laid down upon me.

Q. What did he do when he laid down upon you? Did he put his private parts into your body?

Dover. Yes .

Q. Are you sure of that?

Dover. Yes.

Q. How long was he upon you?

Dover. I believe about half an hour.

[The girl expressed herself in such terms as fully proved the rape .]

Q. What passed afterwards ?

Dover . When I got up I told him I would tell my mother; and he said, if I did, he would murder me the first time he met me.

Q. Did you cry then?

Dover. Yes, I cried when I was with him.

Q. When did you discover this to your mother ?

Dover. About a week afterwards; I could not keep it any longer, for I was in such pain and misery , that I told my mother.

Q. What was the reason you did not tell your mother sooner ?

Dover. Because I was afraid of my father-in-law .

Q. What was the reason you could not keep it a secret any longer?

Dover. By reason of the very great pain I was in; and then I told it to my mother, in the same manner I do now.

Q. When was the prisoner taken up?

Dover. A week afterwards .

Q. When you told your mother, was you carried to any body?

Dover . Yes; I was carried to a great many.

Prisoner. Ask her how long she knew me before .

Dover. I knew him the summer before , and I believed him to be a very honest man , for he never offered any thing unhandsome to me before; and I had fetched shavings from him a great many times.

Prisoner. Ask her if ever she came after this .

Dover. Yes, I did, and he said he would not give me any shavings.

Q. How often did you go to him after this?

Dover. But once, and that was 2 or 3 days afterwards.

Q. Did any thing pass remarkable then ?

Dover . He would have had me have gone up again, but I would not.

Q. Did he give you any shavings then ?

Dover . He would not give me any at first , but afterwards he did.

Esther Northam . On the sixth of July last I sent my daughter to that man for some shavings.

Q. How came you to send her to him?

Northam . Because he was at work in the street.

Q. What time of the day was this?

Northam . About 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

Q. How long was your daughter gone?

Northam . She was gone better than half an hour.

Q. Did she bring some shavings ?

Northam . Yes.

Q. Did she say any thing to you then?

Northam . No.

Q. Did she at any time make any complaint to you of being used ill by the prisoner?

Northam . Yes.

Q. When was that ?

Northam . About a week afterwards I observed one night, when I was at supper, that she did not sit down. I did not say any thing to her that night .

Q. What did she say to you afterwards ?

Northam . She said the next day, that her water scalded her so, that she was so hot, and so sore, that she could not fetch up a pail of water for the world. When she told me this , I told her, in 2 or 3 days she would be better, and she must not mind any such thing .

Q. Was she better then ?

Northam. She continued much the same .

Q. Did she sit down the next day?

Northam . No; she always hung on the backs of chairs, or leaned upon a table, till she had told what had been done to her.

Q. When was this thing done to her?

Northam . On the 6th of July.

Q. What day of the week was it?

Northam . On a Thursday ; and the Wednesday following I sent her for some more chips and shavings, and she said she could not go, for there was a hole before the door; and she cried, and desired I would not send her .

Q. Did she go then?

Northam. No, she did not, and it went off; and the next day I said she should go, and drove her down stairs.

Q. Did you observe any thing in her gate?

Northam. She walked very badly , but I did not think any thing of what was the matter with her. She brought me some shavings then; and she said, Mamma, don't be angry, for he was stronger than I; don't send me any more, for I never will go again; and she cried most bitterly.

Q. I suppose this raised your curiosity . Give an account, as near as you can, in the words that she spoke.

Northam . She fell down upon her knees , and said, I could not help it, indeed , for he was stronger than I; for when you sent me last Thursday , he bid me come up stairs, and he laid me down upon my back, and pulled up my petticoats , and put something into my body, &c. and cried very much. Said I, why did not you cry out with all your might. She said, Oh mamma , I could not, for he stopped my mouth. I said, why did not you tell, me when you first came home . She said, because he threatened to murder me, if ever I told of it. I sent her to my midwife in Holbourn , who is now sick in bed of a fever, and to Mrs. Peters .

Q. Did you examine her body ?

Northam. Yes ; but she was so sore, that she could not bear me to touch her; and she appeared to be abused , and in a very vile condition . We have been forced to wash her three or four times a day, and tent her with fine line .

Elizabeth Peters . The child was brought to me, and looked like the picture of death .

Q. Did you examine the child ?

Peters. Yes; and her linnen was in a most miserable condition?

Q. How did she appear to have been used ?

Peters. The inside of her body was sadly torn , and her private parts appeared to be scratched , and in a most miserable pickle , both before and behind.

Q. How long was this afterwards ?

Peters. About a fortnight, and they were healed then ; and her groin was black , and very much swelled.

Q. What do you mean by scratch'd? Were they lacerated, or torn ?

Peters . The skin was almost torn off.

Q. Did she look as if she had been abused by a man?

Peters. Yes; and I said it was my opinion that the child had the foul disease.

Mr. Bavan (an Apothecary .) On the first of August I was desired to go to Mrs. Northam ; and the child and her mother gave the same account to me as they have delivered in court.

Q. Did you examine the girl?

Bavan . I examined her body, and found the parts almost healed, with respect to the laceration ; but she had a great running upon her, which appeared to be venereal.

Q. Do you think it was a venereal case?

Bavan. I see a great many cases of this kind, and I am sure 'tis a venereal case .

Prisoner . My lord, I never was concerned with her in my life.

Guilty , Death .


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