Thomas Wilford, Thomas Wilford, Killing > murder, 25th June 1752.

Reference Number: t17520625-31
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death > death and dissection

358. (M.) Thomas Wilford , was indicted for the wilful murder of Sarah his wife , May 25 . He likewise stood charged on the coroner's inquisition for the said murder. ++

John Undershill . The prisoner came to my house in Dyer's-street Bloomsbury , on Wednesday the 23d of May, and brought a young woman with him. On the Monday following he said he was going to be married to her, and if he was not he should go crazy; her name was Sarah Williams . He asked me to go with them to be married to the corner of Fleet-lane. They left a box at my house, and returned again soon after. He is 17 years of age, and she is 22, as they said. They went to bed about a quarter after ten on Sunday night. There was a woman that lay on the same floor came down stairs and followed the prisoner between two and three on Monday morning, who came into my room, awaked me, and said, that the prisoner told her he had killed his wife. Before I had struck a light I heard him say so, he was at my bed's feet. I asked how he could talk so; he said he had almost cut her head off. My wife lighted a match, and I saw the blood run off his arm to his breeches; he was bloody as high as his elbow. I made my wife lock the door while I called the constable. When I came back he was sitting where I left him. We carried him to the Roundhouse. When we returned we went up into his room, and there lay his wife on her back on the floor, with her face on one side near the chimney ; her throat was cut, her head almost off, and a bloody knife was lying in the window. She was quite dead, dressed all but her bodice, cap and apron.

Q. Did any body lodge in the same room?

Undershill. No, there was not.

Q. Did you hear a noise in the night?

Undershill. No, my lord, I did not.

Peter Woods . I am a watchman. [He produces a clasp knife all bloody.] I came by Undershill's door and saw two women crying about three o'clock in the morning when I called the hour. I gave them a piece of candle. Then the constable and Undershill came back, and I went with them up two pair of stairs, where I saw a woman lying on the floor, one hand upon her breast, and her head almost cut off. The prisoner told them he had left the knife in the window, where I found it.

Henry Cooling . I am constable. Undershill came and knocked at my door and told me, there was murder committed in his house. I went and found the prisoner sitting in the house, his right arm and left knee were both covered with fresh blood. He told me he had killed his wife; that he would very willingly die for her, because he loved her. He told me the knife was in the window in the same room. After I came from the Round-house, I went up and saw her lying on her back among blood in the condition as has been mentioned.

Prisoner. I have nothing to say. Guilty Death.He received sentence immediately to be executed on the Thursday following, (being cast on the Tuesday before) and his body to be dissected and anatomized.

Note, This is the first case after the new act of parliament.


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