WHO WERE TRIED AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On TUESDAY the 1st of JUNE, 1784.
TAKEN VERBATIM IN SHORT-HAND BY E. HODGSON, PROFESSOR OF SHORT-HAND; And Published by Authority.
NUMBER V. PART I.(Of the Sessions Paper.)
Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor) And Sold by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane, and S. BLADON, No. 13, Pater-noster Row.
[PRICE ONE SHILLING.]
ROBERT PECKHAM , Esq; LORD MAYOR of the City of London; the Honourable JOHN WILLES , Esq. one of the Justices of his Majesty's Court of King's Bench; the Honourable Sir RICHARD PERRYN , Knt. one of the Barons of his Majesty's Court of Exchequer; The Honourable JAMES ADAIR , Esq; Serjeant at Law, Recorder of the said City; and Others his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer of the City of London and Justices of Gaol Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex.
PATRICK NICHOLSON , JAMES WARD , JOSEPH SHAW , and JAMES MURRAY , late of the parish of Saint Paul, Covent-garden , in the County of Middlesex, labourers , were indicted, for that they, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, on the 10th of May , in the twenty-fourth year of his Majesty's reigh, with force and arms in and upon one Nicholas Casson , in the peace of God and our Lord the King, then and there being did make an assault; and that he, the said Patrick Nicholson , with a certain large wooden stick, value 1 d. which the said Patrick then and there had and held in his right-hand, in and upon the head, neck, stomach, shoulders, arms, back, belly, sides, loins, legs, and thighs, of the said Nicholas, then and there feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, did divers times strike and beat, and cast and throw down to and against the ground, giving him then and there, as well by the striking and beating with the wooden stick as aforesaid as by the casting and throwing down to and against the ground as aforesaid, one mortal fracture on the skull of him the said Nicholas Casson , in and upon the left side of the head, and divers mortal bruises in and upon the head, neck, stomach, shoulders, arms, back, belly, sides, loins, legs, and thighs, of him the said Nicholas, by which said mortal fracture of the skull, and the said mortal bruises as aforesaid, the said Nicholas Casson did languish, and languishing did live, and on the 11th day of May of the said mortal fracture did die; and that they the said James Ward , Joseph Shaw , and James Murray , at the time of committing the felony and murder aforesaid, feloniously and wilfully, and of their malice aforethought, were present, aiding, abetting, assisting, and comforting him the said Patrick Nicholson him the said Nicholas Casson to kill and murder ; and so the Jurors say, that him the said Nicholas Casson , they the said Patrick Nicholson , James Ward , Joseph Shaw , and James Murray did kill and murder.
They was also charged upon the coroner's inquisition with the like murder.
Attorney. MR. JONAS.
Council for the Prisoners.
The witnesses examined apart at the request of the prisoners Council.
Mr. Sylvester opened the indictment.
And Mr. Morgan opened the case as follows:
My Lord, and you, Gentlemen of the Jury, you will please to favour me on the part of the present prosecution; this is a very serious and a very important business, and therefore it is peculiarly necessary that you should pay a particular attention to the evidence that will by and by be produced before you: Gentlemen, a very wise regulation was recommended by one of the Judges yesterday, to one of the Council for the prisoners and me; that this cause should be tried by a Jury of Gentlemen who are not inhabitants of Westminster, for the express purpose of trying the prisoners at the bar with the utmost impartiality; I address you therefore, Gentlemen, looking upon you as men, uninfluenced by that unhappy spirit that has raged for a considerable time last past in the city and Liberty of Westminster; and as men who, I trust, will on this occasion use their soundest judgment and their coolest deliberations. If any of you have at any time been engaged in the party disputes that have lately subsisted, and if you have heard or read any thing concerning those disputes, I trust you will remove from your minds every impression that you have hitherto received, but more especially any impression you may have rereceived unfavourable to the prisoners at the bar. Gentlemen of the Jury, it is a duty becoming me, standing here as Council for the prosecution, to state to you the outlines of the transaction, for the mere purpose of guiding your attention to the essential part of the evidence, when that evidence shall be produced to you, and for no other purpose; therefore, I shall not consider it as incumbent on me, when I have stated the facts to you, to press you with observations on that evidence; the learned Judge will sum up the whole with that precision and impartiality which becomes high authority, sitting in a seat of Judgment, and I trust in this matter, no party spirit whatever will interfere in the administration of publick justice: Gentlemen, I need not state to you, that the late election for Westminster was carried on, and contested, and prolonged, in a manner that scarce ever was known in that city; nor need I inform you, that the candidates were the right honourable Charles James Fox , Lord Hood, and Sir Cecil Wray , the hustings were held in the portico of the church, in St. Paul's, Covent Garden , there was a booth run up in front, and extended to the end of the church, that part next Henrietta-street was in general occupied by Mr. Fox and his friends, the other part next King-street, by the other party; during the time of the election which lasted many days, an immense croud of people assembled on the hustings, I need not till you that there was a great deal of clamour, and of noise, as there is at all elections; at one end of the hustings crying out Fox for ever, no Wray, at the other end of the hustings, crying out Hood and Wray for ever, no Fox; some of the gentlemen, friends to Mr. Fox, used the house known by the sign of the Unicorn, between Henrietta-street, and the end of the hustings; at that house likewise from time to time assembled a great body of Irish chairmen, Welch porters and others, armed with sticks and bludgeons, but especially towards the close of the poll, they several times forced their way in among the croud, and endeavoured to press through that part of the croud, which faced the part where Mr. Fox stood, up towards King-street; on one day towardsNicholas Casson , who was killed on that day; Mr. Elliot went to Guildhall, he did not receive any particular instructions, and repaired to his men; the poll did not finally close that day, nor did it within a week afterwards; about the close of the poll within the compass of a few minutes, an Irish chairman who is supposed to be one of the banditti, for I cannot help calling him so, was pushing about, and very ill using a black man; one of the peace officers observed him, he interfered, and there was a resistance, and they got the black from this man, rescued him and put him into safety; this I suppose laid the foundation for an attack by several of the men, and if I do not mistake, by the prisoners Murray and Shaw, upon the peace officers; the consequence of which was, after some little struggling, Murray and Shaw if I do not mistake, were taken up and carried to Paterson's rooms, while this was doing a larger body of men assembled with sticks and bludgeons, and the prisoner Nicholson as I am instructed to say, and will be proved in evidence, with a large stick or bludgeon knocked Casson down; this was followed by several violent blows, I am not clear whether Ward was there, Murray and Shaw had been upon the spot and active, but whether they were taken from the spot before or after, you must learn from the evidence; there has not been time to prepare a regular brief, and what I am stating now, is from the depositions of fifteen or sixteen different people: The two men that were taken up had been upon the spot; upon this the men forced their way; after they had knocked down Casson, they endeavoured to keep the constables off; several of them pursued their blows, and struck the man several blows over the head, and other parts of the body, and to conclude the business, I believe one, if not more, got upon his body, trampled upon him, and broke three of his ribs; there he lay on the ground speechless, and whilst he so lay, he received several wounds; from that moment the man never spoke; a very violent attempt was made to surround the body, and keep off the constables; their object was to remove the body, which they did with infinite difficulty into Wood's hotel; the man died in the course of a few hours; the coroner's inquest sat on the body the next day, and brought in their verdict wilful murder by some person or persons unknown: in the attempt to carry off the body, several of them were knocked down, and treated, as I may use the expression, in a very cruel manner; one of them, a Mr. Nash, was pursued up King-street, and up the steps of Lowe's hotel; then the men turned round towards King-street, where they continued the riot. - Gentlemen, these are the outlines of the case that I have to lay before you in evidence: Gentlemen, I scarce need tell you, under the direction of the learned Judge, that if a body of men armed, drawn up in battle array, three or four in a rank, and a great number of them in depth; if they assemble to commit indiscriminate insult on his Majesty's subjects, though they may not maim, so as to occasion the death of any man, yet if death ensues, and their design was illegal, the event will be murder, and they must be answerable for that offence. If I clearly prove that Patrick Nicholson Patrick Nicholson struck the first blow; if Shaw and Murry were active upon the spot, committing acts of violence, though they did not actually strike the man that died, but struck other persons, I shall submit they were equally culpable with Nicholson: if it should appear that Ward was present and active at the time, he is equally guilty; but you will not pay any other attention to this state of the case than what is necessary to induce you to attend particularly to the evidence, and to discriminate between the case of every one of the prisoners, if you find them clearly and decidedly active, committing acts of violence, besides Nicholson who actually struck the stroke, you will say so; but if the Judge and you should be of opinion that they ought not to be found guilty of constructive murder, then you will give that verdict: I only desire you will carefully attend to the evidence, exercise cool judgment on the subject, banish every idea of the circumstances from your memory, exercise a sound discretion on the occasion, and let a verdict be found on the clearest evidence.
Court. All the witnesses should be out of Court.
Examined by Mr. Sylvester.
I am a porter; I live at Mr. Adam's, in Grafton-street.
Was you at Covent-garden on Monday the 10th of May? - Yes.
At what hour did you come there? - About nine in the morning.
How long did you stay there? - I did not leave it till three.
Was there any particular disturbance happened about that time; I saw a great deal of disturbance in regard of rioting.
Tell us what you saw, and who the persons were that began the riot? - The party were chairmen, and butchers with cleavers.
What did you see the chairman and butchers do? - I saw the butchers begin with the marrow-bones, and then the cleavers, and they went marching on, and the chairmen followed the butchers, and were marching from Henrietta-street to King-street; they crossed the hustings.
What did you see these men do particularly? - The constables came, part of them were in Henrietta-street and part in King-street; the butchers I thought were going right through, to go homewards, but in the room of that they let the Irish chairmen in till such time they got right facing the constables: Mr. Loton, the high constable, I saw him go down from Wood's hotel, but I did not hear what he said; he walked as if he was going to Henrietta-street: the Irish chairman began to play with their staves, many of them I know well, and they faced the constables; one of the chairmen called out to his companions, Go it, my boys, go it. Then the chairmen began playing with their bludgeons; I did not see the butchers strike any person, the chairmen began cutting and knocking down every person they met, knocking away with their sticks.
About what hour of the day was this? - As near as possible I can guess, it was just about three, or it might be ten minutes past, but it was after the poll books were shut, which shut in general at three; to say that I observed particularly the time I did not, it might be half an hour, it might be three quarters.
What else did you see them do? - I saw several people that were very much injured by blows brought away.
Did you s ee any one in particular? - I cannot say I saw any one in particular; I
Look at these men? - I do not know any of them.
Cross-examined by Mr. Erskine.
You was a pretty regular attendant upon the poll I believe, Mr. Davy; you are out of place I believe now the election is over? - I have been out of place ever since Christmas.
You was not employed there then? - No, Sir, I was not.
You gave a great deal of your time there? - I did, Sir, it was my pleasure, I was not there every day, I missed one day, and I would have been there if I could.
You are the man that stood before St. Clement's parish? - Always.
And was always very abusive there? - Sir, I do not know I abused any person.
Did you never call to a gentleman by name to come out of the hustings? - No, Sir, I called to a great many gentlemen.
Do you know Councellor Baldwin? - Yes, I never insulted him.
Have not you called to Mr. Loton, You Loton, come out? - No, never.
Do you mean to swear that you never called out to this gentleman that fits by me in a most insulting manner? - No, Sir, never in my life, there is the gentleman now.
Now, Sir, attend; do you mean to swear Sir, before the Court and the Jury, that you never in the course of the poll called out to this gentleman? - No, Sir, I can safely swear that, I do swear it.
Are not you the man without the tooth? - You need not mind my tooth, you have lost one as well as I.
Did you not call out to Mr. Crowder and Mr. Loton, time after time, to come out to you? - I never called to this gentleman to come out to me particularly, no other ways than when they were examining a vote, I have many times said, if you cannot examine them, let them come down to me, and I will examine them.
Have you not in the whole course of the day? - I have called out Hood and Wray for ever, many times.
You never received any money for this? - No, Sir, never.
You are a very generous man indeed; you was out of place then? - Yes, Sir.
Is that the suit of clothes you had at first? - I have got another suit of clothes, I got them by hard labour, I have clothes to put on at any time; I have lived in the parish of St. Ann's eight or nine years.
When Mr. Fox came on the Hustings, did not you throw dirt? - I never threw dirt, I never threw any one thing in my life, nor was ever seen doing so; if any man can say so, let them.
You have sworn that you never did abuse and insult either this gentleman Mr. Loton, or this gentleman Mr. Crowder? - No, otherways than in talking just as I may to you.
Did you never call to them to come out to you? - No, Sir I never did, when I have seen people shaking and trembling as they came up, I have said it is a false vote, send them down to me, and I will examine them.
You never said come out to me Loton? - No, never in my life.
You do not know at what time this man was killed? - I do not, I saw him lay before he came to Wood's Hotel, he was brought by people, I do not know the time he was killed, I saw him lay.
Was you in Covent Garden, near the Hustings about the time he was killed? - I do not know, I did not see the man killed, nor did I see any man killed.
When did you first know that there was any man killed? - That might be about four o'clock or after, it was near four.
Do you know whether he was killed before or after what you have been describing? - I do not know.
Then all this, for any thing you know,
What was you doing at Wood's Hotel? - No, harm, I could go there when I pleased.
Was not you employed by that party? - No Sir, I did not eat nor drink, only what I paid for.
Had you never money given you during the time of the election, or victuals by some of the committee, or by some person concerned for Lord Hood or Sir Cecil Wray ? - I have eat and drank, but never at any person's cost of the committee, I never eat or drank at any one's cost but my own, at Wood's Hotel.
Did you ever pay any money at Wood's Hotel? - For whatever I pleased to call for, I have many a time gone into the room as other people did, and never have either eat or drank, I have had a glass of rum at Wood's Hotel, and paid for it to Mr. Wood himself.
What meat had you there? - I cannot say.
Have you not eat repeatedly every day of your life? - No Sir.
How often will you swear to, three times? - It is impossible for me to tell where I have eat and drank.
Will you swear, you did not eat ten times? - Yes, I can.
Will you swear, that you did not eat five times? - Yes, I can.
You paid for all this meat? - I did not, if I went in to get a glass of any thing, there was victuals always ready, and I have taken a relish.
Now what can the Jury think of you: attend Sir, we are not all deaf? - I do not know whose cost it was, if a man goes to get a glass of any thing, and gets a mouthful, I do not call that a thing to be paid for.
You said you paid the money to Wood himself? - Yes, I eat and drank what I pleased, I drank what I called for, I go and eat frequently when I like, if I call for a glass of wine, I can have a mouthful of any thing.
Let us look at your left hand. (A finger wanting).
Mr. Erskine. That is not the worst part about you, by a great deal; than you do not know, but Casson had been killed before these people had come up? - No, it was before Casson lost his life.
Then you swear, that the butchers followed the Chairmen, before Casson lost his life? - Yes Sir, but they went back again.
You told me three or four minutes ago, that you knew nothing about Casson's having lost his life, till you went to Wood's Hotel at four o'clock? - I tell you now the same.
Then how do you know, that he was not killed till after these men went across? - I saw the poor man brought in, I cannot tell exactly the time.
One question more, you told me a moment ago, when I asked you whether all that you have been describing, happened before or after the death of Casson, you said you did not know, now you take upon yourself, positively to swear, that all this happened before? - I mean to stick to the best of my knowledge.
Which will you stick too? - I cannot say, whether the man when he was brought into Wood's Hotel was dead or no.
Where do you live? - In Church-street, at Mr. Gregory's, at the Coach and Horses.
Examined by Mr. Morgan.
I am High Constable for Holborn division, I live No. 21, Chancery-lane.
Was you present on the 10th of May, before the hustings? - I was.
Give the Court an account of the earliest part of the business, that you saw? - I will Sir, to the best of my knowledge, I think it was about twenty minutes or half an hour past three, there was a dispute between a black servant and another man, the one hallooing out Fox, and the other said no Fox.
Which called out Fox? - It was the white man.
In what condition was the man, when you saw him? - He was laying on his back, and appeared to have had a blow from some person, who I cannot tell, under the left ear, I stooped down and said, good God here is a man knocked down, Mr. Loton the high constable, was near me, and he said we will give him some assistance, and immediately there was a disturbance between many people with sticks in their hands, opposite to the end of the hustings, near Henrietta-street, upon which I went in between them, I mean that end next to Henrietta-street, I spoke to them, and they were peaceable and quiet, for some little time; at that time I think I was spoke to by a gentleman, which I think was Mr. Sheridan, and desired to withdraw the constables; I believe it was him, I have not much knowledge of the gentleman, my answer was to the best of my knowledge, these constables do not belong to me, I have no power over them.
What was doing about Casson at that time? - I was not near him at that time, Mr. Loton was near him I believe, Mr. Loton or somebody else said, we could not go away and leave the man in that situation, to the best of my knowledge, I think it was Mr. Loton.
How far was the pump from the Unicorn? - I cannot say, it may be twenty yards, then some gentlemen said we will take care of the man, or proper care of the man; upon which I being satisfied upon hearing that reply made to Mr. Loton, I withdrew towards King's-street, I believe Mr. Loton went with me, but I cannot be very sure, whether he did or not; upon which the marrow-bones and cleavers came on, I followed them, I spoke to them, and desired them to go on peaceably and quiet, I first said, I wished them to turn back again, I think so to the best of my knowledge, they made me some reply, but what I was not able to understand, from the noise of the marrow-bones and cleavers, but I do not believe it was any impertinent answer; and as the marrow-bones and cleavers passed by towards King-street, or towards that end of the Garden, that leads to King-street; presently many men came on after them with their sticks, and I walked on very unconcerned, I took no notice at all, they did not appear to me for breaking the peace, as I thought; when I had gone a few yards further, I received a most violent blow from some person, I cannot tell who, on the back part of my head.
Cross examined by Mr. Pigott.
I shall give you very little trouble, because I believe the testimony you have given, is perfectly consistent with what passed at the time.
Court. He has given a fair evidence.
I would ask you, whether the interference of the gentlemen, on the side that was called Mr. Fox's side, appeared to you to contribute to keeping the peace at that time, or otherwise? - I should think so to the best of my knowledge, I should imagine so at that time, what happened after I cannot tell.
After the little difference between the black and the other man was perfectedly quieted, and you saw the subsequent transaction, were any of the constables at the Henrietta side of the hustings? - Yes, there were.
What constables were they? - I believe they belonged to the Tower Hamlets.
They were not of your division? - Mine were most of them gone home, I had only three or four.
They were not the Westminster constables? - I believe there was some Westminster constables amongst them, but I believe the major part was from that end of the town.
They were not the constables that were originally attending the hustings for the purpose of preserving the peace and order? - No.
Do you happen to know whether they were constables at all or no? - No further than I was informed by Mr. Elliot.
If there had been any appearance of a riot, or disturbance, would your constables have gone away? - I do not believe they would, if they had seen it.
How long had these men been constables? - I understood four or five days.
I ask you from your observation of the general conduct of those constables that came from the Tower Hamlets, whether they contributed to preserve the peace that day? - I should imagine so.
For the purpose I have no doubt, but, I only want to ask you, whether the bringing them did in your opinion contribute to the preservation of the peace that day? - I cannot take upon myself to say that, I was not at that end of the hustings, at that time.
Under what magistrate did they act? - The high constable will inform you that.
But I should like to have it from you, if you know, because every thing you say will be attended to? - I was informed, it was from Sir Sampson Wright.
Mr. Morgan. That will not do.
Upon the hustings? - I will not take upon me to say that.
Where were these people lodged, these Tower constables as they are called? - I do not know.
Do you know the number of them? - I do not.
Had Mr. Justice Wilmot usually attended the poll every day? - I do not recollect he had.
Examined by Mr. Sylvester.
I am high constable of Westminster, on the 10th of May, soon after the close of the poll, I was standing within a part of the rail, at the front of the hustings, and the voters were coming up with Mr. Wild and some other peace officers, and there was some little affray; I desired Mr. Wild to tell the officers to stick close to one another, Mr. Wild, first of all, was the man that spoke to the persons that were making a scuffle, and he immediately desired the men to go down to the south part of the hustings, I followed him very close, and when we had got to the south end near the pump, I heard Mr. Wild say, good God, here is a man knocked down! I stooped forward, and I saw the deceased Casson laying upon his back very near the pump, with his head towards the pump, and his feet towards the coach-way, and on the foot pavement there was a great number of people standing armed with large sticks, and there was some person from among them said, when I came forward and saw the man, here is a constableCharles Carey , a peace officer, went immediately to endeavour to lift him up, assisted by some others, immediately the people who were armed with sticks began to make a hallooing, and the sticks were all thrown upright; Mr. Wild and myself immediately went forward, and desired them to be peaceable and keep good order; almost immediately, Mr. Sheridan and Mr. O'Brien came forward, and spoke to Mr. Wild, and another gentleman came and spoke to me, and desired I would withdraw with the officers; I told the gentleman I could not take away the peace officers, or go away myself, till the person that was knocked down was taken proper care of, and I said the same to Mr. Wild; the same gentleman who had spoke to me before came again to me, and told me the person should be taken care of, that no further hurt should be done to him, I told him he behaved so much like a gentleman that I could not refuse him, I did not know who he was, but I have since been informed that his name was O'Kelly, and he told me upon his word and honour he would take care of the man.
Did you see the prisoner or any of them do any thing at that time; - No, I did not.
It was after this that the riot began? - There was a great scuffling, but there was no blows struck; we formed a line for the marrow bones and cleavers to go along, and a whistle was then given, I saw the right-hand prisoner Ward with a marrow bone and cleaver in his hand.
Mr. Erskine. This was afterwards.
Cross-examined by Mr. Fielding.
How many constables had you that day? - About sixty.
These men were under your eye as well as your direction, you told them to keep close together? - Yes.
The men from the Tower Hamlets were among the other constables? - I knew they were ordered there, I did not know where they came from, I do not know their residence.
Do not you know that they were lodged in Wood's Hotel, and that that that was the common rendezvous? - No, Sir, they were not to my knowledge, my constables in general were ordered to Patterson's room for the purpose of having their names called over.
On what part of the hustings did the scuffle first begin? - About the third part of the north end of the hustings, rather more to Hood and Wray, than to Mr. Fox's, that is quite at the lower part of the hustings, where he lay was nearer to the Unicorn than to Wood's hotel.
It did not occur to you that it would be more convenient to take the man into the Unicorn, than into Wood's hotel? - I should not have chose to have taken him into the Unicorn for this reason, I saw a number of people there with large sticks, I had had several blows before by these people, and I should not have chose to have carried him through them; I never saw any thing of him after the gentleman that promised me he should be taken care of quitted me, I never saw him after I quitted him, till the whole affray was over, I then saw him laying in the yard.
Examined by Mr. Morgan.
What are you? - I am one of the constables belonging to the parish of Saint Ann's, Limehouse, it was on the 10th of May, I only know that man in the brown coat, that is James Ward , I never saw him before, nor I have never seen him since, I never saw any one of the others to the best of my knowledge.
Mr. Morgan. Go to the prisoners, look at them.
Mr. Erskine. Good God, Mr. Morgan!
Mr. Morgan. Sir, because I know what he has sworn before.
Mr. Morgan. Do you recollect the persons of either of the others? - To the best of my knowledge I do not.
Did you see any thing done to Casson? - I was there attending my duty, with many other peace officers, I was near to the deceased when the riot first began, I was close to the end of the hustings, where Lord Hood's division was; there was some squabble, and a man came out with a white wand, who, I suppose was under the direction of the high bailiff, and ordered us to go into the hustings on that side; after the books were shut up, I went into the church, and the ri ot began at the end of the hustings where Mr. Fox's party were; I went down to assist Mr. George Elliot , the high constable on the Henrietta side.
For what purpose was you ordered to go? - I imagined to keep the peace, in case any thing happened.
Did you see any thing done? - When I came there, there was a number of chairmen and Irishmen, with sticks and bludgeons lifted up, amounting to fifty or sixty.
Was Casson then knocked down? - No, that riot was quelled, and I put my staff in my pocket, and I went through the Irish mob, and came round the back of the church; I returned into the front of the hustings, and I acquainted Mr. Elliott the high constable, and Justice Wilmot, that there were a number of people with sticks and bludgeons at a house opened for the purpose of Mr. Fox; Mr. Elliot and Justice Wilmot were then at Lord Hood's corner of the hustings; Mr. Wilmot made answer You foolish blockbead, we are able to beat off five thousand of them; with that I stood close to the high constable and the Justice, and many more of my brother officers, expecting these butchers with their marrow-bones and cleavers to go along.
Did you see Casson struck? - I saw the blows given by many of the men, but who gave the blows I cannot say; these blows were given to many of the people, and myself.
Did you see any body strike Casson? - I did not.
Was Ward upon the spot? - That man was there.
When did you first see him there? - I never saw him till the second riot began.
Do you know whether Casson had or had not been knocked down?
Court. Long before the marching of the marrow-bones and cleavers Casson was killed.
Jury. Was Casson alive when you saw Ward there? - I saw the tall man, there might be about a dozen or fourteen with sticks upright, and the dead man was as far off as that gentleman.
Jury. I wanted to know if Casson was alive at the time of that second riot? - I saw him alive at the first beginning of the second riot.
Was Casson before that second riot knocked down or not? - Not to my knowledge.
Mr. Morgan. I beg to have that question repeated? - I saw Ward before.
Cross-examined by Mr. Garrow.
What are you besides constable? - I am constable and beadle of the parish of St. Ann's, and a gardener by trade.
Have you been a gardener lately? - Yes, I follow it every day.
You was attending your duty in Covent-garden the day you have described? - Yes.
How did it happen to become your duty, who were a constable at Limehouse, to attend
The instructions read, directed
"To the constables and headboroughs of
"Limehouse, and every of them, requiring
"them, in his Majesty's name, to meet the
"high constable with their long staves the
"next day, and signed
Did you attend so? - Yes.
Does your long staff go into your pocket? - It is a two foot staff, I put it into my coat pocket for my conveniency.
You talk of something happening near Mr. Fox's house, that was the Unicorn, was it? - I never saw the sign.
What countryman do you happen to be? - I am what you may call an Old Englishman.
How did you know that was an Irish mob? - The Irish are a set of people that are very frequently in those cases.
So you take every man that is in a riot to be an Irishman? - Sir, I do not say every mob is composed of Irishmen, I believe there were more Irishmen than Englishmen.
So you came round the back of the church you say? - I walked all round the church, I went through a passage that comes into King-street, and I told my brother officers and the Justice, that there was a number of people with sticks at Mr. Fox's house; I had been inside the hustings, and was ordered out when the high bailiff went off, and Mr. Fox went out.
How long was you in marching round through Henrietta-street, King-street, and the Hustings, before you told your brother officers what was likely to happen? - About seven or eight minutes.
Your companion, Mr. Wilmot, however told you, you foolish blockhead, we are able to beat five thousand? - Mr. Wilmot was not my companion, I looked upon these gentlemen as appointed by the laws of this country to keep the piece there.
Was these five thousand to be beat by your gang armed with tattoos and bludgeons? - It was not my gang.
I beg your pardon if I have offended you or Mr. Wilmot; but by whom were the five thousand to be beat, was it not by the men from the Tower Hamlets, that Mr. Wilmot was supposed to beat the five thousand? - I do not know what you mean by tattoos.
Was it not by these Tower Hamlet fellows? - I look upon the officers belonging to the Tower Hamlet as capable as any others.
Was it not by the men that came from the Tower Hamlets? - I cannot say any such thing, how do I know any thing of the principles of other people, I knew my own.
Had not the regular Westminster peace officers quitted the garden? - I do not know them, there were a hundred with long staves.
Were they Westminster constables? - I cannot say.
How many came with you from the Tower Hamlets? - Only four out of my parish, I do not know how many.
Where was you mustered when you went to Covent-garden? - At a place they call an auction room.
Is it not called Patterson's room? - I cannot tell, it was in King-street.
How many of you were assembled at this muster room on the morning of the 10th? - I cannot tell.
Were there so few as sixty? - I cannot tell.
Were there so few as one hundred of you mustered there? - I suppose the room would not hold one hundred.
Were there assembled in that morning so few as two hundred? - I cannot tell.
Were there so few as three hundred upon your oath? - I have been a peace officer seven years last Easter Tuesday; I am conductor of all the offices in the parish.
What office do you hold immediately under Mr. Wilmot? - None at all, I never received a farthing of his money in my life;
How long ago is it since he found you out? - He saw me there.
You know that is not my question? - I believe it might be in the course of a day or two afterwards.
Was not you sent for before the Coroner's inquisition sat on the body of Casson? - I do not know when that set; I saw Ward with his stick up like the other chairmen.
Had he his blue great-coat on? - I cannot say, I was not close to him above a minute before I was knocked down.
You had never seen Ward before in your life? - No; I remember the features of the man, I do not know whether he has the same clothes on or no; I do not remember any thing particular he had in his dress.
Examined by Mr. Sylvester.
What are you? - A carpenter; I live at the Three Tuns in Fleet-street; I was at Covent-garden on the 10th of May.
Did you see the deceased Casson struck? - I did.
What did you see him strike the deceased with? - A stick, a large stick, a stick with a nob to it.
Where did he strike him? - On the side of the head.
Where did the deceased stand at the time he was struck? - Near to the pump.
Which side of the head did he strike him? - That I cannot say particularly, whether it was the right or left.
Did he fall with the blow he received? - He did, Sir.
Did any thing happen after that? - There was a great concourse of people, I did not see any thing more; I saw him taken into Wood's hotel two minutes after, I followed him.
Are you sure that man was the man that struck the deceased? - I am sure, I never was any ways acquainted with him; I am sure of it, upon my word, upon my honour, and upon my oath.
Have you seen him since the affair? - Never.
Cross-examined by Mr. Erskine.
Pray, Sir, was you examined before the coroner? - No, I was not.
When was it that you made this discovery to any body that you are telling us now? - Yesterday in the afternoon, the reasons I will tell you presently.
You saw this man struck by the prisoner at the bar? - I did.
Then you knew at the time, for you say you saw him carried into Wood's hotel, that that was the man that was killed? - I imagined him to be the man by his dress.
Perhaps then you can favour us with the reason why you did not make the discovery sooner? - My reason was this, I had made application before concerning the striking of Mr. Nash, one Kenny had struck Nash, I gave my address as living over the water, at the General Elliot, in Blackman-street; I had never heard any thing of the matter, and I came up to the Old Bailey yesterday about a little business I had of my own in hand, and I lighted of Mr. Nash; I spoke to him, and asked him if that affair was coming on; he said it was to come on this day, and therefore desired I would attend the Old Bailey; I then gave a second address where I did live, and as such I received notice to attend this morning.
As soon as this man was struck you saw him carried into Wood's hotel? - I went away from there and went round, and I came round to Wood's hotel, and the man was brought in.
You saw Nash assaulted? - Yes.
How long after? - I suppose it might be very near an hour after that affair happened.
Have you ever seen the prisoner at the
Was not you examined before the Justice about Kenny? - Yes, and that is the very reason I assert.
You told nobody of this there? - No, I was never asked.
You knew Casson had been killed at this time? - He had.
You knew that? - I did.
You never mentioned it? - I was asked whether that was the man that hit Casson, I told them no; I was not asked whether or no I saw Casson hit or no, that question was never asked me.
Will you swear that? - I will, Sir; the question was never asked me to my knowledge; the question asked me was, whether I had seen that man strike Casson; I said, no.
Did you say you had seen him struck? - I did.
Did you say by whom? - I did not, because I did not know his name.
Did you endeavour to describe his person, that he might be apprended? - No, I never was asked.
You knew that the Justice was sitting to enquire into the death of Casson? - Yes.
For that purpose, and for that purpose only? - Yes.
You came to give evidence about Nash? - Yes.
Was not you then asked? - Never to my knowledge, there was not such a question put to me.
Do you know that gentleman? - Yes.
Did he not put any such question? - No.
Did you not know that the very purpose for which the magistrate was sitting, was to see whether it could be found out who it was that struck the mortal blow? - The purpose that I went for was, for me to be a witness whether that man was the man or not; I was asked whether Kenny was the man, I did not say to the Justice that I knew who the man was; I said so far as this, that I knew several that was in the croud.
Now you know that Kenny was only charged with assisting somebody that killed him? - Yes.
Not charged with having struck the blow at Casson himself, but with assisting somebody that had; you knew that fact? - I did.
Then you knowing who that person was, that was unknown to the Justice, that had struck him, whom Kenny was supposed to have assisted, did not tell the Justice? - The question never was put.
Who shewed you Nicholson yesterday? - Nobody at all, I did not see him yesterday; I knew the man when he came to the bar, and I had not seen him but five or six times.
What was your other business at the Old Bailey? - I had a little job, a lock, and I was going to get a key to it.
Was it about no trial? - No, Sir.
Nor never was examined about any trial? - I have had no notice.
Did not you come with Nash with a brief to that gentleman? - No, never in my life, I deny it to the gentleman's face, nor never knew him.
Nor you know nothing of the matter? - No, Sir, I do not.
You say nobody asked you if you saw who was the person? - I say so.
Court. How did you know that this was the man that was taken in custody when you did not know his name? - I heard that the man was in custody, and as I was coming, as I told you before, I saw Nash, and asked him when his affair came on concerning Kenny; he said he did not know; says I, I have had no notice of it, it has amazed me much; says he, I believe it will come on to-morrow as the men are in custody, you must attend to-morrow morning at nine o'clock; accordingly this morning a person came to me to desire me to come down to the Old Bailey, and I was then informed that the men were in custody, as such I was called.
Did you know his name before? - I did
You came quite accidentally to the Old Bailey yesterday? - Yes, I did not know till yesterday that I came up that these men were to be tried, I did not know a word of it, I was going to search the brokers for a key, I went to several, their names I do not know.
In what street, did you go to any shop? - In Turnmill-street, and Peter-street, and Cow-cross, and now the lock lays at Mr. Ive's, ironmongers, in Fleet-street, I could not get a key to it.
Do you remember the marrow-bones and cleavers? - I do.
Was it before or after this man received his death wound that they marched? - The marrow-bones and cleavers came first.
Did not you say it was in King-street you saw the affray? - I saw Nash knocked down in King-street.
Mr. Silvester. When you was before the magistrate, were either of the prisoners in custody then? - Not that I saw.
Examined by Mr. Morgan.
What are you? - A carpenter and joiner by trade.
Court. He is not upon the indictment neither.
Mr. Fielding. No, these are all new discoveries.
Mr. Morgan. Where do you live? - At No. 2, in Mount Pleasant; I was at Covent-garden on the 10th of May, I saw Casson struck.
How was he dressed? - In a snuff coloured coat and a green waistcoat.
What sort of stuff was his waistcoat made of? - Shag.
Do you know either of the prisoners at the bar, look at them.
Mr. Fielding. And look round the Court, look here. - That is the man in the blue coat and a red cape, Nicholson, that is the man I saw strike Casson twice.
Did you see him do any thing else? - I think he jumped upon him.
Did you see any of the other men? - I did.
(Mr. Erskine sent word to have the prisoner Nicholson removed from the corner of the bar to the middle.)
Cross-examined by Mr. Pigot.
How happened you to be at Covent-garden? - I happened to be ill, and curiosity led me there; I had no hand in the riot; I was there between one and two, and staid there till the election was over.
You only took a solitary walk? - Yes.
Do you know Gilmore? - Yes.
Where does he live, in your neighbourhood? - He is an old acquaintance of mine; we were not together.
He was there by accident, as you was? - Very likely.
You say Nicholson is the man? - I think he was the same man, the person in the blue coat and red cape, that gave the blow.
Did you ever see him before? - Never in my life.
Did you ever see him since? - Never.
What did he strike with? - A stick.
What sort of a stick? - I believe it was an ash stick, with a club at the end of it.
How was he drest? - I remember only his features, he had lost his nose and one eye.
So the features of a man whom you have never seen before and never saw since, you know perfectly well? - I think he is the very man.
Now, Mr. Arnold, you do not know how he was dressed? - No, it is the features of the man; I saw the man carried to Wood's hotel, I never moved from the place where I stood.
How near was it from the place where Casson received the blow? - I stood a little distance from the back of the gentlemen, by the steps going up to the hustings; when the man was carried away I went up to the other end of the hustings, I went with him; I never quitted the place
Was he carried immediately from the place where he fell to Wood's Hotel? - In the course of two minutes.
And you followed him? - Yes.
There was some examination into the matter by the coroner's inquest? - I did not stop any longer.
Do you know, or do you not know, that whenever a man is killed there is always an examination before a coroner? - Yes.
Did you go before that coroner's inquest, and tell that you knew the man that had given Casson a mortal blow? - No.
Did you ever offer to talk with Gilmore? - I told him, we were speaking together, and I said it was a cruel thing to see a man murdered in that way.
When might you happen to have this conversation with Gilmore, last Friday se'ennight? - No, Sir, it was last Wednesday, I met him promiscuously.
What did Gilmore say upon that? - He said he could give his oath that he saw the man, and I told him the same when we were in discourse together last Wednesday.
Court. Gilmore said he never spoke to any person about it, let him be asked.
Mr. Fielding. My Lord, he has been in Court all the time.
You never conversed with Gilmore about it till last Wednesday? - No.
You met him accidentally? - I did, and he said he thought he could swear to the man; I said I thought I should know the man too.
Did you tell any body else of it? - The person I work for, Mr. Stokes, he advised me to come and tell what I did know; I have not mentioned a word about it till this day.
Then from Saturday till to day you never spoke to any body? - No.
Not to any of the people that conduct this prosecution? - No.
You come here perfectly voluntary, never been subpoened, never desired? - No.
Court. I cannot see how he was upon the gentlemen's briefs.
Mr. Pigot. No, my Lord, it is not to be accounted for.
Mr. Morgan. In a cross-examination of such witnesses in such a cause, it is perfectly extraordinary, but perfectly consistent with the whole conduct of the parties, to intrude observations.
Mr. Pigot. And with such a witness in such a cause it deserves a reprehension, and I wish it was in my power to give it such a reprehension as it deserves.
Mr. Pigot. You came here to day without any subpoena? - Yes, in company with a gentleman I work for.
Is he a witness too? - No, I believe not.
Have you seen Gilmore to day at all? - Yes, I have, but had no conversation concerning this.
No, that I dare say. - He was in the room, there was no conversation about this business.
You never heard by any accident that any reward was to be be given? - I do not wish for any reward.
I kn ow you do not wish for it, because I know you are quite above it; but I want to know, whether you ever heard of it by any accident? - No, never.
You never read the newspapers? - I never saw it in the newspapers.
I know you never did. - I sometimes read the newspapers.
You never walk abroad? - My business lays abroad.
You never read any hand bills that are stuck up at the corners of streets? - I never saw it.
Did you never cast your eyes to the corners or ends of streets, or those places where they stick up hand bills? - I have seen different things, but I never saw that.
You read such things sometimes they interest you a little? - Unless I am going by, I do not take any notice, they are things that do not concern me, but this I never saw nor never heard of.
There were some marrow bones and cleavers at the front of the hustings? - Yes.
That was before Casson was killed, was
The marrow-bones and cleavers were there before? - They were there before at the bottom part, but not at the top part.
Court. Was not this bill of indictment found on Friday? - Yes.
Examined by Mr. Sylvester.
Was you at Covent Garden on the 10th of May? - Yes, I am a coal-porter in Duck-lane, Westminster.
Did you see the poor man that was killed struck? - I do not know gentlemen whether that was the man or not.
Where did the man stand that you saw struck? - He stood within six or eight yards of the pump, to the best of my knowledge.
How was he dressed? - In a snuff coloured brown coat, and green shag waistcoat, to the best of my knowledge, he had a round hat on, and I think it was his own hair.
Where was he struck? - On the left side of his head.
What was he struck with? - With a flat bludgeon, the nob of the bludgeon was flat.
Describe the end of it? - The nose of the bludgeon was flat, the head of the bludgeon was flat.
Who struck him that blow on the head? - Gentleman I cannot swear that, I cannot swear that the man that Patrick Nicholson struck was the man that was murdered, I saw the beginning of it, but the ending of it I did not stop to see, I saw the prisoner Nicholson strike a man dressed in a brown snuff coloured coat, and a green shag waistcoat, and a round hat.
What became of that man who received the blow from Nicholson? - I do not know, I did not stop, I went away immediately; at the blow that came from the prisoner Nicholson, the man fell down like a block.
Did you see the prisoner Nicholson after? - Yes, I saw him and took him, I lived by him for years.
Are you sure he was the man? - I am sure he was the man that struck the blow, but whether that was the man that had his death from the blow, I cannot say.
Did any thing pass the next day? - The next morning I came to my own door, it rained very hard, and Nicholson and a girl that he kept stood together, he said, I believe I shall not be at the hustings to day, for I expect a warrant against me.
Look at those other men? - I do not know one of them.
Cross-examined by Mr. Erskine.
How long was this after the marrowbones and cleavers went across? - The marrow-bones and cleavers went twice, and at the second time of their coming, this happened, the first went from Henrietta-street, towards King-street.
You say at the second time? - I have given my evidence as plain as I can; have I given my evidence, or have I not.
But you must answer a little more? - I say, as they came back again the second time with the marrow-bones and cleavers.
Court. Was this before such time as the blows were given? - Yes, it was at the time the blows were given.
Mr. Erskine. You call yourself a coal porter? - Yes.
You was a soldier once? - Yes.
You are not a soldier now? - I am a soldier now.
That discipline was a little too severe? - What do you mean by discipline.
Many a better man than I or you either have had discipline; but never a worse man than you I believe? - I always did my duty as a soldier.
You have been in America, have not you? - Yes.
You have had a pretty severe flogging there? - So has many more.
Can you remember what it was for? - It was for robbing.
You will swear that? - I will swear it and prove it, I dare any man to say that.
I say it, Sir, and will prove it? - I insist upon it that you would.
You did not? - Never, I will front the man that says so.
Perhaps you do not know Mr. Hubbard? - I know him, send for him if you please; I insist upon his being sent for.
He went over to America with you? - Yes, I know him well.
You were in the same regiment with him? - Yes, and in the same company.
And was not you flogged? - I am not come here to be flogged.
But I will flog an answer out of you; was you, or was you not with Hubbard in America; and did not you receive five hundred lashes? - That does not concern this business, I am not come on that business now, this is not what I came about.
Court. You have no right to ask him for what crime he was flogged, I do not think a man is obliged to answer any question to his own turpitude.
Mr. Erskine. My Lord, with great submission, I have always understood, that no man is in a Court of Justice to be asked as to any thing that may bring a prosecution upon him; but in order to get at the veracity of a witness, and to see whether this man is really speaking truth or not, I have a right to ask him to an offence which is past and gone, and for which he cannot receive punishment again.
Court. I have always understood that no man or woman is to be asked a question that tends to disgrace themselves, I have known a woman asked whether she ever had a bastard child, and it has always been stopped.
Mr. Erskine. It is quite sufficient for me upon this occasion that the man has positively sworn that he never was flogged? - I defy you or any man in this kingdom to say that I have ever robbed any man.
Then you have been very unfortunate in having been taken for other people.
Do you know Mr. Rothen? - Yes, as honest a man as ever touched the gallows.
How often have you been in the watch-house? - I have been in the watch-house a dozen or fourteen times, always for fighting.
And nothing else? - No, Sir, nothing else, I defy you.
Perhaps you do not know Mr. Groves? - Who is he?
He knows you? - He knows me, what can he say; that I have been whipped again.
Do you recollect resisting him with knives along with Champness? - No, Sir, I never did.
When he had a warrant against you? - You mean I assisted him.
I mean you would not suffer yourself to be taken, but resisted him with knives? - If you will shew me the gentleman I will tell you, but I cannot without you do.
I am a broker by trade, I am high constable of the Tower Hamlets.
Did you attend the hustings on the 10th of May? - Yes, with my constables, in consequence of an order from Sir Sampson Wright.
Was Casson one of your constables? - Yes.
Did you see the deceased whilst he was on the ground? - Yes.
What was his dress at the time? - I am not clear as to the colour of his coat, but I believe he had a sort of a green shag waistcoat.
Did, or did not that man die? - He died at Wood's hotel, as I heard.
How many constables did you take up? - I am not positive to the number, that man had only three with him, and himself, I suppose I had between fifty or sixty.
Cross-examined by Mr. Pigot.
You have given a very proper evidence; were there not a good many constables made and brought to the hustings? - I did not see a man there that was not a parish officer, unless it was four; there were four came to
Court. Was you present at this muster in Pattison's auction room, in Covent Garden? - I could not get them together there, Casson was the first man that was there, I was several times in the auction room; on Monday fortnight I mustered them all in that room.
Had you the Tower Hamlet constables there a fortnight before? - I had as many as I could get.
Examined by Mr. Sylvester.
I am a constable of St. James's Clerkenwell, I was at Covent Garden on the 10th of May, when this unfortunate man met with his death.
Did you see who it was struck him? - No.
Was that before or after this poor man met with his death? - I believe it was after; it must be after.
How long after? - Ten minutes.
Was you there at the time Mr. Casson received his death? - I was towards Wood's hotel, and this was done towards the pump.
I am a constable at Clerkenwell, on the 10th of May I saw Ward, and the man with the one eye, that is Shaw, I did not see the man knocked down.
Was you engaged in taking either of these men into custody? - I was not.
Did you see them taken, either of them? - I did not, but I was there after they were taken.
I am a Taylor in White-cross-street.
Was you at Covent Garden the 10th of May? - I was twenty-three days there, but I cannot say the day I first went, I was there at the very time, and place, where the poor man was killed, I did not see him, but I was knocked down at the same time by James Ward .
Was that before, or after Casson received his death blow? - I do not know, my breath was out of me, I was taken up for dead.
Cross examined by Mr. Garrow.
Ward was among the marrow-bones and cleavers? - Yes, he had a marrow-bone in one hand, and a cleaver in the other, dressed as a butcher in a white jacket.
Had he a stick in his hand? - No.
Did the butchers wear white jackets? - It was white jackets, or flanell, or something, I cannot say what.
Was you at the hustings when Casson was knocked down? - No, Sir.
Was you at the hustings on the 10th of May? - Yes.
Did you see any thing done? - Not in regard to the murder.
You do not know when Casson was knocked down? - No, Sir.
Mr. Morgan. I wish to call Mrs. Casson, to prove the dress.
Mr. Garrow. She has been in the gallery all the time, therefore I object to it.
Mr. Erskine. It is a very uncommon thing.
(The widow wished to speak from the gallery, but was not permitted by the Court:)
I am a Surgeon, I attended the wounded man, I was called on by two gentlemen of my acquaintance to go to Wood's hotel, to see a man who had received some injury at the hustings, at Covent Garden; between eight and nine in the evening, I went there, and found a man in bed, perfectly in his senses, having all the marks attending either a violent blow on the head, or some injury done to the vital parts of the stomach or the heart; I was informed that he had been bled, and some physic was ordered, I saw nothing more could be done, I examined the man every where as narrowly as I could, but I saw no marks of violence,
Court. Were those the occasions of his death? - No, those were the appearances of it; the extravasated blood found on the right side, opposite to where the blow was given, occasioned by the blow, was the cause of his death.
What do you suppose the blow was given with? - I should suppose it was given by a blunt instrument; a sharp heavy instrumont, such as a rod of iron, will make a very considerable external appearance, perhaps greater than an internal one; but an instrument of a considerable size, and with considerable velocity, may make no external appearance, because it covers so large a surface, but it may give the head such a shock, such a quick velocity, as to produce extravasation.
Court to Jury. What do you say with respect to the prisoners Ward, Shaw, and Murray; do you think it necessary to put them on their defence.
Jury. We think not.
Court to Prisoner Nicholson. Now is the time to make your defences, your Council cannot speak for you.
Prisoner. I leave it to my Council, and God Almighty!
CAPTAIN GARSTON sworn.
Examined by Mr. Erskine.
Was you at Covent-garden on the 10th of May? - I was.
Was you there at the close of the poll? - I was.
In what part of Covent-garden? - Abreast of the pump.
At what distance? - I suppose about four yards, I was sitting on a coach-box.
Did you see a person at the pump that had been struck by somebody? - I did.
Which you know now to be the person we have been talking about to day? - I imagine so.
Was he laying under the pump? - He was leaning back in a man's arms, there were several people about him, and they were giving him air; I did not see the blow given.
How long had you been there before you saw this man in that condition? - About a quarter of an hour, previous to the close of the poll.
In what state was the hustings at that time in respect to tumult? - It appeared to me to be perfectly quiet; previous to the time the person lay under the pump, there
Did you see what was the cause of that little affray? - A man appeared to me to be holding up something, which appeared to be a halfpenny, and there was a scuffle about a black man; it appeared to me that the constables jumped over the outward rail, and endeavoured to take these people that had been in that little scuffle into custody; it appeared to me as a trifling affray, comparatively speaking, to the bustle I saw one day before, near the hustings.
How long was it before the confusion became considerable? - It was a considerable time afterwards; in about four or five minutes after the constables jumped over the rails, I saw this man down; the constables came out in very great force, I speak as to number: about four or five minutes before I saw Casson down, they were driving people to the right-hand and left, the constables beat them and thumped about excessively, they struck them with their short staves, they had some short ones; the people that were in the front went away of course; Casson was killed in that little affray, I saw him laying under the pump ten or twelve minutes.
Did the proceedings that you observed in the constables appear to be necessary to quiet the disturbance? - It is a matter of opinion, I did not observe it.
Did you see any resistance? - No, none, nor a stick held up at that time, except the common little bustle; I thought there was a vast number of constables to take away two or three people that committed a paltry riot.
A considerable time after, I believe there was a scuffle? - There was.
How long after was it when it began, and how did it begin? - About ten or twelve minutes, or a little more; the man was laying under the pump at this time: there were marrow-bones and cleavers came round to the Unicorn from the end of Henrietta-street to the rails the other side of the pump, a little way where the man laid on the pavement, and they kept beating their marrow-bones and cleavers for some time, and the mob at that time appeared to be in spirits; they went on with a degree of spirits: this was the first time I saw the marrow-bones and cleavers go off. The constables appeared to me rather too open; it appeared to be a manoevre of the constables; as soon as they got them within their reach, they attempted to close upon them.
If any of the persons who were on the outside at the time the constables jumped over the rails had assaulted the constables, do you think you must have seen them? - I think I must; it appeared that there was no assault on the constables till after the man had been killed ten or twelve minutes.
Cross-examined by Mr. Morgan.
How long had the company of butchers with the marrow-bones and cleavers been there before? - I did not see the marrow-bones and cleavers; he could not have been knocked down but a very few minutes by this mob.
Did not you when you first came see the mob? - The marrow-bones and cleavers, I saw the men in whitish coats; I sat on the coach-box about four or five yards from the breast of the pump.
Were there not marrow-bones and cleavers there? - They might be, but I did not see them, not until after Casson had been killed; I first saw them on the other side of the pump, I never saw them on that day.
Where were they when you first saw them? - They were there when I first saw them.
Were they Irishmen? - It is impossible to distinguish a man's country by his face, I saw nothing particularly extraordinary; I very honestly confess myself, that I thought the man was killed in the indiscriminate hurly burly; I saw no staff by him.
How many me n did you see, chairmen? - About twenty-five or thirty, not more than that.
Do me the favour to look at the prisoners, and tell me if you remember them?
Do you really limit the number of chairmen to twenty-five? - No, I think there might be thirty.
How many of them might be about Casson when he was under the pump? - I do not recollect seeing above two or three people about him, and they had sticks beating the hands of the people.
Were they chairmen? - I cannot charge my memory with seeing any chairmen about him.
Does not the pump stand at some distance from the hustings? - Yes; they went off, but they returned again, but they did not advance at the time; when Casson was killed the constables retreated; there were a few stragglers about the body, who got about him, and gave him some water.
Court. They could not all be gone? - The people on both sides could not get away; it was the people in front that ran away, those that were on the left side were beat and thumped most unmercifully.
Examined by Mr. Pigot.
I am beadle and constable of St. Paul's, Covent-garden; I have been four years beadle, and two years constable; I was in Covent-garden on the 10th of May, I was on the leads at the Unicorn, I could see the pump and a long way beyond it, and a part of the front of the hustings; I was there when the poll closed at three o'clock, and I was there before that time.
Was there any rioting in the front of the hustings? I cannot say there was any rioting much, only a parcel of constables came pushing people about.
Was there any disturbance then? - Only that they would not let people stand quietly.
After the close of the poll was there any disturbance? - There was some scuffle in the front, a man held something, it might be a halfpenny, and called out Fox for ever, and one man whom they call Lucas, that generally wears spectacles, he jumped over the rails to strike him, and the affray began on that; that is my opinion of it: from that there came a great body of them together, parading backwards and forwards to the amount of two hundred, down by the hustings with their sticks, knocking people about.
Did they follow Lucas? - I believe they followed him in general.
Did those constable strike? - They struck a great number of people with their long staves.
Were those people resisting them? - Not that I saw, they came down as low as the pump and came back a second time, some of them struck at the whole of them.
They struck indiscriminately? - Yes Sir.
Was there any cry about any body's being knocked down? - Then there was a cry as I really believe, of a high constable that had knocked a man down.
Did you see the man knocked down? - I did not see him struck, I saw him when he was down, there was a mob of people.
Did you at that time observe any of the chairmen or butchers there? - There were none nigh to my knowledge, not one nigh at that time.
Did the constables go away after that? - After that they began striking violently.
Did the marrow-bones and cleavers come across after that? - At that time they stood by a row of coaches all quiet, with their cleavers over their arms, much in this form, but they went towards the pump and returned again, and went and stood very quiet by Mr. Jennings's door, then they were taken one by one, and taken to the committee room.
If I understand you right, you were upon the leads of the Unicorn? - Yes, it projects a good way out.
The hustings were inclosed in by the boards? - Yes.
Lucas was within the hustings? - No, Sir, there is a way intirely through in the front of the hustings, and there is a rail, and he was there, there was a scuffle.
Between whom? - By the constables in general, as I saw, I do not know but they might scuffle one another, they hardly knew one another, and the constables went to knock down every man that called out Fox for ever, they did not knock down any other person whatever, I did not see who struck the deceased, there was one Mr. Elliott, he was very busy and struck away very violently, and there was Mr. Wild equally the same, very busy.
Did he strike any body? - I saw him strike people, Lucas, who wears spectacles, he was very busy all the whole time, and indeed the whole of the election.
Was there no chairmen nor butchers about Mr. Fox's side? - There were not, and there were plenty of spectators, they might have sticks, I did not take particular notice.
Then how can you take upon yourself to swear, you do not mean to say, that round this pump there were none but constables? - There were the most constables of any body, but I cannot say that there were none but constables.
Did you know the prisoner? - I cannot say.
Examined by Mr. Fielding.
What are you? - I am an Umbrella maker, I live in Round court, I was at Covent-Garden on the 10th of May.
In what situation was you when the poll closed? - In the front of the hustings about the middle part.
And at that time all was quiet? - There was a scuffle ensued between a black man and a white man, and there were some constables before the rails, and they jumped over the rails, they pressed forward, and they were immediately joined by another body of constables, the name of one is, as they said, Lucas.
From what side of the hustings did this body of constables come? - From Wood's hotel, every one of them.
How many constables might there be collected there? - There was a large body of them, there might be forty, I cannot say exactly, they came bearing down their staves, and this man in black with a pair of spectacles and a light coloured two curled wig, I am told his name is Lucas, he struck at several people, they came bearing down with their staves, they bore me down as well as several other people, and they pressed onwards towards Henrietta street, the people gave way towards the pump.
What happened by the pump at that time? - When they came down nearer the pump there was a man dressed with white stockings and black breeches; his waistcoat I cannot be sure to, but his coat was of the olive kind, but I believe his waistcoat was green; I saw this man fight with Lucas in spectacles, with a constable's staff in his hand, and they said the man in black struck a blow, which blow that man received.
Court. Where did that blow light? - Whether he struck at him with a design I cannot say, but a blow that man received somewhere on the side of his head, it made him stagger very much, the man that made the blow at me, lifted up his staff at the same time, and that took my attention from the man, I did not see him drop, but I saw him reel, I was pressed considerably, and soon after I came up upon the flag stones facing the watch-house, then I looked and saw the same man under the pump, they were rubbing water down his temples, I was not two yards from him, I am sure it was the same man, I saw no others than constables that were about him at that time when I saw the blow given; when I came on the flag stones, Mr. Sheridan asked me who the man was that lay under the pump, I said I
Did you see any chairmen or any persons resembling chairmen at the pump at that time? - No, Sir, I do not know that that was the man, I never saw him after, the man that was under the pump I saw the blow given to.
Did you see the prisoners there? - No, I did not.
Mr. Morgan. What are you? - An Umbrella maker.
Are you a Jew or a Christian? - I am a Christian, Sir, my name is Jacob, I was there most days, I was there that day from one, I was not paid.
You did not see this unhappy man trampled on, did you? - No, I did not.
Had you seen Casson any time before to fix your attention upon him, so as to observe whether he was an officer or not? - I do not know that he was an officer, only as the people said, I did not see him with a staff in his hand, I did not describe him so.
Examined by Mr. Garrow.
I am a Breeches maker, I live in St. Martin's Lane.
Was you in Covent Garden the 10th of May? - I was near the church, but I was drove down by the mob down by the pump, that might be between three and four, I went there about half past twelve, and was there till six.
Who drove you down to the pump? - I was drove entirely by the constables.
Did you see any thing remarkable near the pump? - Yes.
What was it? - I saw the constables all bear down in a full body from Wood's hotel, which is King-street end of the hustings down to the pump; when they came down to the pump; I was standing facing the spot, and there came a head constable with the whole kit of the constables, each had a black staff with silver tipped at each end, and a crown at top; it was about two feet long, I was standing there, and if I had not moved I should have been knocked down by it, he held it up in his hand, and he was knocking down all before him, I was obliged to move out of his way, or else I should have got a blow, he was followed by a large number of other persons, the multitude ran away, they were obliged to run away.
Did you see any body struck? - Yes, there was a man on the right hand side of me near the pump, he was a tallish man between forty and fifty, dressed in a darkish coloured coat and a green feathered waistcoat, a green shagg waistcoat, he was struck with this high constable's staff on the left side on the temple.
Did the blow appear to be severe? - No it did not, but he fell with the blow, after he was knocked down he was trampled over by the other constables, he was taken to the corner of Mr. Fox's house, the Unicorn, and taken up one pair of stairs, and there continued an hour.
Where was he carried to afterwards? - I do not know, I never saw him afterwards, I was up there half an hour in the room.
Cross-examined by Mr. Silvester.
You know the high constable of Westminster? - Yes.
It was not he that knocked the man down? - I do not know that I should know him again.
Look at each of these high constables, was it either of them? - No, I do not say it was, but I am sure it was a high constable, the man I saw had no staff, there was a serious scuffle between the two parties, Mr. Wray's party drove off Mr. Fox's.
They were all pretty peaceable when this blow was given? - He had no staff in his hand, the man that was knocked down, not as I saw, I cannot rightly swear to the constable's hat, but I could to his wig, I am sure he was an high constable.
Mr. Erskine. The other witnesses that have sworn against the prisoners, have sworn to the direct contrary.
WILLIAM FOSSET sworn.
Examined by Mr. Erskine.
I was near the hustings on the 10th of May, I remember the constables coming round from King-street way out of the hustings, and driving the populace before them, there were a vast number of them indeed, but one I particularly observed was one Lucas, as I was in the populace, I was obliged to make way, and observed Lucas striking a man who happened to cry out Fox for ever.
Did he strike him in a violent manner? - Strike him in a violent manner.
That was his only fault was it? - That was the only fault I saw in him.
What were the populace in general doing when the constables were driving them with their sticks? - Nothing but crying out Fox for ever, they were doing no mischief, nor offering to do any mischief, I particularly saw this Lucas almost knock a man down.
After this did you happen to be near the pump? - I will tell you; first and foremost, in coming along, I called out gentlemen constables, the election is over and the books are closed, why do not you disperse, and the mob will disperse afterwards, and just as I spoke those words, a constable with a short staff, which I supposed to be a constable, made a blow at me, he tried to make a second at me, but I flew into the mob to get out of his way.
What had you been doing to deserve this blow? - No other than what I have said, I was then coming nearer the pump, and I saw a man fall.
At this time was the populace resisting the constables? - There was no resistance at that time, the constables came up to the pump, and were knocking and clearing with their sticks, I cannot tell how the man fell; I heard a great cry immediately that the constables had knocked down a man, and killed him, these were the constables that came from King-street.
Cross examined by Mr. Morgan.
Had you paid any particular attention to this man that was knocked down at the pump, before he was knocked down? - No Sir, I did not, there was a great affray ensued some time after, I was among the populace, and saw a number of constables with sticks, I never saw any with bludgeons that I could particularize.
You never saw them draw them out of their coats all at once? - I never did, I saw none to my recollection but the constables about the man when he was knocked down, I did not go to the place.
Did you go after? - No.
Examined by Mr. Pigott.
I am a Breeches-maker, I was at Covent Garden the 10th of May, about ten minutes before three, upon the leads belonging to the Unicorn, and about a quarter after three, Mr. Fox came out from the hustings and went to one Mr. Jennings's, and in about five or six minutes, a parcel of constables came down with long staves in ranks like soldiers.
Did they strike any of the people? - First of all, there was some before them crying out Fox, and they collared some numbers of them, and others rescued them but there were no weapons used on Mr. Fox's side.
When the constables came on, did the people make any resistance? - Not the least for 20 minutes; there was a man knocked down by the pump, within about a yard.
Was he taken into the Unicorn afterwards? - He was under the pump ten minutes before he was taken into the Unicorn, and bathed with water to bring him to.
Who was about there? - There were constables round about him, but there was nobody with bludgeons about him.
Was there any person there making any resistance? - Not the least in the world, he was led through the ranks of chairman
Then it was three quarters of an hour before he was carried to Wood's? - Yes, the guards were there some time before he was taken to Wood's.
Cross examined by Mr. Silvester.
You are a journeyman breeches-maker? - A master, I was next to Covent Garden in the front of the leads, they came 11 or 12 in a rank, and the high constable before them, Casson was in the first rank, I saw a man give him a blow, they had all staves, but as for him, I did not see his staff, I did not see him till the man knocked him down, there was no scuffle for twenty minutes after, only just then people cried out Fox, and they took them into custody, and the people went to rescue them again, but they had no arms, so there was a scuffle, there were staves on one side, and no sticks on the other; I saw the deceased receive a blow somewhere about his temple, I think I should know the man that gave the blow, I do not see him there, I do not know his name, I saw the staff go twice, and the first blow I saw him give, and there was another blow given at him, but whether it was by him or no, I cannot tell.
Mr. Fielding. It will not be necessary to trouble your Lordships with any more evidence, we have an infinite number of witnesses as to the second riot, and how it began.
Mr. Fielding. I need not trouble you Sir, with any question? - I will state as short as possible all I know of the matter; about a quarter before three, Colonel Fitzpatrick and myself came to the poll, we found we were late, and we came down through the alley which was made for the voters of Lord Hood and Sir Cecil Wray , at the King-street end; there was the common cry made that was usually made to Mr. Fox's voters, but no insult till we came to the hustings; when we came there, we found that part that is railed for the voters, partly filled with a large company of people that had constable's staves in their hands, and several men with staves in their hands, but otherwise not at all appearing like peace officers, called out, No Fox, and seemed as if unwilling to let us pass, but several of the other constables that knew us, and who appeared to be the Westminster constables, called to them, and told them our names; I observed they seem to be a very extraordinary sort of people, not in the least resembling peace officers, otherwise than having a great many painted staves, which some of them had not; I went to the hustings, two men waited to speak to me, I brought them round to the desk, I tried to get them to the desk, but these men, upon hearing they were to poll for Mr. Fox, drove them down again, and prevented their polling for Mr. Fox; the poll was then suddenly closed, five minutes before the right time, and several of our friends complained that Mr. Atkinson had closed the poll five minutes before the time, by which means Lord Hood and Sir Cecil Wray had the majority; upon seeing the conduct of those people who were present, that had been sworn in, in a very irregular manner, by Mr. Wilmot, I thought it a right to go round into the vestry to the High Bailiff, I never had been there before, Mr. Fox and the other candidates were casting up the poll; I complained of the conduct of these men; Mr. Atkinson and me had some altercation upon the subject, and after some conversation we went to the door into Bedford-street, out of the Church-yard; when we got through the door, I was to turn to the left, and go towards Jennings's, where some ladies were waiting; as soon as I came into Henrietta-street, I saw a vast number of people running away, it surprised me me very much, I asked what was the matter, and several people answered me, that Wilmot's Constables had fallen on Mr. Fox's people, and driven them before them; I turned the corner as quickly as I could, and I conceive that it must have been pretty nearly at that time that Casson was struck; I did not see the blow given,
The difference of opinion was, whether he was a constable or one of Fox's party, but there was no difference of opinion who had knocked him down? - There was none; I was in hopes that there would have been perfect peace and quiet; I turned round and saw the other constables had not moved a single step; I spoke to Wild, he said he could do nothing with them; I am positive there was not one marrow-bone and cleaver came up while I was there.
Mr. Morgan. I believe, Sir, you was frequently there? - Yes Sir, often enough to have observed any thing.
Was you there on Monday that this accident happened for any considerable space of time? - I had not been there before that day, I came in a King-street end of the hustings, consequently I could not see the marrow-bones and cleavers, we came down James-street, we did not chuse to come round the Garden, Colonel Fitzpatrick was with me.
I believe it was a settled rule with you to come in at the other end? - I very often came in at King-street end, it being more convenient to me, I did not chuse to put myself out of the way, the general ill conduct of the persons at the end of Lord Hood and Sir Cecil Wray , had made it necessary to come in at the other end.
Cecil Wray 's end? - Most certainly not.
How many days had the chairmen and other people, armed as we say with sticks and bludgeons, attended?
Mr. Pigot. You do not mean to ask that question.
Mr. Morgan. How many men were there that day? - I will save Mr. Morgan the trouble of keeping the Jury with unnecessary questions; the hustings were constantly surrounded, as stated by the learned Council in opening this curious prosecution; for he stated, that the hustings were constantly surrounded with immense numbers, and that is a fact, though stated by him; and there were complaints for people to come up and poll; the consequence was; that there were daily advertisements from both Committees, in all the publick papers, each side boasting, that great care was taken to keep a line for the voters; there were many constables employed on both sides; any man that would lend his assistance, if he had a cane, or rattan, or any thing, was much better qualified to do it; I observed the line on the King-street end was better kept than the line on the other; but it was by both parties admitted, and found absolutely necessary, that whoever would lend his assistance, it was doing a sort of service, as these people always conducted themselves: no person can deny that there were people with sticks at both ends of the line, but their numbers I do not know.
SERJEANT HUBBARD, of the Colwream Regiment of Guards, sworn.
Examined by Mr. Erskine.
Do you know John Joseph , who has been examined here as a witness to day? - Yes, ten years and upwards, I am of the same regiment; I recollect his receiving punishment by the sentence of a court martial, for extorting money from an American, and he could not pay him the money, and after that he laid an unatural charge against him.
He denied that here to day, he says there is no truth in it. - It is truth, he was tried for that crime, and convicted, and received punishment as far as I have heard in the court martial; I saw part of the punishment inflicted on him.
You have known this man a great while, and of course know his general character; would you believe him upon his oath? - Why, I would not.
How many lashes had he? - The sentence was a thousand.
Mr. Sylvester. You are a serjeant in the guards, and he is a soldier in the guards? - No.
Was you present? - I heard part of the sentence of the court martial read.
You was not present when he was tried? - I did not hear the whole of the charges; none of the officers are here that were present there.
Court. This is quite irregular, you should produce the sentences, all that the Jury will attend to is, that the man has known him ten years, and would not believe him upon his oath.
I am keeper of Tothill-fields Bridewell eighteen years, I have known Joseph ten or twelve years; he was committed to our prison at the last Westminster election for stealing a poker.
Court. Ask Wright his general character.
Would you believe him upon his oath? - I do not think that any body would in such a matter as this; upon my oath I would not believe him.
How long has he been out of your custody? - The last Westminster sessions.
SERJEANT PHILLIPSON sworn.
I was formerly serjeant in the guards in America; I know Joseph perfectly well, I knew him three years in America.
Would you believe him on his oath? - Really I would not.
You do not think him, from your knowledge of him, deserving of any credit? - I do not.
JOSEPHUS ROFFEY sworn.
Do you know Joseph? - Yes.
What are you? - I am a shoe-maker by trade, and a patrol; I know him exceedingly well.
What sort of a man is he as to his character? - He has an exceeding bad character.
Would you believe him on his oath? - Not for a farthing.
Mr. Morgan. I can let you into a secret, he has just as good an opinion of you. - That may be so, but I have a better opinion of myself than he has of himself.
Court to Jury. Gentlemen, the prisoner, Patrick Nicholson , stands indicted for the wilful murder of Nicholas Casson ; and with respect to the three last prisoners, after having gone through the evidence on the part of the prosecution, I stated to you whether you wished that they should be put on their defence, and you thought as I did, that there was not sufficient evidence to put them on their defence, as to being present at the time; therefore, in the long evidence which I am going to state to you, you will consider the prisoner Patrick Nicholson only. The first witness was Thomas Davey , he is contradicted by almost every other witness, and his evidence is very little material as to the charge against this prisoner; you will observe that neither G more nor the other witnesses were examined before the coroner, before Justice Wilmot, or before the Grand Jury who found the bill last Friday; and the case rests upon the credit you give to these three witnesses on the part of the prosecution, to which you must subjoin the evidence respecting the character of John Joseph , who is the only person that was examined before with respect to this transaction. The other witnesses were never known to be witnesses till this morning, and the Council say they have not their names in their briefs; if you believe these three witnesses, to be sure the charge is proved against the prisoner: but supposing you should give credit to these three witnesses, supposing you can possibly give credit to the three witnesses examined for the prosecution, with all their variations and contradictions, and the character of Joseph, there is another matter for your consideration, which is, what is the offence? now every one of the witnesses that have been examined on the part of the prisoner, and not contradicted at all, own, that the first attack was given by the constables; if so, what the people did, may be said to be in their own defence, and one of them giving an accidental blow, you cannot make it any thing but man-slaughter: but for my own part, I think on the variations and contradictions that appear on the part of the witnesses for the prosecution, it is for you to determine whether you will not acquit the prisoners.
NOT GUILTY .
Mr. Erskine. My Lord, Mr. O'Brien, who was included in this indictment, came here for the purpose of surrendering himself; if you can spare a few minutes to have him arraigned, I believe I may trust to the candour of the learned Gentlemen on the part of the prosecution, that they have no further evidence.
Mr. Morgan. I cannot say I can give stronger evidence against him than I have already given.
DENNIS O'BRIEN , Esq ; was then indicted for the wilful murder of Nicholas Casson , and aiding, abetting, and assisting in the said murder .
There being no other evidence, he was ACQUITTED .
Mr. Garrow. My Lord, the Council for the Crown decline to give any evidence against these prisoners.
BOTH ACQUITTED .
The remarkable Trial of Thomas White , servant to Lady Forrester, for robbing his Lady's house of a great quantity of plate, who was found with his hands and legs tied; also the Trials of John Richards for burglary, George Dane for burglary, Sarah Slater for shoplifting, and the rest of the capital Convicts, are in the Press.
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