Jos. Geraldine, Killing > murder, 19th February 1752.

Reference Number: t17520219-67
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

203. (M.) Jos. Geraldine was indicted for the wilful murder of Christopher Albenico , Jan. 27 . He stood also charged on the coroner's inquisition for the said murder. ||

He being a foreigner was tried by a jury of half foreigners, at his own request, and had an interpreter sworn.

Mary Tiboe . The prisoner and his wife lodged in my house about three months before this thing happened: I live in Hog-lane . On the 27th of January , between eight and nine o'clock in the morning, I heard a violent groaning over my head; I went up stairs to see what was the matter; I heard it again as I was going. I went to the prisoner's door, and said, For God's sake what is the matter, open the door. Nobody answered. There were other woman that lived above came down to his door; they heard it, and told me I should break open the door: I ran down to the street door, and called out for help, and said somebody had come to ill use my lodgers. As I turned to go up stairs again, the prisoner was going out of his room with his key in his hand, having locked his door: I asked him what was the matter; he answered, Nothing ; and came down stairs: the women being nearer him than me, asked me what he said, as they did not understand French: I told them; they said, O a rogue, his cloaths is all covered with blood. He went to the street door and was stopped by Mr. Whitson, who asked him for the key of his room; he pretended at first not to find it: he went up to his room and broke the door open: Mr. Whitson spoke to him in English: I believe the prisoner understands English enough to know what he said. The prisoner told me afterwards, that the deceased, he and his wife, had breakfasted together; after which he sent his wife with some linnen to wash, and he shut his door as usual: when the deceased found the door was locked he demanded money of him; that he answered, he was a poor man and had no money but what he worked hard for; that then the deceased took up the knife to kill him, and that the knife was the deceased's. I told him, if he had cried out any body would have come to his assistance. I was examined before the justice, where I said the knife produced was the prisoner's, and that a five weeks ago he came down to me to have it ground; there the prisoner owned the knife. Upon the Friday before this happened he asked me whether the necessary house went into the river, or whether I ever emptied it: he told me he had dropped a tin snuff-box in it: I answer'd, if it was a silver one it would not allow emptying it for that ; that I had lived there five years, and never knew it emptied. I did not see the deceased come; there is a passage to go to the prisoner, and he might come that way without my knowledge. I saw the deceased after he was dead, lying, but I could not bear to look at him; I saw a great deal of blood all over the chairs and drawers. His wife did not return till three days after; she was gone out before this groaning.

Q. Did you hear any thing besides the groaning?

M. Tiboe. I heard a sort of a struggling in the room as if it were two men fighting; I heard no words pass, nor blows. I saw the prisoner's fore finger on his left hand, and the third on his right hand were cut; I saw no cuts on his cloaths, he looked very ghastly, like as if he was affrighted.

Christopher Whitson . I took the prisoner as he was going out at the street door. As I was passing by about nine o'clock that morning, there were two girls standing at the door, and said they cry'd murder within: he had a napkin wiping his hand, extremely bloody, as though he had fell into a pool of blood: he made no-resistance. I asked him how he came to be so bloody; he shewed me the end of his finger which was bloody, and talked in a foreign language that I did not understand: the women said he had locked his door, and they could not get in; then I demanded the key of him ; immediately he answered montea le beaut : which I understood to be up stairs: no, no, said one of the women, he has taken the key with him. I again asked him for the key, and insisted upon having it: he again answered, montea le beaut. I desired the people to take hold of him while I went up and broke the door open; but nobody cared to do it: then I took him up stairs; there I demanded the key resolutely, and threatned him : by his motions I understood he had not got it, or he would not give it me: I clapt my shoulder to the door

and broke it open: I saw some small matter of blood in the fore room, and in a passage that leads to a back room; I saw a man lying on his back in a most terrible condition, his throat was cut across, other people came into the room. and one took up a knife that lay about two too. from the dead body, it was all over bloody; I said to the prisoner how could you be so cruel to murder this poor creature? he made many motions and put up his hand to his own throat, what he meant by it I can't tell; I saw the deceased stripped after, he had a wound on his left breast that the surgeon said had gone quite to his heart; there were several other wounds, I saw about seven or eight; the left hand thumb was cut on the inside, it appeared as if it was done by defending himself; there was another stab in his right breast, it was visible; these wounds were the occasion of his death; the cloaths seem'd to be shov'd up under his arms, all extreamly bloody ; I believe he was finished where he lay, out I could perceive by the blood that the main struggle was in the inward room having a great effusion of blood in several parts of it; I did not observe the pockets, to see if they had been rifled; there was a case knife lay on the table, that did not seem to have been made use of; I sent for a constable, he did not chuse to come, the mob said they would take care of him, so I delivered him to them to take him before the Justice : I saw a wound on the prisoner's finger, that was all I saw, I believe it is almost impossible to cut the other as he had done, without receiving some wound from his own knife.

Q. Did his wound appear to be given as he might be endeavouring to take the knife from the deceased ?

Whitson. No, it did not: if so, it would have been on the inside, but this was not.

Mary Roberts . On Monday was three weeks as I was coming along Mr. Tiboe called for Christ's sake fetch a constable, for here is murder in the house ; I went in, and up stairs there were two women on the stairs, I said to them, why don't you break the door open; they said we dare not ; I pushed against it but could not open If, somebody called out in the room in French, that he would open it : they gave me a hammer to break the door ; the prisoner came out at the door and shut and locked it, and put the key in his pocket; he was all bloody, I held him by the sleeve of his coat, and made a terrible noise; he pushed very hard against me, then Mr. Whitson coming by when he was got down to the street door, took hold on him, I went up stairs when he had broke the door. (She confirms the account of the deceased lying in his gore and the blood about, &c.)

Thomas Broomhall I am a constable ( net he who refused to come) I heard a talk of murder at the bottom of Monmouth-street, I took hold of the prisoner and took him to Justice Fielding's, he was all bloody: I went afterwards to search the prisoner's room, I found a deal of blood about, also some bloody rags; I observed some body had been searching the deceased's breeches pocket of the right hand, one was half turned inside out, but there where many people in the room

Q. to Whitson. Did you observe the deceased's pockets ?

Whitson. I did not, I looked more at the wound than any thing else.

Margaret White I was lodger in this house ; in a room above the prisoner, about half an hour after eight that day, I heard many dismal groans, very terrible ones; I called another woman who lodged in the house; we went to the prisoner's door, the groaning was ceased by that time; we stood and heard a voice talking as though there were company in the room, we heard like a laughing, but I can't say I heard above one voice, we insisted upon having the door open; he opened it, and held it a little way open and asked what we wanted.

Q. Was that in English?

M. White. He said (vat you vant, all be very vell here ) I seeing part of his left shoulder, and that bloody, I called out murder, he locked the door, I went up stairs to put on a handkerchief, which was about four or five minutes at most; while I was gone he came out and fastened the door; and was going down stairs, but was secured. She exactly agreed with the former witnesses in the rest of the evidence.

Salomey Ireland. I lodge in a two pair of stairs in that house; about half an hour after eight that morning, I heard a dreadful groaning; I ran down with a hammer in my hand to the prisoner's door; in some space of time he looked out and said nothing was the matter, all was well there, then shut the door and locked it; he being within side, we seeing him very bloody, called out murder; the rest as the former witnesses.

Carloe Valte. I have known the prisoner in Genoa, I know the prisoner and deceased were used to be friends, and have been often together.

Axtonio Arcrety. I heard the prisoner tell the deceased the Monday night before this thing happened, to bring some of his goods with him, and come soon in the day, that day he

was murdered; the deceased had been but a little while in England; I know of no malice between them.

The prisoner in his defence said, he was formerly a papist priest, and had changed it to that of the protestant religion; for which he was envy'd, and in danger of his life, by the deceased, and other catholicks; and this was done in his own defence, &c.

Guilty , Death .


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