Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Guilty > manslaughter
Punishment: Imprisonment > newgate; Miscellaneous > fine
32. EDWARD COFFIELD otherwise CAUFIELD was indicted for that he not having the fear of God before his eyes, but moved and reduced by the instigation of the Devil, on the 31st of October , on Mary Hogan , spinster, in the peace of God and our Lord the King, feloniously, wilfully, and of malice aforethought, did make an assault, and with a bayonet made of iron, value 4s. which he in his right hand then and there had and held, in and upon the left breast of her, the said Mary Hogan , did strike, stab, and penetrate, giving to the said Mary Hogan , with the bayonet aforesaid, a mortal wound, of the width of one inch, and of the depth of five inches, of which the instantly died; and so the jurors on their oath say that he, the said Mary Hogan did kill and murder .
He was indicted also for the like murder on the Coroner's inquisition.
I am a plaisterer; I was on the 31st of October at my father's lodgings when the prisoner was there.
Q. Do you remember all that passed after Coffield the prisoner came in? - Yes, it was between four and five in the afternoon; my brother, the prisoner, and I, and my sister, and that young woman that is out of doors, we all four came in together, we had been to the Duke's Head, and had a glass of liquor a piece, a glass is half a quartern, it was gin, we then went home.
Q. Had you no more than that? - No, we went home to my sister's place, we all returned there with her; she lived in Dyot street , in Mr. Halson's rents; when we went into the room the prisoner walked backward and forward three or four times in the room, and he said, Mary, I have got a question to ask you, well, says the, what is it? says he, what
Q. When was it she said that? - She told him it was a lie, she had received but two, and he said she had received three; and says he, will you tell me it is a lie? and he struck her.
Q. In what manner did he strike her? - With his hands on her face, his hand was shut, he struck her right on the face with his fist, and called her a whore, and the went to the window and laid hold of the kettle and said, you soldier built thief,
Q. How far was this from the window where he called her a whore? - It might be a yard from the window, not farther. She said you soldier built thief, I am no whore; and immediately she went to this kettle and laid hold of it, and threw it at him, and it fell on the ground.
Q. Which way was you looking when the kettle fell? - I was looking at my sister.
Q. Was you with your back to the prisoner, or side? - My side was to him; I saw him as well as her.
Q. You say the kettle fell on the ground, where did it strike? - I don't know indeed whether it hit him or no; it was an empty tin kettle, to the best of my knowledge.
Q. Cannot you tell whether it struck him or not? - I don't think it did strike him.
Q. Whereabouts did it fall on the ground? how near to him? - It fell pretty near him.
Q. Let me know how near it was to him when it fell? - Within four or five inches; and this woman that is out of doors, went to my sister and put one arm round her face, to save her head from being hit, for fear he was going to hit her any more.
Jury. Was he at that time in the attitude of striking your sister at the moment? what was he doing at the moment the kettle fell? - He was standing close by her, about half a yard off.
Mr. Const. You told us that the went to the window about a yard off and that the kettle fell within two or three inches from him, had the come nearer to him from the window again? - No, she was much in the same place.
Q. At the time this young woman put her arm round your sister's neck what did he do? - He said there is your brother, why don't he take your part? what can he do? this was after she had her arm round her neck, in a minute's time while this young woman had her arm round the neck of my sister, she cried out, Jack! Jack! here is blood.
Q. Immediately before she cried out did you see her do any thing? - I see his arm go with a terrible rush, but I did not see the bayonet in his hand.
Q. Had he any bayonet about his person? - Yes, he had, it was in the belt, I see the motion of his arm but I did not see him draw the bayonet nor see the bayonet in his hand, but the young woman said, Jack! here is blood. I make no doubt if I had looked round after him I I might have seen the glimpse of his bayonet.
Q. Did you see it afterwards? - I did not, I was so much confused; I went immediately to my sister and I laid her on the side of the bed, the young woman fell a crying and I told her to run for a doctor, when she said here is blood, the prisoner said, blood indeed! I will go fetch a doc
Q. Do you know where he went to? - I do not, but I believe he went home.
Q. What happened after he was gone? Nothing else, no further than the young woman went for a doctor and fetched one, but she was dead when the doctor came.
Q. How long was it before your sister died? - Four minutes at the outside; I pulled her handkerchief on one side and there I perceived the wound on her left breast.
Court. This deceased was a near relation of the prisoner's? - Yes, she was a sister by the mother's side.
Q. How had they lived, had they lived on a friendly footing? - Yes, they seemed to be very social, and were so before they went up stairs; this man was a soldier in the Middlesex militia for seven or eight months.
Q. How long had he been at home? - He came the Wednesday night, and on Thursday this was done.
Q. What was his situation, a single man or a married man? - A married man, he has a wife and child.
Q. Where were the wife and child? - At home, in Steward's rents, Drury-lane.
Q. How long had you been in company that day? - From four o'clock.
Q. You went to the Duke's Head? - He came to me at my work.
Q. What day of the week was this? - Thursday.
Q. Where did you work? - In Devonshire-place.
Q. What was your work? - A plaisterer.
Q. At what hour did he come to you? - Half past twelve.
Q. Where did you go? what became of you from that time till four o'clock? - I went along with him to his comrade, to his corporal.
Q. Had you any drink? - Yes, part of a pot of beer.
Q. Only one pot? - No more, from thence we went to my landlady's.
Q. Had you no more liquor before you went to the Duke's Head? - No.
Q. Had he seen his sister before that time since he came home? - No.
Q. You went then to your father's where you found your sister that is dead? - Yes.
Q. Do you think he had seen her before since he came home? - No, I don't think he had.
Prisoner. I had seen her the Wednesday night before. - I don't know whether he had or no.
Q. Do you remember on the 31st of October seeing the prisoner? - Yes, I saw him in Mary-le-bone; I was crying my fish about the street, and the prisoner at the bar, came up to me and said well met; says he, I am very glad to see you; I wanted to find out my brother, and you can tell me where he is; says I, if you go to Devonshire-place you will see him; says he, will you give me any thing to drink? so with that he and I had half a quartern of gin a piece, and he took me round the neck and kissed me, and he said he was going up to his brother for he had two or three questions to ask him; says I, I with you will tell Jack to come to my place, I want to see him. In about half an hour after, I was crying my fish about Mary-le-bone, I went to Devonshire-place, and I met him again, and he went and told his brother that I wanted to speak to him; with that the prisoner at the bar said to me, Margaret, I am going along with my brother, what time shall you be at home? I told him I would go home directly; I went home directly
Q. Were they in company with her before? - Yes, she left them at the Black Horse, Tottenham Court Road, and they followed her, and we went in to the Duke's Head, and had a glass of gin and bitters a piece, four half quarterns; immediately as we were coming out, the prisoner at the bar said to Mary Hogan , now I have got a question to ask of you; with that the and I came out of the door together; the said, come Margaret, we will go up stairs to my room, and we will have a pot of beer; her room is in Dyott-street, up one pair of stairs, at a barber's shop; with that we went up into her room, four of us; the deceased and I went up first, after that the two brothers. The deceased and I sat in a chair almost together, the prisoner at the bar walked up and down the room twice, and then he says to the deceased, what is the reason you did not shew my brother the three letters? he says you gave him but two; f gave him two and two I kept, which an undoubted right I had to do because I paid for them; why, says he, I gave you three; you lie, says the to him; what says he, you whore will you give me the lie, and immediately he upped with his right hand or left, I will not be sure which, and he struck her a violent blow on the right side of her eye; with that he said, there is your brother Jack, why don't he take your part? with that she got up and the said, I am no whore; and the said, you soldier built thief and went to the tea kettle, and said, you shall not lick me, and immediately she went to throw the tea kettle and I went to her and she heaved it at him.
Q. Can you tell whether it touched him? - I cannot positively say, but she chucked it very violently by me.
Q. Did she throw it as if she meant to hit him? - I cannot say, but if she did; I stooped with my left hand while my right was round her neck to prevent her heaving the tea kettle, but I could not, and when I raised myself up, I felt something wet on my right breast where the deceased's head laid; she sinked into my breast, and the prisoner's left arm leaned very heavy on my shoulder, and when I stooped up again, I perceived the blood on my right side of the handkerchief, and I looked down so, and I saw blood, and I said, O dear, O dear, here is blood! I said that; he said, blood indeed! and I will fetch a doctor; and Mr. Hogan immediately came up to the assistance of me and my sister, and I just discerned the glimpse of the bayonet down by his right side but not to discern it perfect in his hand; on which Mr. Hogan and I led the deceased to the bed, and the prisoner went down stairs before ever we offered to lead her to the bed.
Q. Do you know where he went to? - I do not.
Q. Did this man use to write letters to his sister? - He wrote two letters, which we had from him.
Q. At the time you were in the public house were you all good friends? - Yes, when we were drinking at the bar.
Q. Were any of you in liquor? - Yes, the prisoner at the bar was rather intoxicated in liquor.
Q. Had she been drinking any more than what you have given account of? - I don't know any more than that one glass.
Q. Did she seem to be sober? - She seemed so to me.
Q. Was you yourself sober? - Yes.
Q. And Hogan? - Yes, I think he was very sober.
Q. Was the tea kettle empty or full? - It was an empty tin kettle, with never a handle; an old tin kettle that stood in the window.
Jury. Did the prisoner ever return? - No, never came back nigh the place; he sent his little boy that afternoon, and he said, where is my aunt? I said, here is your aunt, your daddy has killed her.
Q. Did you ask him if his daddy was at home? - I did not.
Q. When was he taken up? - That very same night, as the gentleman told me he was found at home in his own place.
I am a peace officer; I was employed to apprehend the prisoner, on the 31st of October, between six and seven o'clock in the evening; I found him in the house where he lodges.
Q. Did any thing particular pass? - Nothing particularly passed; I said to him, Ned, come here, I want you, and he turned about, and he had this bayonet in the belt, and I drew it out; he said, you need not have drawn it, I should not have used it; no says I, it is no matter, will you go along with me? he said he would; says he, what is it for? why, says I, you are accused of murdering your sister; aye says he, a fatal day for me. That was all that passed,
- OGLE sworn.
Q. Did you see the body after it was dead? - I did.
Q. Can you say whether the wound you saw there was the cause of her death? - It was; on a particular examination of the body at the time of the Coroner's inquest was taken, I found the wound had entered into the cavity of the lungs.
Q. Can you tell what instrument it might be made by? - It had a triangular external appearance, very much like such a wound as might be made by a Bayonet.
Q. Which way did the wound incline? - On the upper part of the left breast it entered, and inclined downward towards the right side, so as to be a very short distance from the heart.
Q. From the particular situation of the wound, in what manner must that blow be given? - It appeared to me on examination of the body, it must be given by the man's right hand, standing facing the woman, for it was at the upper part of the breast, inclining downwards towards the right side.
Prisoner. I came up on Wednesday night from St Stafford, I, and five more of my comrades, in order to see our wives and children; when we got into London, I went home to my wife and children, after I had sat about a quarter of an hour with my wife, I said, I will go up andMargeret Marshall , the put her basket down and killed me and I her; I then went to my brother's pay table where I had a pint of beer; my brother came in between twelve and one, he was very glad to see me; him and I came away together; in our discourse he says to me, how many letters have you sent since you have been away? I told him I had sent five; he says, what a deceitful girl my sister must be not to deliver them to me, the is a very deceitful girl, and as you are here we will go up and have it out about the letters; I told him, no, I had took my leave of her, and I had to meet five of my comrades in order to go and join the regiment that night; however, by his persuasions I went up, when he says to his sister, Polly, how many letters have you had from Ned? she said, what is that to you? I said, you are a deceitful girl not to shew them to your brother; no, says she, I will not shew him, I will see you d-'d first, and some more words ensued; with that, she flew to the window and caught up the tea kettle and flung it over my left leg, which was always very tender; she then turned herself again to lay hold of something also, and swore she would cut me down if I did not quit the room; she then instantly stretched her hand across to my bayonet, I put my hand out to prevent it, and how it happened the Lord above knows, I don't know.
The prisoner called his corporal and two more who gave him a very good character.
Court to Hogan. You was sometime with the prisoner before you saw your sister; had there been any conversation between you and him about the letters he had written while he was absent? - Yes, he asked me how many letters I received? I told him two, he said, he sent five.
Q. Who were they sent to? - My sister gave me the two.
Q. Did you complain to him of not having the rest delivered to you? - I did not complain to him about them, he spoke to me.
Q. What did he say? - His sister was a deceitful woman for not shewing them me, that was all that passed.
Q. Did either of you propose to talk to her about it how it happened? - We did not say a word to her about it, not then.
Prisoner. Whether you did not say to your sister first, that the was a deceitful hussey? - I am on my oath I did not say it first.
Of Manslaughter . (Aged 33.)
Imprisoned in Newgate for twelve months and fined 1s.
Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before the Lord CHIEF JUSTICE.