John Turtle, Killing > murder, 7th June 1764.

Reference Number: t17640607-32
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death > death and dissection

355. (M.) John Turtle was indicted for the wilful murder of Joseph Chambers . He stood likewise charged for the said murder on the coroner's inquest, May 8 . *

Samuel Roaper . I live under the same roof where the prisoner lived over him in Periwinkle-street by Ratcliff watch-house. Chambers, the deceased, was a rope-maker ; so am I: he lived in Ratcliff-square; the prisoner is a shoe-maker . On the 8th of May, about 12 at night, I was standing at an ale-house door, next door to where I live; I saw Chambers coming up the street; I stopped to talk to him about our trade, about a quarter of an hour; the prisoner was standing by us. I shook hands with the deceased, and bid him a good night: he bid me a good night: I went up stairs to go to bed, and left Chambers talking with the prisoner in the street. I do not know what they talked about: the prisoner's wife was sitting on the stairs between his apartment and mine: I pulled off my jacket and coat, and before I could get my breeches off, Joe Chambers called out, Roaper, Roaper, my guts are coming out. This might be about six or seven minutes after I lest them in the street. I immediately came down, and saw Chambers standing on the right hand of the door, and the prisoner on the lest; Chambers unbuttoned his jacket, and pulled his shirt out of his breeches: I saw his guts coming out on the left side of his belly: he said, that was the man that did it, pointing to the prisoner.

Q. Did he particularly explain in what manner it was done?

Roaper. No, he did not.

Q. Had the prisoner any weapon in his hand?

Roaper. No, he had not, as I saw. Then I took hold of the prisoner, carrying him directly to the watch-house: he said, Search me; I have no knife about me. Chambers said he was a dead man; he was carried down to the doctor; I delivered the prisoner to the constable, and went home to bed.

Elizabeth Roaper . I am wife to Samuel Roaper ; I saw Chambers talking with my husband at the door, and the prisoner was standing by them. Turtle said to Chambers, you are one of those

that have been lying with Peg, (my husband is a little hard of hearing, and it is possible he might not hear it). Chambers said, Who is Peg? Turtle said, That is my wife, every body's whore; and you shall give me a pot of beer. Chambers said, he had no reason to give him a pot of beer, as he knew of. Turtle insisted mightily on a pot of beer. I took the candle, and went to bed with my husband, and left Turtle and Chambers talking together about the pot of beer. When we left Turtle, he wanted a bit of candle; we would give him none, because he was a little in liquor, and we were afraid he would set fire to the place. I had been up stairs but a very little while, it may be about seven or eight minutes, before I heard Chambers call out, Mother Roaper, I am stuck.

Q. Betwixt your coming up stairs, and hearing Chambers call, do you know whether Turtle came up to his room?

E. Roaper. Their room is the room below our's, and I cannot be positive of that. I thought Chambers was making game; I called out of the window, and said I could not come: I shut the window; then I heard other people and him call; he said, Mother Roaper, come down, for my guts are out.

Q. Who else were in the street when you left them?

E. Roaper. I left them two together: I saw nobody else: then I took the candle, and ran down as fast as I could, and my husband after me. When I came to the door, Joe Chambers crossed over the way to me, and said, I am stuck: then Turtle was looking in the kennel for his wig, opposite the door; said Chambers, My bowels are out. I looked, and saw them out about the length of my finger; I saw no blood there: he said, That villain has stuck me (pointing to Turtle); I am a dead man. I led Chambers to the watch-house, and my husband took hold of Turtle: I never saw any thing of a knife. As we were going along, Turtle said he had no knife: he was searched in the watch-house, but no knife was found. When Chambers was in the watch-house, he said Turtle was the man that killed him; he said the prisoner followed him a little way from the door; he did not think he had been stabbing him, but hitting him with his fist; and that it was about the pot of beer.

Q. Was Turtle by at the time the deceased made this declaration?

E. Roaper. He was, but I never heard him say any thing. I went with Chambers to Dr. Basdell; he said it was a dangerous thing, and desired I would lead him to the watch-house, that they might send him to the infirmary, which I did. He was so weak and saint. I thought I should never get him back again. I went that same day to the Infitmary; he had a wound in his right side, just under his breast, and a wound on each thigh; the wound where his guts came out was on his left side: he bled very much from the wound near his breast on his right side. When I saw him there, he held up his head, and said, Ah, Mother Roaper, I shall die. He died that day about 2 o'clock.

Eliz. Israel. I live next door to the prisoner and Mr. Roaper, at the sign of the George, a public house; the prisoner came into our house that afternoon, between 4 and 5 o'clock, very much in liquor, and his wife the same: he called for liquor; my husband would not let him have any; then he said he would go and fetch some from another house, and drink it here; he went and got some beer, and came and drank it at his own bench. My husband and I went out about business to Whitechapel, and came home between 7 and 8; then the street was in an uproar with him and his wife; he kept making a noise; we went to supper at 10; Mr. Roaper and his wife came in, and had two pints of beer: I believe it was about 12 when they went away. After I lighted them out, I went to bed: I had been in bed but a small time; I heard a noise; I thought they were going to take Turtle to the watch-house. I got up and opened the window; the prisoner kept on making a noise in the street; what he said, I cannot tell: I saw Chambers a trifle of way from him; I saw nobody in the street but them two: Chambers stood still, and said never a word; I was surprized at it, that such a great man should stand still, and take a blow from the prisoner: I looked to see if he would strike the prisoner; I stood some time, and heard him cry, O, my guts: in a little time after, he cried, Mother Roaper, Mother Roaper, my guts are out: one of them was on one side of the kennel, and the other on the other side, about three or four yards distant.

Q. Was it light or dark?

E. Israel. It was very moonlight: I saw nothing in the prisoner's hand: I did not see the prisoner do any thing to the deceased, nor the deceased to him: I had heard a fighting or wrestling before I got to the window.

Q. Was you wide awake?

E. Israel. I believe I had just forgot myself.

Q. How long was it, after you got to the window, before he cried his guts were out?

E. Israel. I believe it was about ten minutes: I did not see that they came near one another before Chambers said his guts were out: Turtle was

so much under my window, that I could but just see him.

William Martin . I am the constable: Roaper and his wife, and some more neighbours, brought the deceased and prisoner to the watch-house: Chambers knowing me, said, Mr. Martin, I am stabbed, and killed, and shewed me the wound, and accused Turtle with it, saying, he had stabbed him: he said, You rogue, you villain, you have stabbed me; I am a dead man. We sent Chambers to the doctor.

Q. Did you observe how he was wounded?

Martin. He listed up his shirt; on the left side there were his bowels out; he had another wound on his right side near his breast, and, I think, another on his left thigh. Turtle said, Mr. Martin, I have no knife at all; if you'll believe me, I never did it. Chambers made answer, you rogue, you villain, you have stabbed me, I am a dead man. Turtle still said he did not do it; Chambers was sent back again, and we sent him to the Infirmary. The deceased's brother hearing he was stabbed, came at 7, and desired me to take the prisoner to the Infirmary, that the deceased might see him before he died, to see if he would swear to him. I took Turtle there, and as soon as Chambers saw him, he said, You rogue, you villain, you have stabbed me; I am a dead man. Turtle then said, Mr. Martin, I had no knife at all, and still denied it. I was ordered to take him before the justice; I went to Justice Pell; he said, he should be at the Infirmary by 11 o'clock, and ordered me to bring Turtle there. I put him into the Tower. gaol, and carried him there at the time. The doctor had just dressed the deceased, and sewed up his wound; and before the Justice Chambers mentioned the same words again, You rogue, you villain, you have stabbed me; I am a dead man: the prisoner again said he had no knife, de did not do it.

Q. Did you search the prisoner?

Martin. We did, but found no knife; neither was any found in the street. Justice Pell said to Chambers, take care what you are about, here is a life depending: he took down what the deceased said, and read it over to him, and swore him, and Chambers made his mark: (He takes a paper in his hand): this is it; here is Chambers's mark, and Justice Pell's hand to it. It was read over to Chambers, while he was upon his oath, by the Justice; and Chambers declared it to be true, and said the prisoner was a vile man, and a villain, and that he was a dead man.

Q. Was Chambers then sensible?

Martin. I believe he was as much in his senses as I am now: the justice examined him very closely: I asked Mr. Pell, whether I must carry him to gaol? he said no, carry him to the bench of justices at Whitechapel, saying he should be there by and by. Going along. Turtle said, I am very sorry for it; if the man should die, I shall not care how soon I am hanged out of the world; this he said several times, but in general he denied it. I said to him, it is a hard thing to die with this in your breast; you had better make an open confession, that you might find favour with God. He said, I'll do all I can: just as I was going to take him away from the justices, Mr. Shakespeare said, Stop, they say the man is dead. The justices sent a man, and said, if he is dead, be sure you see him yourself: the man came back, and said he had been dead about a quarter of an hour; then the prisoner said, I do not care if I was hanged immediately. I took him away to goal, and talked to him as we were going along, and while his irons were putting on, and said, it is impossible for you to make your peace with God, without you make an open confession; he said, I'll do all I can, to make my peace with God.

Thomas Isherwood . I heard Justice Pell examine the prisoner, and saw the prisoner sign his confession.

Samuel Bechame . I am a pupil at the London infirmary. The deceased was taken in between two and three on Tuesday morning, the 8th of May; I was by at the time, and examined him as soon as he was in bed; there were five wounds about him, two on his right side; but the principal one was on the left side of his belly, where his bowels were coming out: the gut was not cut quite a-cross, but half an inch in length; there was a wound on each thigh; I apprehend the wound on his right side and thighs to be of no great consequence; he might lose some blood from them, but they were very small; I believe they might be about half an inch deep, done by some sharp instrument: they were about the same size as that on his left side.

N. B. The LAST PART of these PROCEEDINGS will be published in a few Days.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter, 7th June 1764.

Reference Number: t17640607-32

THE WHOLE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol-Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON; And also the Gaol-Delivery for the Country of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Thursday the 7th, Friday the 8th Saturday the 9th, and Monday the 11th, of JUNE.

In the Fourth Year of His MAJESTY's Reign. Being the Fifth SESSION in the MAYORALTY of The Right Honourable William Bridgen , Esq; LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.

NUMBER V. PART II. for the YEAR 1764.

LONDON:

Sold by W. NICOLL, in St. Paul's Church-yard.

(Price SIX-PENCE.)

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE

King's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol-Delivery, held for the City of LONDON, &c.

Q. HOW long did the man live?

Bechenoe. He lived about twelve hours; the wound on his left side was the occasion of his death it gut being cut, there was no possibility of saving him: there has been instances of a person living after the gut has been cut, but those instances are very few: a mortification would have come on, had he lived longer; for the excrement coming into his belly, would have occasioned his death.

Q. Did you see the examination taken before the justice?

Bechenoe. I did.

The Examination read to this purport;

Middlesex. The examination of Joseph Chambers , at the London hospital, in the presence of John Turtle , before Robert Pell , Esq; one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said county.

Who says, upon his oath, This morning about one o'clock, going home from an alehouse, where he had spent 3 d. 1/2, he met with the prisoner Turtle, with whom he had some words, about a woman, with whom the prisoner lives, called his wife; and he, the said Turtle, went into his own house, as he believes, to fetch a knife; and, upon coming out, he, the said Chambers, struck the prisoner, Turtle, with his open hand, on the side of his head; upon which he immediately struck him on the breast, which blow, upon the immediate effusion of blood, he found to be given by a knife; and that he, the said Turtle, repeated the said stabs upon several parts of his body and thighs; upon which, he endeavoured to get away, and was pursued by the said Turtle; and that several neighbours being alarmed, and called to his assistance, they took the said Turtle into custody.

Sworn the 8th of this inst. May, 1764, before

R. PELL.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was at my own door: this Roaper and Chambers, a man unknown to me, a man about six feet high, came up the street together; I could not get in; I generally go to bed about 9, never after 10 o'clock: they stood talking together at the door: presently Mr. Roaper goes up stairs; the big man turned away, and in about three or four minutes he returned, and went towards the

door; I thought he was going up to his acquaintance; but instead of that, he came to me, and said, can I have a lodging here to night? I said no, my friend, I am very poor, and cannot get a lodging for myself: he said, I must lie here to night: indeed, said I, you shall not: with that, he up with his fist, and struck me on this side my head; he being a heavy lusty man, he struck me quite into the street, and broke my shin; it is now to be seen: I laid down there some time; then I got up, and clapped my hand to my head, because I found myself to be dizzy; I sat and rested myself, and feeling it cold, I put my hand up to my head, and missed my hat and wig; I found my leg fore, and my hand sore; I sat down very easily and quietly. I went to pull my handkerchief off my neck, to wipe my face, and I missed that. As I sat there, a woman right facing us came and said she heard me call out; she said to the big man, why do you serve him so? and said, somebody is abusing the old man. This great man, Chambers, came right up to her; I take it by his bigness, to be the same man that struck me. The young woman called Mrs. Roaper down stairs; he came too, and he laid hold of me: I cried, search me now; I had time to run away, if I had done any mischief. I gave them all room to search me: they hauled me to the watch-house, and in the morning they carried me to the hospital: I went up to the side of the bed; they cried, look at the man: the surgeon asked him if I was the man that did it? he answered, he looks much like the man, but I cannot swear to him.

Q. to Martin. Did the deceased speak with certainty, or otherwise?

Martin. As soon as ever he saw him, he said, You villain, you stabb'd me; and I am a dead man: this he said several times. The deceased owned he struck the prisoner once, for accusing him about his wife; being innocent of what he charged him with.

Prisoner. The deceased declared he never knew me, nor never saw me, nor drank with me.

Bechenoe. Chambers declared that he had seen the prisoner, but never knew him but by sight; he owned he struck the prisoner with his open hand, upon demanding a pot of beer of him, for having to do with his wife; that immediately he found the prisoner strike him, but did not know it was with a knife, till the effusion of blood.

Guilty . Death .

This being Friday, he received sentence immediately to be executed on Monday next, and his body to be dissected and anatomized.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter, 7th June 1764.

Reference Number: t17640607-32

THE WHOLE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol-Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON; And also the Gaol-Delivery for the Country of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Thursday the 7th, Friday the 8th Saturday the 9th, and Monday the 11th, of JUNE.

In the Fourth Year of His MAJESTY's Reign. Being the Fifth SESSION in the MAYORALTY of The Right Honourable William Bridgen , Esq; LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.

NUMBER V. PART II. for the YEAR 1764.

LONDON:

Sold by W. NICOLL, in St. Paul's Church-yard.

(Price SIX-PENCE.)

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE

King's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol-Delivery, held for the City of LONDON, &c.


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