Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Special Verdict
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William Bird , late of the Parish of St Martin in the Fields, in the County of Middlesex , Labourer , was indicted, for that he on the Sixteenth Day of July, in the Sixteenth Year of his Majesty's Reign , about the Hour of two in the Morning of the said Day, with Force and Arms, in and upon one Mary the Wife of John Maurice , did feloniously, wilfully, and with Malice aforethought , make an Assault; and that he, the said William Bird , into a certain Close-Room, called the Hole, being Part of the Building belonging to St Martin's Round-House , she said Mary Maurice , with Malice aforethought , did force, put, place, confine , and continue for the Space of two Hours, where there were twenty Persons confined , which said Room was not of sufficient Largeness to contain twenty Persons, for the Space of one Hour, without manifest Danger of their Lives; and that the said Mary Maurice , during the Time of her Consinement , on the Day and Year aforesaid, in the Parish and County aforesaid, and in the said Close-Room, was suffocated; and that the said Mary Maurice , in the said Close-Room aforesaid, did die; and that he, the said William Bird , in Manner and Form aforesaid, with Malice aforethought, the said Mary Maurice did kill and murder .
The Prisoner desired Pen, Ink, and Paper, which was granted. The Court likewise ordered his Irons to be taken off.
Bird. If your Honour pleases, I would not enter immediately into the Trial, but would desire an Hour's Time. I am prepared with Innocence, but my Friends are not all come.
[The Trial was put off for an Hour; when being again brought to the Bar.]
Bird. There is one Favour I beg of you, Sir John, that this poor unhappy Woman, my Wife, may have Egress and Regress.
Court. She shall, and no Body shall insult either her or your Witnesses.
Bird. Another Thing I beg is, that the Evidences may be examined separate. (Which was ordered)
[Bird then applied himself to Mr Lloyd, one of the King's Council.]
Mr Lloyd. You will have no Hardship from any Body here.
Bird. It's hard I can have no Council; Serjeant Hayward is out of Town; Serjeant Wynne is out of Town; Mr Benny and Mr Theed desired to be excused. Mr Glanville has given his Brief to one Mr Spiltimber, and he has returned it.
King's Council. My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury. I am Council with the Gentleman who open'd the Indictment against the unhappy Prisoner at the Bar, and you find that the Crime, with which he is charged, is of no less a Size than the heinous one of Murder.
It falls to my Share to lay before you the particular Facts on which that heavy Charge is grounded, which I will choose to do with all the Plainness I can possibly use, and without any Comments or Observations upon them, 'till I have open'd the whole, that so the naked Story may be considered by you in one uninterrupted Light, and the Application of the several Facts to our Law arising upon them, may be the more clearly understood.
I always look'd on Plainness to be the best, or however the honestest , Eloquence; putting false Colours on Facts is ever unjust, but in Cases where wretched Men are on their Trial at the hazard of their Lives, 'tis not only unjust but cruel; and as the Case now to be laid before you is stated to me in my Instructions, were I ever so desirous and able to use colouring, the Facts are too black of themselves to admit of any additional Horror.
Gentlemen, the Prisoner at the Bar has lived some Time in a Place called the Round-House, in St Martin's-Lane ; and has for a considerable Time (some Years) acted as a sort of Goaler, and disposed of such Persons as were brought thither in such Manner as he thought proper; this Round-House consists of several Rooms.
On the 16th of July last, very early in the Morning, a Number of People were brought at different Times to this Round-House, I suppose by proper Officers, amongst which the poor unfortunate Woman, whose Death gives you the Trouble of this Day, was one. - Many of them were, as they were brought thither, put by the Prisoner into a Place called the Hole, being under Ground, and about six Foot six Inches in Length, six Foot three or four Inches in Breadth, and about the same Dimensions in Height: I am instructed to say that some who thought proper to spend Money in the House, or to purchase Beds, had more Indulgence than the others, how that Fact may come out I can't say; the Common-Sewer runs underneath Part of this Hole; towards the Street was an Iron Grate which let in some Light and Air, to which there was a Shutter to be put to on Occasion, and through which were several little Slits where some little Air might come when the Shutter was put to, and there was likewise a cut over the Door which served to let in Light and Air; the Closeness of the Place, and the Stench within it, caused by its Situation, and by the
Having thus briefly and plainly open'd to you the Nature of the Facts, which my Instructions lead me to say will be proved by the Witnesses, I shall take up but a little more of your Time by a few Observations, and which I shall submit to the Direction of the Court.
Two Things are necessary to constitute the Crime called Murder; first, an unlawful killing; secondly, a malicious Intent at the Time of committing it.
And here you'll observe, that I am supposing the Facts to be true, as I have opened them, for if the Witnesses do not prove them, all that I shall say, or have said, ought to pass for nothing.
First then, As to the unlawful killing, I always took it, that the Constable is the proper Officer to confine Persons committed or carried to the Round-House; and I am informed, that the Prisoner was not properly a Constable, and if so, then most certainly all he did was unlawful; but as he has acted for a considerable Time in this Capacity, and has been deemed the Officer, perhaps it would be too hard in this capital Way, to take Advantage of the Want of Legality in his Office. I will therefore suppose him the proper Goaler, I will suppose the Persons lawfully committed to his Custody, I will suppose all legal to the Time of putting them in the Hole, and yet it will appear that the killing was unlawful.
The End of all Commitments to Round-Houses is, that the Prisoners should be safely kept for the Examination of a proper Magistrate, they are there, as in all other Prisons, in the Custody of the Law, they are sent thither to be preserved for a proper Judicatory, not to be destroyed; and the Goaler is by Law obliged to treat his Prisoners with all the Care, and Tenderness too, which is fitting and possible . The Law abhors Cruelty, and has an Officer of its own, the Coroner, to enquire into the Death of Prisoners, left they should have met their Fate by cruel Treatment; in which Case, the Law adjudges the Goaler guilty of Murder: He, by Force of the Law, is to keep, not to destroy his Prisoners; supposing therefore, this poor Woman lawfully in the Custody of the Prisoner; yet, if the Facts opened shall be proved to you, she died unlawfully, so that in such Case, here is the first Thing requisite, an unlawful killing.
The second Ingredient in Murder, is a malicious Intent at the Time of committing it. Malice and Hatred are very different Things: Hatred is a Temper of Mind antecedent to the Fact; but Malice may be a sudden Intent, and expressed at once; thus killing another on a sudden Quarrel, with a dangerous Weapon, is Murder, for the Weapon shews the malicious Intent. In several Acts the Law implies Malice; but in this Case there is no Occasion for implied Malice, for the Acts shew express Malice; if he heard their Cries, or was told by the Beadle of the Danger, Why no Relief? To what else can be imputed one Expression of his, which I am instructed be used, Let them die and be damned .
Thus, Gentlemen , I have gone through what I proposed; the Man is to be tried by you; to your Judgment and Impartiality the Evidence to be given must be submitted. You will try him by Witnesses, not by Words; and judge of his Guilt or Innocence, not from what we say within, or others without, but from what shall be sworn here; and if we who prosecute fail in Proof, God forbid the Man should suffer; but if the Facts are proved, surely the Prisoner cannot have any just Claim to your Pity. Other Murders admit of some Circumstances of Palliation, from Provocation, - sudden Rage, - false Notions of Honour, and the like; but if the Man is guilty here, What Compassion can he be entitled to from you, who shewed none to his Fellow-Creatures.
John Maurice .
Q. Were you taken up at any Time? tell us where, and when.
Q. What did Mr Bird do to you there?
Bland. We had not sat down more than the Space of four or five Minutes in the Fore-Room above Stairs, but Mr Bird came to me, and took me by the Shoulder, and bid me go down Stairs. Said he, Madam, go down these Stairs; and Mary Maurice said to him, let me go along with my Cousin; and she went along with me into the Hole.
Q. How many People were there in the Hole, when you went down there?
Bland. There were about twelve or fourteen People.
Q. How many more were put into the same Place ?
Bland. There were in all about twenty-four.
Bird. I ask Pardon for interrupting. I think the Question asked, is, What Time they were put down into the Hole, for my Life depends upon it.
Bland. It was about a quarter of an Hour after Eleven; and we were kept there till Ten in the Morning; I was vastly hot, and cried out Murder; and so did almost every Body that was there?
Q. What Time was it you found it so hot?
Bland. About one o'Clock; and it was very hot about four o'Clock. I begged for some Water, but Mr Bird made no Answer to that. That Man was there, I believe he was the Beadle, and Mr Bird said he could not stand to talk there.
Bird. Please to take Notice, there was an Answer made her by the Beadle.
Court. No, she does not say any such thing.
Bland. I begged for a little Air, and in order to get some, I told Mr Bird there was a Woman in Labour, and that some were in Fits, and that there were two a dying.
Q. What did he say to that?
Bland. He said they might die and be damned.
Bird. What Hour was that?
Bland. I believe it was not five o'Clock in the Morning.
Bland. She was very well then; but about four or five o'Clock, she was very light-headed, and said to me, Cousin, let me die, let me die, for God's Sake. She laid her Head upon my Lap for some Time; and her Head dropped off my Lap, she sunk down and I saw her no more afterwards, I was in a Fit myself. There was a Woman came with a Quartern of Gin to some Prisoner there, but I cannot tell who it was for.
Q. What Time was this?
Bland. It was before the Hole was shut up, I believe it was before five o'Clock in the Morning. That the Woman came to the Grate; she had a Quartern-Pot in her Hand; she said there was Gin in the Pot, and that she was going to give it to one of the Prisoners; and Mr Bird, by Force, shoved her away, spilt the Liquor, and broke the Glass. - He called her Bitch, and bid her get away from the Window, so the Woman went away and I never saw her afterwards. Soon after Mr Bird came with a Padlock and padlock'd the Window himself. - It is a Shutter with Iron Bars a-cross, and long Holes cut in it, to let the Light through.
Q. Was it opened before the Watchman broke it open about ten o'Clock in the Morning?
Bland. I do not know that.
Q. What further do you know of this Matter?
Bland. There was Murder and Fire called; there was a Woman brought a Pipe, such as People smoak Tobacco in, and went to the Ale-House and got some Beer, and poured it into the Bowl of the Pipe, and we sucked it through the small End of the Pipe, which was put through the Holes of the Shutter, and some Body came and pushed the Woman and broke the Pipe, so we could not get any more.
Q. You say there was a cry of Murder and Fire, what did no Body come to your Assistance?
Bland. No, no Body. There were four or five in Fits in the Hole, but it being dark I could not tell who were dead and who were alive.
Court. Mr Bird, if you have any Questions to propose to this Witness ask them.
Bird. Please to ask her what Time in the Morning her Kinswoman died, with her Head in her Lap.
Court. She did not say she died with her Head in her Lap.
Bird. I will venture to say she said her Head was in her Lap about two or three o'Clock, and then she died.
Bland. She said, let me lay my Head in your Lap and let me die; but I do not know when she died.
Bird. Ask her whether the Door or Shutter was shut to murder these People, or only to keep them from being drunk, in order to be carried before that Gentleman [Colonel Deveil ] to answer the High-Constable.
Bland. To be sure he could not be off of knowing our Distress, for he said, Die and be damned; and there was room enough in the House; whether he heard any Complaint or Cry of Murder, or their being afraid of losing their Lives, whether he heard my Voice, or made any Repartee to it, I cannot tell; but I heard his Voice, and saw him come down several Times with Prisoners.
Bird. Did you ever know me to be such a cruel wicked Dog, as to kill five or six of your Sex?
Bland. No, I cannot say that.
Bird. I should be a cruel Dog if I had.
Bland. He might have relieved us, for there was Room in the House; there was an old Woman who gave him Six-pence not to be locked down with us, what her Name is I cannot tell.
Q. How many Rooms were there?
Bland. There were three Rooms in all, that I saw; there is another Hole besides this, for the Men.
Jury. Were those Rooms full?
Bland. They were not full. There were some that paid for their Beds?
Bird. Who paid for their Beds?
Bland. I do not know who they were.
Bird. Do you know of one Amey's striking and assaulting me, and knocking my Candle out of my Hand? Speak plainly, speak the Truth.
Bland. This Elizabeth Amey , insisted on going up Stairs to pay her Reckoning, and Mr Bird gave her a Push and her Cap came off: I did not see any Body strike him; nor do I know any thing of the Candle's being knocked out. - You had a Candle in your Hand.
Bird. Was I drunk or sober?
Bland. I do not know.
Bird. I happen'd to be entirely sober that Night.
Bland. Yes she did; and she cried out for Air and for Water.
Q. Was she brought in by any Officer?
Bland. She was brought in along with me.
Q. What Time did she desire to be let out?
Bland. I believe it was between three and four o'Clock in the Morning.
Q. Do you know of whom she asked to be let out?
Bland . She ask'd Mr Bird, anso did a great many more besides her; and when Mr Bird came down with more Prisoners, she said, For God's sake, Mr Bird, let us have some Air or some Water to relieve us, or take some of us away, and put us in another Place.
Q. What did he say then?
Bland. He said he would give us no relief at all - he did say so indeed, I am sure he said so.
Q. What House was you and Maurice brought from?
Bland. No House at all, we were taken up by the Porto Bello , just by the Round-House.
Bland. She was of a middling Size, a little inclinable to be Dropsical.
Q. Who put you into the Hole?
Bland. I am certain Mr Bird was the Person who had the Key, opened the Door, and put us down; he took me by the Shoulder and shoved me down Stairs.
Churchman. I am a Carpenter; I was sent for to measure it; you go up four Stone Steps into the Round-House, and this Place is below these Steps: The Height of it is six Foot two Inches; the Length and Breadth six Foot six, by six Foot two; the Window is two Foot six, by one Foot six; there are some Iron Bars, but no Glass, there is a Shurter which puts up with three Slits, about a Quarter of an Inch wide, and about 18 Inches long (but I never measured it); there is a Door to the Passage leading to the Hole, and opens into the Hole, two Foot wide, the Door does not go up to the Top by nine Inches or there abouts, and there is another Room for the Men which is eight Foot five, by six Foot three, and there is a Passage nine Foot three by four Foot ten, which leads from the Women's Hole to the Men's Hole; and there is a Door at the Head of the Stairs. - If the Hole had been left open the Prisoners would have been secure by the Door at the Top of the Stairs, but then the Men and the Women might have gone to o another , which is not customary.
Q. Do you remember the Time that a Number of Women were brought into the Round-House?
Bushel. Yes; it was the 16th Day of July last.
Q. Do you know what Time any of them began to be brought in?
Bushel. No! there were so many of them that I cannot tell their Names. - I was there all Night.
Q. Do you know how many People were put into the Hole that Night?
Bushel. I believe there was about twenty People in all?
Q. Do you remember three Women being put down into the Hole?
Bushel. I was ordered to put three Women into the Hole by the Prisoner at the Bar, it was about five o'Clock in the Morning, before the Constable went away. I opened the Door of the Hole, and saw the Hole was so full that I did not think it reasonable to put any more in: - There is no Lock to it, only two Bolts.
Q. What Condition were the People in then?
Bushel. They seemed to be pretty much crowded, but did not cry out: said I to Mr. Bird, if you put them in you will stifle them; but if you bolt the upper Door, and open the Door of the Hole, there will be room enough for them: Mr Bird ran down pretty hastily, and put them in; and when he came up again, he said, Bushel, I have put them in in a Minute, though you would not put them in.
Q. Did you think there was any Danger in doing it?
Bushel. I did it out of Compassion to these poor Creatures.
Jury. Did you hear any of these poor Creatures cry out for Help?
Bushel. No, I did not indeed; I did not hear any Outcry all Night, and I staid till five o'Clock, though four was our Hour to go away.
Q. Did you hear any cry of Murder?
Bushel. No, I did not, and if there had been any, I must have heard it.
Jury. Did Mr. Bird sit with you.
Bushel. Mr. Bird was pretty much at that End of the Table all the Night.
Q. Did the Prisoner make any Answer when you said they would be stifled.
Bushel. He did not make any Answer.
Bird. My going down then was not to put People in, but to see that they were safe.
Bushel. The Constable of the Night and I went away just about five o'Clock; and just before we went away, he went down three or four Steps; he did not go into the Hole nor into the Passage, but followed Mr. Bird, with his long Staff in his Hand, and Bird went quite down; for that was the Time they were put in.
Q. When you went down, what Sort of Air was there in the Place?
Bushel. There was a little wooden Door opened on the outside of the Round-House next the Street, and that was opened by the Constable's Order before we went away. - There is a Common-Sewer always runs under it.
Bird. I beg the Favour of you to ask him, whether at the Time of my going down, it was not the Care of the Constable; whether it was not at the Constable's Request; and whether I did not say upon the Stairs, What do you bring them down for? I have more than I know what to do with already. And whether Mr. Akins [the Constable] did not say, I will have my House cleared?
Bushel. I cannot say I heard any such Thing.
Q. If the Constable had ordered any such thing, must you not have heard it?
Bushel. I think I must.
Elizabeth Surridge . I was carried to St. Martin's Round-House , between twelve and one, and I staid drinking till about three o'Clock in the Watch-House, up Stairs; then I happened to fall a-sleep by the Fire Side, and Mr. Bird came to me, and said, Come, you Bitch, you shall not sleep here: And then he put me and two other Women into the Hole. - Mr Bird himself put us down.
Q. In what Condition did you find the Place, when you came into it?
Surridge . It was very hot; not fit for so many People to be there.
Q. Was there any Stench there?
Surridge. Yes, there was the Stench of a Necessary-House. - The Door was fastened presently after we were put in.
Q. Did you make any outcries?
Surridge. We desired not to have so many People in the Place; before Mary Wood came down, some of the Prisoners joined to get a Dram; there was a poor Woman brought it in a Bottle, and Bird's Son said, You will all get drunk before Morning, and shut the Window up, to prevent our having a Dram, but he opened it himself again, in about ten Minutes; and it was not a quarter of an Hour before it was shut again. Mr. Bird shut it his own self; he padlocked the Window, and said, Now, you Bitches, you shall not have the Window opened, but die and be damned; and the Window was not opened afterwards, till about ten in the Morning. - This was about six o'Clock. - Some of us sat in our Shifts, one Woman sat naked; for it was so hot, I thought I could not live. We cried
Q. Who was it that was dead?
Surridge. I cannot tell, I did not know any of them.
Q. How many were there dead?
Surridge. Three I can swear to, if not four, - they lay all along, they did not speak.
Q. How do you know they were dead?
Surridge. One of them was Stone-dead, her Face was as black as my Shoe, and the others looked as if they were dead or dying. I said to the People above, that one of the Women was dead, and the rest were a-dying.
Q. Who did you beg Water of?
Surridge. We begged it of People on the outside of the Window, going by. I sent to my Landlady, and she came and offered Money for Mary Wood and me to go out of the Hole; and they said they could not let any Body out, for Mr. Bird was in Bed. We sent for a couple of Pipes, and the People put the small End of the Pipes through the Shutter, and Mary Wood and I sucked Water through the Pipes.
Q. Did any Body else suck Water out of the Pipes?
Bird. Look at me, the Law says the Accuser and the Accused shall look Face to Face. [She turned her Face towards him.]
Q. How many People were there in the Hole?
Surridge. There were about twenty People.
Q. How many People will the Place conveniently hold?
Surridge. I believe about eight or nine.
Q. Was there not room enough for a great many People in that Room where you staid till three o'Clock in the Morning?
Surridge. There was room enough for a great many more than were there, and there were People that I could hear walking over Head that were Prisoners; they might have brought a great many Prisoners out of the Hole, and have put them into other Rooms.
Q. Would the Passage between the two Holes hold a great many People?
Surridge. I believe it would hold about seven or eight, and if we had had Liberty of being upon the Stairs, I believe none of us would have been dead.
Bird. I would ask her whether I came in a tyrannical Manner; or only in Subserviency to the Constable? Did not Mr. Bushel go down with me?
Surridge. No indeed he did not.
Jury. Please to ask the Woman whether she heard of any Body's beating the Candle out of Mr Bird's Hand?
Surridge. I did not hear any thing of that.
[Mr Churchman called again.]
Q. Mr Churchman, you have measured this Room; how many Persons will this Room contain, to have reasonable Room without doing them a Prejudice, or their being in danger of their Lives.
Churchman. I believe there is room for twenty People if there was Air let into it, for there are Benches all round for them to sit on.
Bird. I desire this Question to be asked her; whether about five o'Clock, when you went down, there was not a singing or hallowing?
Surridge. There was a Noise of People's talking.
Q. Was there any Rejoicing?
Surridge. It was not a Place to rejoice in, there was no singing that I know of.
Bird. Ask Mr. Bushel if he did not hear singing there?
Bushel. I did not hear any singing, nor any crying out, and I sat where if there had been a cry of any Thing I must have heard it.
Jury. Mr. Bushel, is he reckoned a cruel Man to his Prisoners, or does he treat them with Humanity?
Bushel. He is reckoned to be pretty hasty.
Bird. Answer the Question plainly, am I reckoned cruel?
Court. A merciful Man may be hasty, is he cruel or humane?
Bushel. He is pretty cruel, my Lord.
Cosier. I was taken up the 15th between eleven and twelve at Night.
Q. What Place were you carried to?
Q. What Room were you put into?
Cosier. I was put into the Hole directly.
Q. Who put you down?
Cosier. The Man of the Watch-House.
Q. Look round and see whether you know the Person that put you down?
Cosier. It was that Man, the Man with a Paper in his Hand, [That was the Prisoner at the Bar.]
Q. How many People do you reckon were there when you were first put in?
Cosier. I cannot say exactly - there might be about twenty People; the Place was almost full.
Jury. You say it was almost full; how near was it being full?
Cosier. I cannot say how many more it would hold, for I think the Place was full when I went down, but they crowded in more afterwards till four o'Clock in the Morning - It was so dark I could not well tell how many were there; but in the whole I believe there were twenty-seven or twenty-eight.
Q. Was there any Complaint of Heat in the Place?
Cosier. Yes, and we cried out Fire, Murder, for Christ's Sake let us have Water; for the Lord's Sake a little Water, for we are stifled with Heat; I would have given four Shillings for a Gallon of Water.
Q. Did you say so to any Body that came down Stairs from the Round-House?
Cosier. I cannot say that; we cried out as loud as we could cry out; when the Window was open a Woman came and brought her Sister-in-Law a Quartern of Gin, and Bird's Son told his Father; and Bird came out and pushed her down, and shut up the Window of the Hole himself, and said they should have nothing at all.
Q. Did you hear him say so?
Cosier. Yes, I did. - It was between four and five o'Clock in the Morning, and the Window was shut up from that Time till a quarter of an Hour after Ten - it was that Time when I went out.
Q. How were you forced to sit?
Cosier. We were very much crowded, I never have been my self * since: My Thighs were so black I could not tell what to do with them; this Handkerchief was as stiff as Buckram, with Sweat from the Heat of the Place.
* The Witness appeared to be in a weak Condition, and soon after she had given her Evidence fainted away.
Jury. When there was a Quartern of Gin brought to the Window, I desire to know whether she apprehended, that Bird shut up the Window to prevent the bringing them more Gin, or maliciously to do them a Prejudice?
Cosier. I cannot tell that.
Q. Were any of the poor Creatures in Fits?
Cosier. In the Time I was there, there were four or five in Fits, from the Heat of the Place; but Ann Branch , the little crooked Body in the red Cloak, died on this Side of me, about seven o'Clock in the Morning. I held her up as long as I cou'd, for I was very weak myself.
Q. Were there any People lying dead upon the Ground?
Cosier. Yes: But I did not know they were dead; for I strove to awake them, thinking they were a sleep: I was the last that came out alive but three, and I shook two of them to awake them.
Q. How many were found dead when you were let out?
Cosier. Four, Sir.
Q. If that Door had been open that leads to the Stairs, would there have been room enough for you?
Cosier. Yes, I believe there would; I would have given a Shilling for a little Air for half an Hour; about three or four o'Clock in the Morning, one of the Women in the Hole would have given him a Shilling for a Pint of Wine. - She would have given Mr. Bird a Shilling to speak to him, or drink a Pint of Wine with him: He said, Damn you, you Bitch, for your Sake, all shall suffer; then I made Answer, and said, it is hard that all must suffer for one. WhatAnswer he made to that I cannot tell.
Q. How do you know it was him?
Cosier. Because it was at the Time he brought that Woman down, and he had a Candle in his Hand.
Bird. Do not look one upon another, look at that Gentleman.
Q. Did any Body strike that Candle out of his Hand, or put it out?
Cosier. No Body, Sir.
Q. Was the Candle put out?
Cosier. No, Sir.
Q. Have you seen that Woman lately, that would have given him a Shilling?
[An Officer with a Person named by the Prisoner, were sent with this Witness, for her to bring from among the other Evidences the Woman who offer'd Bird the Shilling, and she returned with Elizabeth Amey .]
Bird. Who were you brought by? for I do not find your Name here [A Paper in his Hand.]
Cosier . I was brought by two Watchmen.
Bird. Was any Body brought with you?
Cosier. No, I was brought by myself. - I was at the Cook's Shop.
Bird. There were none came in singly, but were brought in two and three at a Time.
Q. How were you when you came out of the Hole?
Cosier . I was so thirsty by the Confinement , and Heat of the Place, that I drank four Pints of dirty Water , and then I drank all the Water out of a Tea Kettle which stood in the Corner of the Place; I do not know whether that was clean Water or not; a Gentleman brought three Pails of Water, and I drank three Quarts of that, but I brought it up again.
Amey. I was taken up about twelve o'Clock at Night; I do not know the Day of the Month; we went up Stairs, and staid there till between two and three in the Morning, we drank three or four Pots of Beer, and some Shrub; I went down into the Hole on my Occasions: Bird followed me down; pulled my Cap off, and beat me with a Key: I cried and screamed, and desired to go up and pay my Reckoning, and he said I should not; the Air, on opening the Door, was as that of an Oven: I complain'd of Drought; and he said we might all stay there and be damned, for he would not let us out; - he said something of Bitches.
Bird. Look at me, Mrs. Amey, see if you know me.
Amey. I do; I know you to be the Person who pulled my Cap off, and beat me with a Key; and said, Die and be damned, that was too good for us. I bid a Shilling for a Quart of Water, and four Shillings for a Gallon of Water, and he would give us none.
Q. Who bid the Money?
Amey. I did myself.
Q. What Time was this?
Amey. It was about four o'Clock.
Q. Who shut the Window up?
Amey. Mr. Bird himself shut up the Window, upon the Account of a Quartern of Gin that was brought there, and the Window was never opened any more.
Q. When the Window was shut up, did he make use of any Expression that you might die and be damned?
Amey. He said he would not open the Window, for we should all get drunk with Gin, and we might die and be damned: I myself offered him a Shilling for a Pint of Wine, if he would let me go up Stairs again; and he said I should have nothing, for I was an insolent saucy Bitch .
Q. Were there any great Outcries?
Amey. Yes: there were Cries as of People in Labour.
Q. Did he hear them?
Amey. He knows very well it was so.
Bird. Ask her what Time the Window was shut up?
Amey. It was about five o'Clock.
Bird. She says it was about five o'Clock, when the Window was shut up: Ask her whether there was any Body there besides me that could hear their Complaints.
Amey . No Body but his Son, I believe; his Son said we were a pack of Bitches, and wanted Gin, and be damned.
Jury. Was there room above Stairs for many more People?
Amey. There was room for a great many more, and in the Hole I really believe there were four or five and Twenty when I went in, and four were brought after: And Mr. Bushel said to Mr. Bird; you had better open the Door, and then there will be room for them, and Mr. Bird said, Damn them, let them make room.
Bird. Did not you assault me and beat the Candle out of my Hand.
Amey. I did not beat the Candle out of his Hand, nor blow it out.
Bird. Did any Body else do it?
Amey. No, no Body else.
Q. Were you at the Round-House on the 16th of July.
Leathes. I was going by the Round-House between one and two in the Morning, (I do not know whether it was the 16th or not) and hearing there were a great many People taken up, I went in: Mr Bird, the Prisoner at the Bar, was there.
Q. Was you down with the Women there?
Leathes. Yes, I went out of Curiosity to see what Girls were there; for I did not know; but I might know some of them.
Q. Are you sure Bird went down?
Q. Did not you tell Bird you had a mind to satisfy your Curiosity?
Leathes. Yes, and I said I would give him a Pint of Beer; and he said stay a little and he would; and he went down with three Prisoners, and I went along with them.
Q. Was there any Stench in the Place?
Leathes. Yes, a very great one; and not being used to such Smells, I thought I should have been suffocated , for I believe if I had staid there five Minutes, I should have dropped down; I told him the Danger these poor unhappy Creatures were in, and that if he put any more in, or let them stay there till Morning, they would be dead; and he said, Let them die and be damned.
Q. Was the Room crowded, or how many might be in it?
Leathes. The Room was very full, but I did not tell the Number of People, for I did not care to stay there long.
Q. Did you hear any Complaints or Cries?
Leathes. I heard a Moaning while I was down, as if some Body was dying: This was between two and three o'Clock. I did not go down at first when I came in; for I waited Mr. Bird's Leisure.
Q. During the Time you were there, did you hear any Cries of Mur der or Fire, or want of Water?
Leathes . No, I did not; nor nothing particular, only he was abusing the Prisoners; cursing one and damning another, and laying out the Law in an arbitrary Manner.
Q. When you were below and heard that low Tone of a Voice, did you ask the Reason of it?
Leathes . No, I did not: I thought some Body might be sick or melancholy.
Q. Did you hear them ask for Water?
Leathes. I heard some of them ask for Water, and one ask'd for Gin.
Q. Were you at the Round-House that Night there was such a Number of People put in there?
Burns. Yes: I was put into the Round-House about one o'Clock in the Morning. I drank and smoak'd with Mr. Bird for about three Hours; and after I had spent my Money, I was put down into the Hole, into the Mens Hole.
Q. How many were there?
Burns . About eight or nine Men. It is just adjoining to the Place where the Women were.
Q. How long did you stay in the Hole?
Burns. I staid from four o'Clock in the Morning till about a quarter after Ten.
Q. How much Money did you spend there?
Burns. I think it was two or three Shillings, I am not certain.
Q. Was that all the Money you had?
Burns. No, I had a Matter of three Guineas and an half in my Pocket.
Q. In whose Company were you?
Burns. There was Mr. Bird, and I think the Constable of the Night.
Q. Was there any Complaints or Cries?
Burns. While I was there, the Women were quarrelling, and making a great deal of Noise; and they were laughing above Stairs; I heard two or three of them were dead.
Q. Who shut the Windows?
Burns. I do not know who shut them. I offered half a Crown several Times to have the Light kept open, which was shut before five. The Women called out Murder, enough to frighten any Christian to hear them. You might have heard them from that Place, almost to Charing-Cross. They called out for Air and Water; and I believe if they had staid there ten Minutes longer, that every Soul of them would have been dead, for they were half of them almost dead when they came out. The Smell was enough to knock one down. I was almost suffocated myself. One of them came up as naked as she was born, - two of them were dead before six o'Clock. While I was above Stairs with Mr. Bird, and smoaking my Pipe, I heard them cry out.
Q. Did you know what they said?
Burns. I did not take any Notice of it then.
Bird. I think you are a Man of Honour and a Christian; What Time did you go down into the Hole, and who put you there?
Burns. It was about four o'Clock in the Morning, and it was by your Order.
Bird. I had nothing to do with it; was not you drove down Stairs headlong, and your Hat knocked off?
Burns. Yes, I was thrown down Stairs, but it was by your Order.
Bird. I did not say any thing of the Serjeant's being sent down. I said if I can get those drunken Fellows down Stairs, you shall all come up again.
Burns. He did not say any such Thing. You told me, you House-keepers maintained us, and such Stuff as that.
Bird. That was when we were talking about military Affairs.
Court. Do you think he was in Liquor?
Bird. I did not put him down.
Q. Do you know any thing of any Cries there, the sixteenth of July in the Morning?
Kelk. I cannot say as to the Day of the Month, because I did not set it down; nor whether it was Morning or not, because I went to Bed at nine o'Clock. I know nothing against the Man. I cannot say I heard much crying out that Night, I have heard more Noise some other Nights. I heard a Noise; they were making Orations, but whether they were rejoicing, or what it was, I could not distinguish.
Q. Did you hear any Thing of Murder or Fire cried out?
Kelk . I did not hear any Thing of Murder or Fire cried out.
Colclough . I am a Barber, Perriwig-Maker, and Surgeon.
Q. Were you sent for to bleed any Body at St. Martin's Round-House?
Colclough. Yes; on the 16th of July, at half an Hour after ten, or about eleven in the Morning, I was sent for; the Person that came, said, For God's Sake, Mr. Colclough, come and bleed one who is very ill; I went to the Round-House; when I went down the Stairs, I saw a young Woman lying upon the Ground. I blooded them first who were in the most Danger. One Mr. Perkins was there, said he, Mr. Colclough, shall I come to your Assistance ? I said, there is need enough of it, so he assisted me. There was one of the Women, I believe, had been dead two Hours. When I came to this Woman that I saw first, she was got up to the Ground-Floor. I blooded her, sent for a Chair, and put her into it, and gave her Wine and Water. Then I went and blooded another Woman at the Plough-Door, in the Street, and took others to the Workhouse; and one of those in the Work-house was two Days before she spake to me; one was quite dead when I went in, another was near expiring, and two more died.
Q. What do you think to be the Occasion of their Death?
Colclough . They were suffocated with Heat, and smothered.
Colclough. I knew none of them by their Names. - The Heat was enough to kill me, I could hardly hear it. I was wet quite through my Coat , Waistcoat, Shirt, and all, so that I thought I should have died; and I was not there above a Quarter of an Hour: but I thought it my Duty to do what Service I could to my Fellow-Creatures .
Court. How many do you think this Room would contain conveniently?
Colclough. I should think eight enough.
Q. But suppose twenty Persons were to be confined in this Room for an Hour, what would be the Consequence of that?
Colclough. I think, if I was to be confined there an Hour, I must inevitably die.
Q. Do you think if twenty Persons were to be confined in this Place for an Hour together, it would manifestly endanger their Lives?
Colclough. I should think I might live when I came to a little Air.
Court. I wish you would attend to a Question when you are upon your Oath: Do you think if twenty People were confined there for an Hour, they would not be in manifest Danger of their Lives?
Colclough. I think they must be in manifest Danger.
Court. Now you answer the Question.
Bird. I desire to know who sent for him, for it was I that sent.
Colclough . It was Broadbent the Beadle that came for me; I cannot tell who sent him. I saw Mr. Bird very busy a writing, and his Wife vastly concerned.
Bird. Did you see any Thing in my Behaviour that was bad?
Colclough. No: Nothing in particular.
Bird. Did not I send for the Chair.
Colclough. When I asked for the Chair, Bird said he would send for it, but the Chair never came.
Q. What Chair is that?
Colclough. The Work-house Chair; and it did not come till I sent for it a second Time.
Bird. I can prove it came immediately, as soon as the proper Person was sent for it.
Q. Did you see any Woman that died in the Round-House, the 16th Day of July in the Morning.
Perkins. On the 16th of July, about 11 o'Clock in the Morning, I was sent for to these unfortunate People. When I came to the Round-House, I saw a Woman in Convulsions. I blooded her. She bled very slow, and was dying; and I think she died in about half an Hour or an Hour. I was told, there were more of these unfortunate People
Q. As you are a Surgeon, you can give us your Opinion: What do you think to be the Occasion of their Deaths?
Perkins. I believe they were suffocated for want of a due Quantity of Air: Their Faces were bloated, and the Blood was stagnated ; I looked as far as their Breasts , and they were black, and they were so down to their Fingers Ends.
Q. What Colour were their Faces of?
Perkins. Not quite black, but of a livid Colour.
Q. Is that the common Appearance that Persons have who are suffocated for want of a due Quantity of Air?
Perkins. Generally, I believe; but there are some Persons who die a natural Death, that are a little livid. - I was not down in the Hole, but I was willing to do the best I could for the Service of those poor Creatures who were alive, that they said were dying.
Q. Did you take any Notice of any body that lay dead in the Hole?
Surridge. When I went down for my Handkerchief, I saw them all lying there; and the Woman that I saw in the Bone-house, was the same that I saw in the Hole; she had a whitish Gown, and a black Petticoat.
Council. I must trouble a Gentleman I see upon the Bench with one Question. Colonel De Veil, do you know the Prisoner at the Bar.
Colonel De Veil. I know him very well, Sir.
Bird. Can a Man be a Witness that offered to lay five Guineas to one that I should be hanged?
Colonel De Veil. I never said such a Thing in my whole Life. I believe the Gentlemen that appear here upon this Occasion will declare, that I never spoke to one of them, but only sent them the Depositions.
Bird. I have it so here.
Colonel De Veil. At the hazard of my Life I went into the Mob, brought him off and saved his Life.
Bird. That was after you had published it in the News, and made me appear to be as cruel a Dog as ever lived.
Colonel De Veil. Can you prove I put any thing into the News?
Court. Do not interrupt the Evidence, this only tends to confound us.
Council. I would ask Colonel De Veil whether he has ever given this Man any Directions with respect to the Prisoners that are committed to his Charge before this happened?
Colonel De Veil. I sent for him twice to let him know the Complaints that were made against him for putting People into that Hole, who were not Felons; for I always apprehended that Place was only fit for People who were refractory, and for Felons, I only thought it fit for such People: - He never sent me Word of any Bodies being dead in his Round-House: I had examined thirteen People before I knew any thing of the Matter, and when I knew how they were I discharged them immediately ; and I did not know but some of the People who were in my Yard might have died there; I believe it was about twelve o'Clock.
Bird. Do not go to save your Reputation at the Expence of my Life, but be upon Honour.
Colonel De Veil. I had sent out a Warrant; the Warrant was to be returned at eight o'Clock in the Morning. I examined thirteen Prisoners before I knew of any Thing that had happened in the Round-House.
Q. How long may it be from the Time of your giving him those Directions and this thing happening?
Colonel De Veil. It might be half a Year between the Time of my giving him that Caution and this thing happening?
Bird. My Lord, I am very unhappy in having my Papers destroyed: I was in hopes I should have found them: I do acknowledge I had two Summons's from him, one of them was to know why I discharged two Persons, without Orders from him, for cursing the King; and the other to know why I did not quarter two Soldiers, when I never had any Licence.
Court. You hear what he says, is it so?
Colonel De Veil. Upon my Oath I sent for him twice to check him for that very Thing I have mentioned: I do not know whether it was by written Summons's, or whether I sent for him by a Message.
Court. They have gone through the Evidence for the Prosecution, and now it is your turn to offer what you have to say in your Defence; do not hurry yourself, and I hope every one that is within hearing will consider a Man, that stands upon Trial for his Life, and I should be injurious to the Person who is the Prisoner at the Bar, if I should not turn every Body out of Court who will not be silent.
Bird. My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury; I am the Person who is so unhappy as to be indicted here for Murder; I had but seven Witnesses, one of which is in the Hospital, in a Salivation; and Bushel, who is the principal, has sworn himself out of it.
Q. Where you carried to the Round-House that Night the Women were confined there, and some of them died?
Beaumont . Yes, I was carried there about half an Hour after eleven o'Clock at Night.
Q. Where were you put when you first came in?
Beaumont . Into the Drinking-Room?
Q. How long did you stay in the Drinking-room?
Beaumont . Till five o'Clock in the Morning.
Q. What came of you afterwards?
Beaumont . Those that were in the Drinking-Room were all put down.
Q. Who were in the Drinking-Room?
Beaumont . I cannot justly tell, but the Constable and the Beadle insisted upon putting them all down before they left the House, and they were all put into the Hole, but I was not: Mr. Bird went down to put them in, and I followed him down in order to go in; and he pushed me up again, saying, What Business have you here, I have more than I know what to do with or can shut in; and he came up and left the Door of the Hole open: He said he would not have them stifled under him; for he would not shut the Door; there were five or six came up with me.
Q. How came the rest not to come up?
Beaumont . I cannot tell; Mr. Bird said he could not shut them in; and he said, leave the Door open, and let them be upon the Stairs all Night to give them Room: The Constable of the Night, and the Beadle, insisted on having the House cleared before they went to Bed; or else they said there would be nothing all Night but drinking Gin and smoaking Tobacco: The Constable of the Night, and the Beadle, came up again and said to Mr. Bird, Damn you, I have shut them in, why could not you? Mr. Bird insisted on having the top Door shut, and the under one left open, and said, they could not break through an Iron Door and Stone Walls. I paid for a Bed and went up, and Mr. Bird and his Wife came up and laid down till about nine o'Clock, when they opened the Door.
Q. From the Time of your coming in, did you hear any cry of Fire, or Murder, or Water, or any cry whatsoever?
Beaumont. I did not hear any - about three o'Clock in the Morning, the People above asked for some Water, and had some brought them; I heard none below call for Water.
Q. Where was you?
Beaumont. I was in the upper Room.
Bird. There were none put down till they were forced by the Constable and Beadle, for I would have had them all have staid above; pray ask her, as to the Liquor that was sold that Night, whether there was any till it was at their own request; and that was sent for from a Night-House.
Beaumont. Several Gallons of Beer were sent for, but I do not know from whence it came, but there was no other Liquor.
Bird. Where did I sit?
Beaumont. He sat next to the Constable of the Night.
Bird. Did I oblige any People to send for Liquor?
Beaumont . No, Mr. Bird said he did not desire them to send for any.
Jury. Did you pay any Money to Mr. Bird for staying above, and having the Use of the upper Room?
Beaumont . No, I had no Money.
Jury. Did you promise any?
Beaumont . No, I did not.
Q. Did you go into Bed?
Beaumont. No, I did not go into Bed.
[On the cross Examination.]
Q. How came it that you had this Liberty more than any Body else?
Beaumont . There were several Gentlemen above Stairs, who were Officers of the Parish, that desired I might not go down into the Hole.
Q. Were there any that desired to be kept above Stairs?
Beaumont . No, I did not hear any.
[Mrs. Amey was going to speak; says Bird, Pray, Mrs. Amey hold your Tongue, I shall show your Character by and by.]
Q. Was Busbel there.
Beaumont. Busbel was there , but he was very drunk.
Beaumont. Yes, I am.
Q. What Time was that?
Beaumont. It was about 5 o'Clock, and they went away immediately.
Q. Who made use of that Expression, Why could not you do it as well as I?
Beaumont. It was the Constable of the Night, or the Beadle, and not Mr. Bird.
Q. Mr. Bushel, do you remember this Woman's being there?
Bushel. She was not there when the Constable of the Night went away; she was gone to Bed: She was not down at five o'Clock.
Jury. Mr. Bushel, were you not in Liquor? -
Bushel. I was as sober as I am now.
Q. How near was the Room she went to Bed in, to that you were in?
Bushel. It was up one pair of Stairs. - I went down a little before they were put down into the Hole; and I told him, I could not put them in. The Constable went down three or four Steps, and Bird went before him; I saw the Constable upon the Stairs all the Time, he went no farther I am sure of it.
Q. I want to know for what Purpose he went down; whether it was to have the House cleared, or what it was for?
Bushel. I believe he went to have them put in.
Bird. Did not Amey knock the Candle out of my Hand?
Beaumont. I did not see any Thing of that: I did hear of the Candle's being put out, but I cannot tell who did it; but the Candle did go out.
Bird. There was no Occasion for another Candle to be brought, if the Candle I had was not out: The Candle was out, and another brought down: You saw that?
Beaumont. I saw the Candle was out, and there was another brought down. Mr. Bird was almost dead among them wi th the Heat and stirring about.
Bird. 'Tis very odd the High-Constable should not come to have let me known what I must do with People.
Council. You say you went up Stairs again with five or six People: Where was Bird then?
Beaumont. Bird followed me close up Stairs.
Q. How came the Constable and Beadle to be so favourable to you, as to let you go up, when they put the others down?
Beaumont. The others did not desire any such Thing. - Those five or six that came up desired to be in the Drinking-Room all Night.
Q. You said before, you desired a Bed, and said you would pay for it, and that was the Reason you were not turned down.
Beaumont. I do not remember that I said any such Thing.
Q. If you did not offer to pay for a Bed any more than the rest, how came that Distinction to be made?
Q. When he first went down, did he open the Hole-Door?
Q. How long was it before the Candle was brought again?
Beaumont. Three or four Minutes.
Q. Was the Door open when the Candle came back?
Beaumont. He stood with the Door in his Hand, and shut the Door when the Candle came down.
Q. Did any of these poor Wretches come out when he opened the Door?
Beaumont. I cannot say that any of them did.
Council. You said before, he left the Door of the Hole unlock'd.
Beaumont. He said he would shut the Stairs-door, and leave the other Door open; but I cannot tell whether he did or not. There was such a Mob about the Window, that Bird's Son came down and told his Father, that they would not have Air; and Mr. Bushel was sent to beat them away.
Council. Why you say, he [Bushel] was drunk.
Beaumont. Yes, so he was.
Court. When the Candle was brought down, could you see how many People there were in the Hole?
Beaumont. No, I could not.
Henry Harris . I am a Watchman in the Strand. On the 15th of July I carried a Woman to the Round-House-Door, for making a Riot in the Street, and Mr. Bird refused to take her in, beause he had too many already; this was between three and four o'Clock.
Q. How long have you known him in this Office?
Harris. I have been a Watchman 12 Months , and have known him all that Time.
Q. Have you heard any Persons give him an ill Character, as a cruel Man?
Council. So he took who he would, and refused who he would.
Bird. No, Mr. Stracy, No, no.
Q. How did the Constable and Mr. Busbel behave on this Occasion.
Warrington. They behaved very well for what I could see.
Q. Did you apprehend Bushel to be drunk or sober?
Warrington. I am not a Judge whether he was or was not.
Bird. Answer the Question, do you think he was in Liquor or not?
Warrington. I cannot say whether he was or not. I staid there about half an Hour.
Bird. What Part did I act at that Time?
Warrington. He sat behind the Table: I do not remember what he said.
Bird. Did I oppose the Man's being discharged, or any ways intermeddle?
Warrington. I cannot say any Thing to that, but he did not get off his Seat.
Bird. Please to examine him, my Lord, what Time of the Night he came, and what Time he went away.
Q. What are you?
Tilton. I am principal Watchman of the Parish of St. Martin's.
Q. What Time did you come to the Round-House, on the 15th or 16th of July?
Tilton. Between ten and eleven o'Clock, the 15th of July, at Night, and staid till five o'Clock in the Morning.
Q. In what Manner did Bird behave during that Time?
Tilton. I did not see any thing amiss in his Behaviour, the Prisoners were brought in pretty fast, and he ordered them down into the Hole.
Bird. Ask him whether I went from behind the Table, for I sat at the Table with the Constable to take the Names of the Prisoners down.
Tilton. He was on the other Side of the Table setting the Prisoners Names down; there being so many Prisoners they were ordered down into the Hole, for we could not keep them in the Room. - He did come from behind the Table two or there Times to order the Prisoners into the Hole.
Q. Did he go into the Hole?
Tilton . I do not know whether he went into the Hole, till between four or five in the Morning.
Court. Who went down to put the Prisoners in, and said, he could not put them in; was it the Prisoner or Bushel ?
Tilton. It was Busbel ; he was ordered by Bird.
Q. What was the Expression Bushel made use of when he came up from the Hole?
Tilton. He said there were so many there already, that he could not put any more in; and the Prisoner afterwards said to Bushel , you could not put them in, but I have put them in, in a Minute.
Q. Did you look upon Bushel to be sober?
Tilton. I believe we were all sober, I saw none of us drunk.
Court. How has he behaved in general to the Prisoners, has he behaved handsomely, or with Cruelty?
Tilton. He always behaved well to them, I have seen him dress them when they came in wounded, and with their Heads broke: And he always endeavoured to make Peace among them, when they have quarrelled.
Q. Did he always use them gently; or was he some Times rigorous?
Tilton. Sometimes one Way, and sometimes another.
Council. What Reason did Busbel give, when he said there was so many in the Hole, that he could not put any more in?
Tilton. He said they would be stifled, if there were more put in, and he would put no more in; and Bird went down and put them in.
Bird. Do you think I would have put these three Persons down, if I thought there had not been room for them? Whether I would have put them in, if I had thought to have murdered or destroyed three or four People.
Tilton. I believe he would not have put them in designedly to destroy them.
Q. Was any thing said by Busbel of giving them more Room?
Tilton. Yes, he said if the Door of the Hole was opened for them to come to the Stairs, there would be more Air; and Bird said, if they were let out, they would let the Men out: The Door at the Head is a single Leaf.
Q. Has he the Character of a Person that uses the People kindly or harshly?
Bird. In what Respect do you mean I use them cruelly? Whether with a Broomstick, or what?
Tilton. Why with his Tongue, my Lord.
Bird. Do not you reckon that it is the Duty of the Beadle, and the Constable of the Night, to put these People there?
Tilton. You had no Occasion to do that, for you took that Business out of our Hands.
Bird. I have not any Business with any of the Prisoners, only with the Constable, to attend him and the Watchmen.
Q. Tilton, When he put these People down, was it by the Direction of the Constable, or did he do it of his own Head?
Tilton. He did it of his own Head: The Constable can't read or write, he knew nothing of the Search.
Bird. Did I not do what I could for the Relief of the Prisoners when the Door was opened?
Broadbent. He said there were People very ill, and he desired me to go down: This was after I had been with some Prisoners to Colonel De Veil's. When I saw what a Condition they were in, I spoke to a Person to bleed them.
Bird. Did not I send you for Coclough and Frasbury's young Man; and sent you for Spirits, thinking they were fainting; not imagining this would be their Deaths.
Broadbent. He got Drops to revive them, as soon as well could be, and sent me to Coclough and Perkins.
Q. How many died in the Hole.
Broadbent. There were four died in the Hole; one was quite dead when I went down, and three more died in half an Hour, or three quarters of an Hour; there were six in the Hole then: All the four that died were blooded, as well as those two that lived.
Q. What Condition was the Room in; was it not difficult to breathe in?
Broadbent. It was nauseous with the Sweat of the People.
Edmund Thomas . I am one of the Overseers of the Poor. July 16, about eleven o'Clock he told me, he had had a confused Night of it; for the High-Constable had been out with a Search-Warrant, and he had a great Number of Prisoners; and he said some of them were so very ill, that he was afraid they were near expiring, and desired an Order for the Chair of the Work-house: He did not say any of them were expired .
Bird. How did I behave while you was Constable ?
E. Thomas. I served the Office in 1740 and 1741, and during my Year he behaved with Humanity.
Q. I ask you, Sir, whether that is his general Character, his dealing humanely with his Prisoners?
E. Thomas. He is a hasty hot Man.
Attershall. I have seen him five or six Times; he has brought Prisoners to our House. I know nothing of his Character in this Point.
Bird. He is but young in the Place.
Jonas Gray . I was Constable about three Years ago. I never knew any harm of him; he was apt to quarrel with his Wife sometimes, and then I would bid him go up Stairs, for I reckoned that House mine. - He behaved well to the Prisoners all my Year, - He treated them with Humanity , and oftentimes gave them Victuals and Drink.
Q. Had you ever 20 Prisoners in that Place at one Time?
Gray. I have had nineteen there at one Time, and kept them there four or five Hours. - The Dean and Chapter of Westminster had ordered all the Beggars to be taken up, and they were put in there. - It was in the hard Frost, and they had strong Beer, Bread and Cheese, and Air. - I would not have kept them there without Refreshment, but I think the Constable ought to send them to the Gate-house , or some other Prison.
Q. Did you see any Person in a white Gown?
Gray. I do not know. I think all their Cloaths were hardly worth 5 s. and I think really they were stifled with drinking of Liquors.
Lewis Quondrean . I have been Constable almost twelve Months. Now and then, when the Prisoner was a little in Liquor, he would make a Noise: but to force his Liquor upon People he never did in my Time, nor trouble himself whether they spent any Money or no.
Bird. Sir John, as you are my Council, I desire to know whether it is necessary to send for the Constable of the Night?
Joseph Akins . I was Constable of the Night, when this Accident happened. I went there about eleven o'Clock, and continued there till between four and five in the Morning. I was in the Chair above Stairs all the Time.
Akins. I cannot write.
Q. Did you employ any Body to do it for you?
Akins. I employed none, nor asked none. Bird wrote some of them, I do not know whether he wrote them all or no; he was writing before I came in.
Q. How long was it before you went away, that Bird went down into the Hole?
Akins. I do not know any thing of his going quite down into the Hole.
Q. Is it usual to have the House cleared before you go away?
Akins. It is just as he likes his Customers.
Q. You went down into the Hole, What did you go down for?
Akins . When I was going away, I went down two or three Steps into the Hole, with my Staff in my Hand.
Q. For what Purpose did you go down that Step or two?
Jury. My Lord, he seems to be afraid of charging himself.
Q. What Business had you to stand with your Staff there, when the Prisoner went into the Hole.
[The Witness made no Answer .]
Q. Did you stand at the Top of the Stairs before you left the Round-House , to see the Prisoners confined in the Hole?
Akins . The Prisoners were nothing at all to me; I put none down into the Hole.
Q. Do you know of the Beadle's going down with any?
Akins . No: Neither of his going down, or coming up. -
Court. Speak the Truth, there is no body will ask you any Questions to charge yourself.
Q. Did you see the Beadle go down with any People?
Akins . No, I did not see him go down. Mr. Bushel the Beadle said, There was not Room enough. I cannot say whether Bird went down to the Bottom or no. - He said he had done what Bushel could not do.
Jury. As you was there all Night, did you see any ill Usage from Bird to the Prisoners ?
Akins. I did not see any Thing of any Misbehaviour . - He behaved very well. - I never saw him soberer in my Life. - I believe Bushel was sober.
Q. Sir, answer the Question that was put to you, What you stood on the Stairs , going down into the Hole , with your Staff in your Hand for ?
Akins. Why, it was to see whether what Bushel said could not be done, could be done.
Jury. Did you hear the Cries of the Women in the Hole?
Akins . No, I did not hear any; there was Singing either among the Men or Women, but which I cannot tell: We had more Noise above to drown that below. - I did not see any Gin, or any strong Liquors carried down.
John Howard . I have known the Prisoner almost ever since he was born: I have employed him in writing, and always took him to be a good natured Man, but he is hasty and passionate; - but not cruel or ill-natured.
Ann Mables . I have known him nine Years. When I heard of this Accident, I never was so shocked in my Life; for I always knew him to be a good-natur'd Man, and never knew him to be guilty of a cruel Action.
Ann Catherine Bret , Widow of the late Governor of Bridewell. I have known him three Quarters of a Year, and he always behaved handsomely to the Prisoners, when he has brought any to our House - and sometimes gave them Money .
German Merchant. I have known him ten Years; and he has been often benevolent to the Prisoners, and used them well.
Mark Coney . I have known the Prisoner four Years. I never saw any Thing but that his Temper was very well. I served Constable last Year, he behaved very well, unless he was a little in Liquor, and then I used to bid him go out of the House. - He behaved very well to the Prisoners.
Mark Hodgson . I have known him three Years. I served the Office of Constable last Year, and his Behaviour was always very civil to the Prisoners, and he has given distressed Prisoners Money to relieve them.
The Evidence being gone through, it was observed by the Court, on Behalf of the Prisoner, that the first Part of the Charge, viz. his forcing, putting, and placing her in this Hole, was so far from being prov'd , that the contrary appear'd on Evidence; and they doubted, whether it being so laid, it was not become necessary to be proved. It was said on the Part of the Crown, that if in the first Instance she was not forced, yet from the Time she cried out for Relief, and desired they might be thinned or let out, the continuing her there was a forcible Consinement; and the continuing her there, knowing
Upon the Whole, the Jury found the Verdict Special to the following Effect, viz. We find that William Bird , the Person indicted, on the 15th and 16th of July last, was Keeper of St Martin's Round-House in Middlesex. And that Mary, the Wife of John Maurice , in the Indictment named, was duly committed on the same 16th of July, to the said Keeper, to be there kept in safe Custody. And we further find, that while the said Mary Maurice was in Custody of the said Keeper as aforesaid, one Sarah Bland , who was then also in the Custody of the said William Bird , as Keeper aforesaid, was on the same 16th Day of July, about the Hour of two in the Morning of the same Day, forced, put, and placed, by the said William Bird , in a certain close Room, called the Hole, then being Part of the Building, called St Martin's Round-House. And we further find, that the said Mary Maurice then desired the said William Bird , that she might go down into the said Hole along with the said Sarah Bland ; and that she did accordingly go with the said Sarah Bland into the said Hole. And we further find, that the said Mary Maurice, soon after she was in the said Hole, as aforesaid, did request the said William Bird to be released out of the said Hole. But we further find, that on the same 16th Day of July, the said. William Bird, notwithstanding such Request of the said Mary Maurice, to be released out of the said close Room, called the Hole, as aforesaid, did continue and confine the said Mary Maurice, being so in the Hole as aforesaid, for the Space of two Hours, against the Will and Consent of her the said Mary Maurice, during all which Time there were twenty other Persons confined as Prisoners by the said William Bird, in the same close Room, as in the said Indictment is alledged. And we further find, that the said close Room, during the Time aforesaid, was not of sufficient Largeness to confine twenty Persons therein, for the Space of one Hour, without manifest Danger of their Lives, as in the said indictment is also alledged. And we further find, that by Reason of the said continuing and confining her the said Mary, by the said William Bird, in Form aforesaid, in the said close Room, she, the said Mary, during the said Time of her Confinement as aforesaid, viz. on the said 16th Day of July in the close Room aforesaid, was suffocated, and that she there died, during the Time of her said Confinement, of such Suffocation, as in the said Indictment is also alledged. But we find that the said William Bird did not force, put, or place the said Mary Maurice, into the said close Room, called the Hole, as in the said Indictment is also alledged: We find all other Matters and Circumstances necessary for bringing the Point in Issue before the Court; But whether the said William Bird is guilty of the Felony and Murder in the said Indictment supposed, we know not. But if upon the Whole, &c.*
* William Bird was likewise arraigned on an Indictment, for the Murder of Phillis Wells , Spinster. And also on another Indictment, for the Murder of Ann Branch , Spinster; both which Trials were put off to the next Sessions.