Jacob Romert, Killing > murder, 28th June 1758.

Reference Number: t17580628-13
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death; Death > death and dissection; Death > executed

231. (M.) Jacob Romert was indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas Theodore Wentworth : he stood charged on the coroner's inquest for the said murder, April 25 . *

Paul Deingraman. About eleven o'clock, on, I think, a Tuesday morning, rather more than a month ago, while I was speaking to one of the gentlemen which were with me, being in the same room with the prisoner and the deceased, about five or six feet from him, the deceased cryed out for help; I turned, and saw the prisoner standing on his legs.

Q. Did you see any thing in his hand?

Deingraman. No.

Q. How near was he to the deceased?

Deingraman. About two feet from him; they had been sitting on one bench together, when I saw them before; when I saw the blood, it surprized me.

Q. Where did you see blood ?

Deingraman. The deceased opened his breast, and I saw it there, he said, Oh, he was stabbed! he was stabbed. The prisoner being near him, I judged that it came from him; I took the deceased in my arms, and went down stairs with him, and bid the rest of the gentlemen to take care that he should not follow me.

Q. How many persons did you leave in the room with him?

Deingraman. There were about four persons. When I was down stairs, I directly sent for a surgeon, and his relation, and then came up stairs. The deceased told me the prisoner gave him the wound.

Q. Did he say he had given him any provocation?

Deingraman. He said he gave him none; he gave me the wound, and I do not know for what.

Q. How long had you been in the room with them before this happened?

Deingraman. I was in the room about four hours before. I did not hear a word spoke between them.

Q. If there had been any words, (I mean angry) might you not have heard them?

Deingraman. If there had been any, I am sure I must have heard them; I heard none at all; I left the deceased with his relation, and the surgeon, and went up to the prisoner. I directly asked him what he had done, he told me, he had stabbed the deceased. I asked how and for what, he told me that he took his own knife and stabbed him, because he did not like the man, upon these words, I told him that the deceased was very well, that he was likely to recover (because I would not frighten him;) to which he answered, he was sorry for that. I was angry with him; then I told him that all things should pass easy and quiet; but he answered, that I might go and get a constable, and carry him before a justice, because he knew what he had done. Then I ordered the rest of the men, that they should not go near him, because I did not know what was became of the knife, that he had stabbed the deceased with, I went down stairs again, where I found the surgeon, the deceased's wife and father-in-law with him; and a constable was sent for, and the prisoner taken before the justice, and afterwards secured.

Q. How long have you been acquainted with the prisoner?

Deingraman. I have been acquainted with him about four months; I have known him two or three years before; he was a man of good character, and minded his business. I have been told that he was once in prison with what we call madness.

Q. How has he behaved to your own knowledge as to the state of his mind?

Deingraman. Since he has been with me, about Lent-time he would not eat. If I asked him to eat, he would say he would not eat; and desired I would not ask any questions about it; he always spoke very sincere to me; he never attempted any such rash action as this before, as ever I heard of.

Q. Did he attempt to make his escape?

Deingraman. No, he did not in the least.

The pri soner being asked if he had any questions to ask the witness that might be of service to him, answered there was no occasion to ask any more questions.

Q. to Deingraman. Did you ever know of any quarrel between the deceased and the prisoner?

Deingraman. No, I never did.

Anne Wentworth . I was at my father's; I believe it was in June; I do not remember the day of the month; I had word brought that my husband was very bad; when I came where he was, I found him all over blood.

Q. Where was the wound?

A. Wentworth. He was wounded in the left breast, I asked him who did it, he said it was the man that worked with him, meaning the prisoner; I then desired that the prisoner might be secured, and not let to go away; by that time the surgeon came; then I said, I would go home and prepare the bed ready for him to go in, and so I did, and desired my father to see the man secured; it was near half an hour before they brought my husband home, which was in a chair, he was put into bed, and lay there sixteen-days, and then died; he told me before he died, that wound was the cause of his death; he bled from the wound the last day, and that a great quantity. The day before he died, he desired me to go and see how the prisoner behaved in the gatehouse, where he was. I did, and he was called down to me, I had first inquired how he behaved, and

the people said he behaved very well, and there was no danger in seeing him. When he came down, he asked who it was that wanted him; he saw me, but did not know me, he said he knew Mr. Wentworth. I asked him whether he stabb'd Mr. Wentworth, he said he did; that he naturally had a distaste against him, from his first coming to work at the shop, and that was the reason why he did it, and he could not be easy till he had killed him. I asked for what had he that dislike against him; he answered again, he did it because he did not like him. I asked him whether he did it in cool blood or in a passion, he said, in cool blood; that he got up the night before three times, with an intent to do it, but he had not power to do it; but he could not be easy. I asked him if he was sorry for it, he said no; but, he said, he was sorry for me, and for his own wife, but he was not sorry for what he had done to the deceased, because he did not like him.

Q. Did you take him to be in his senses?

A. Wentworth. I believed him to be then in his senses as much as any one here.

The prisoner being asked whether he had any questions to ask, said no; they made mistakes about not knowing the day of the month, but that did not much signify, it was not worth taking notice of.

William Willis . I am father to the last evidence; she came to me and said her husband was stabbed, and said there had been no quarrel at all.

Q. When was this?

Willis. I do not remember the day of the month, it was I think in April; I said is the man that stabbed him ran away? she said no; I said then I will go and carry him before a justice. When I came there, I was for going to secure him, but the gentlemen said, I had better not go up to him, for he had got a knife, and he might do me a mischief. When the constable came, we went up and said he must go before the justice; he seemed very willing to go, and we went before justice Cox; he asked him several questions regarding this affair; one was, whether he did it on purpose to kill him; he answered, yes, he did. He wrote his mittimus to the gatehouse, and several of us went to the gatehouse with him; he said the same afterwards as he did before the justice, that he did it on purpose.

Stephen Turner . I am a surgeon; I was called to the deceased betwixt the hours of eleven and twelve, on the 25th of April; I found he had received a wound which had got into the cavity of the heart (not into the heart itself): from the wound there issued an inflammation for the space of a week or upwards. I was called one morning, he having a fresh bleeding, this was about eight o'clock, it continued till half an hour after ten, at which time the deceased expired.

Q. Do you take it, that this wound was the occasion of his death?

Q. I believe it was. I opened the body afterwards.

Prisoner's defence.

What they have said is very true; I did intend to kill him. I did not want any examining. I deny nothing, and I am afraid of nothing.

Being asked what countryman he was, said he was a Norway man . Guilty , Death .

He received sentence, immediately, to be executed on the Saturday following, being the 1st of July, to be dissected and anatomized (this being Thursday); and was executed accordingly, and his body delivered to the surgeons .


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