Christopher Atkinson.
6th December 1721
Reference Numbert17211206-9
VerdictNot Guilty

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Christopher Atkinson , of St. Clement Danes , was indicted for the Murder of Alice Peak by beating, kicking, and bruising the said Alice, on the Head, Stomach, Belly, and other parts of her Body, on the 23d of October last, of which she languish'd till the 26th of the same Month, and then dy'd . He was a second time indicted on the Coroners Inquest for the same Murder.

Alice Lansdown , Mary Joice , Elizabeth Welch , and Ellenor Austin , depos'd, that they (being at Mr. Barthow's Door, near Smithfield Bars) saw the Prisoner grasp the Deceased by the Throat, and force her into a Coach; and saw the Blood issue from the Mouth and Nose of the Deceased, who lay dead (to appearance) for some time. That the Deceased made some resistance, and begg'd for Bail; that next Day the Deceased being bail'd, and a Surgeon sent to bleed her, she said she was a dying Woman; and that the Deceased being then in Bed, never came out of it after. Mrs. Hart depos'd, that the Deceased being just come out of Newgate, was arrested by the Prisoner; that this Deponent offering to get Bail, the Prisoner struck her with his Cane, and call'd her Old Bitch; that while she was gone for Bail, the Deceased was carried to the Coach. That the Deceased told her, that the Prisoner threw her down a pair of Stairs in his own House, and that if it had not been for Lad who stood at the foot of the Stairs, she should have fell down another pair. That the Deceased said, the prisoner stampt on her Belly in the Coach, and that she laid her Death to him. Uriah Rimington and Thomas Gray depos'd, that they went to the prisoner's House to bail the Deceased; that the Deceased begg'd of them to get her out, for she was afraid she should be murdered; adding, that the Prisoner had thrown her down Stairs. But being cross examin'd. Rimington said, that the next Day he heard the Deceased and Mrs. Hart ask the prisoner's pardon for assaulting him. Alice Harly depos'd, that going to see the Deceased on her Death-bed, she told her that she was in bodily Health before the prisoner arrested her, and that he had been her Death; but that she freely forgave him, and hoped God would also. That she, this Deponent, heard the prisoner say to Hart, Ye old Bitch, will you rescue my Prisoner? and then struck her, Mrs. Hart, with a Key. Grace Duffy confirm'd the same.

The prisoner in his Defence said, that having arrested the Deceased at her own Door, Hart came up, struck him on the Head with a Key, thrust the Deceased into the House, and shut thee Door upon her: That then as he was going in at the Window, the Deceased open'd the Door; that he took her by the Arm, and with the help of two more ( she strugling and catching hold of every thing she could reach brought her to the Coach; where being prest by the Mob, he ran his Head against the edge of the Coach Door which let his Nose a bleeding; and that if any Blood was seen on the Deceased, it came from his Nose and not from her.

Mr. Hawkins, the Surgeon, depos'd, that on opening the Body of the Deceased, he found it fair and fresh with in; and by the nicest inspection, he could not perceive she had received any outward injury. Mr. Frances, Apothecary, deposed, that a Week before the Deceased's death, he found her in a Malignant Fever, somewhat delirious, her Pulse very irregular; that her illne's did not proceed from any Blows or Bruises, but from other Hardships, as Cold, and want of Necessaries, Alice Smith and John Barthow deposed that it was the Prisoner that bled and not the Deceas'd; that all the Evidences for the Deceas'd were scandalous Persons, and particularly, that Hart was a wicked abandon'd Wretch, and would swear any thing. The Jury considering the whole, acquitted him.


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