James Deciers.
30th June 1714
Reference Numbert17140630-31
VerdictGuilty > manslaughter
SentenceMiscellaneous > branding

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James Deciers , of the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields , was indicted for the Murder of Patrick Drew on the 19th of June , by giving him a Mortal wound with a Rapier, on the back Part of his Body near the Rump-Bone, of which he languish'd till the 23d of the same Month, and then dy'd. The first Evidence set forth, That the Prisoner going to the Commissaries Office in order to his Establishment as a Half-pay Lieutenant in the Regiment of Colonel William Stanhope , found his Name left out, and Drew's put in his stead; which very much disturb'd him at the present; but the Clerk telling him a Certificate would set the Matter right, he was pretty well pacify'd, and went away: And another swore, That the Prisoner coming upon the Parade, took the Deceas'd by the Button in a fury, and said he must go along with him; and that they went together, and soon after the Deceas'd was brought back wounded. Another, That he was at a distance, and saw the Deceas'd parrying with his Cane against the Prisoner's Sword, who was pushing at him; and then he drew, and after some Thrusts fell down, and the Prisoner thrust once or twice as he lay; and that he got up again, and they fought till the Deaceas'd was disabled by a Wound in his Sword-wrist. There was another who swore the Prisoner thrust the Deceas'd whilst he was down. The Prisoner in his Defence said, That having found how ungentlemanlike the Deceas'd had us'd himin the Commissaries Office, and meeting him immediately in the Parade, ask'd him if he had a Commission in Stanhope's Regiment, he bid him come along with him, and he should see it; and that accordingly he went with him near the end of the Mall , and there the Deceas'd struck him on the Head with his Cane and drew;

and thereupon he drew, and receiv' two wounds before the Deceas'd had any. He had several Witnesses who swore, That they saw him go up to the deceas'd in a very civil Manner, and that they walk'd together till the Prisoner receiv'd a Blow upon the Head, and then they both drew, but could not tell which drew first. A Gentleman swore, That he saw the Action, and the Deceas'd fell, but that he was up again immediately, and receiv'd no Wound when he was down, and he believ'd he receiv'd the Wound in his Back by turning round to get away; the Prisoner then making so full a thrust at him, that if he had not turn'd, he had run him through the Body. The Prisoner had Gentlemen who gave him a good Character; and upon a full hearing, the Jury found him Guilty of Manslaughter .

[Branding. See summary.]

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