Offence: Killing > murder
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Henry Tankard Esq ; was Try upon two Indictm. one at Common Law, the other upon the Statute of Stabbing, for the Murder of John Burton , Gent. on the 1st of September . The Evidence swore, that Mr. Tankard went into King-street to the House of one Thomas Smith in Bloomsbury, about Eight a Clock in the Morning, and after a little time, in came the Deceased Mr. Burton, and after they had Talked privately together, Mr. Tankard went out first, and Mr. Burton followed him, and into the long Field behind Southampton House they go, and there they Fight, and immediately Mr. Burton fell down upon his Face and Died; after which, Mr. Tankard made away, but was stopp'd by the aforesaid Mr. Smith, and he telling him that he had Kill'd a Man, Mr. Tankard desired he would send his Son or some body to see if he were Dead, adding, that he was very sorry for it, and hoped that he had not Kill'd him: There were other concuring Evidence, who agreed in their relation as to matter of Fact, how that Mr. Burton was found Dead, lying upon his Face, with his Sword lying under him not Drawn, and a Mortal Wound upon his Breast, of the depth of five Inches: The Swords were produced in Court, and Mr. Tankard was told, that his Sword was a very Unlawful one to fight a Duel withal, and much longer than Mr. Burton's, &c. The Prisoner Mr. Tankard declared, that he had no design of Fighting, but went only to take a Walk towards Tatnam Court, and when he came into the Field, Mr. Burton drew upon him, having first told him that he had oftentimes affronted him about drinking Healths; for that when Mr. Burton did begin any Health, the Prisoner would always oppose him or contradict him one way or other, therefore he did immediately demand Satisfaction of him, so to fighting they went, and he was so unfortunate as to give him the Wound, for which he was very sorry, and had ever since been under great trouble of Mind for so sad an Accident; besides after he had Wounded him, he put up his Sword, and endeavoured to lead him away to a Surgeon, but he fell down Dead before he had led him far. The Prisoner called one Evidence, who proved that they were at the Globe Tavern in Chancery-lane over Night, and were very good Friends then, only there were some Healths drank, but no distaste was seen to arise there about it. The Tryal lasted very long, and the Evidence was particularly Summed up to the Jury, who were desired carefully to weigh the nature of the Crime according to their Consciences, so were ordered to withdraw, and after some considerable time, they return'd a Verdict, that Mr. Tankard was guilty of Murder, but not upon the Statute of Stabbing.