Robert Hains.
13th January 1727
Reference Numbert17270113-14

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Robert Hains of the Parish of St. Margaret's Westminster , was indicted for the Murder of Edward Perry , by giving him one mortal Wound with a drawn Sword, on the left part of the Right Breast, near the short Ribs, of the Breadth of half an Inch and the Depth of 12 Inches, on the 28th of Decemb . of which Wound he languished till the 10th Day of January following, and then died . He was a second Time indicted on the Statute of Stabbing. He was a third Time indicted on the Coroner's Inquest for Murther.

Humphrey Toms thus depos'd. Edward Perry (the Deceased) and his Wife and I, were going cross St. James's Park on Wednesday was a Fortnight, between 7 and 8 o'Clock in the Evening, to see Mary Pool a little Way home; Edward Perry and I were foremost about 20 or 30 Yards when we met the Prisoner, who past us and meddled with Mary Pool; upon which Mrs. Perry cry'd out, and we went back to see what was the Matter, and Edward Perry asked the Prisoner why he meddled with the Women; upon which the Prisoner drew his Sword and stuck him, I saw the Pass, saw the Push given, and was within a Yard of the Deceased when he fell, crying out I am a dead Man; neither the Deceased or my self had either Sword or Stick, nor was there any Offence given to the Prisoner, only the Deceased asked him why he meddled with the Women, but never once lifted up his Hand against the Prisoner.

Mr. James Pringle the Surgeon depos'd. That he went to see the Deceased the next Morning after the Wound was given, and found it to be mortal, and that it was done with a Sword, which went in at the 5th Rib on the Right Side, and came out between the 6th and 7th Rib on the Left, and that it had all the Symptoms of being mortal, insomuch that he did not expect the Deceased could have lived Forty eight Hours, notwithstanding he lived 14 Days; and that after he was dead he opened him, and found it had penetrated the Diaphragma, or Midriff, and through the Left Lobe of the Lungs.

Ann Perry thus depos'd. Going over St. James's Park between 7 and 8 o'Clock at Night, my Husband and Humphrey Tonis were before us, and Mary Pool and I followed at a little Distance, the Prisoner passed my Husband and Humphry Toms, but when he came to us laid hold of Mary Pool about the Neck and Throat, in such a Manner as it he wanted to strangle her, more than to salute her; upon which I called to my Husband, who came back, and only ask'd why he did so? the Prisoner gave no Answer but drew his Sword, and thrust it through my Husband's Body in such a violent Manner, that the Point of the Sword penetrated my Thumb so that it festred for near a Week afterwards; my Husband had neither Stick nor Sword, nor so much as offered to lift up his Hand against the Prisoner, but cried out he was a dead Man. The Prisoner made off, and I called out to the Centry, but they did not stop him.

Mary Pool thus depos'd. I having been at Edward Perry 's House in Long-ditch in Corkcutter's Alley, Edward Perry , Ann Perry , and Humphrey Toms , went to see me Part of my Way home; and as we came near Story's-Gate, the Men being before us, the Prisoner took hold of me and almost choak'd me, and laid his Mouth to mine; what he intended I know not, for I was so much frighted that the first Words I heard was from Edward Perry; who cried out he was a dead Man.

Edward Perks thus depos'd. I was coming cross the Park, and before I came to the Chapel I heard a great Noise, and just as I came up to them I heard a Person say he was a dead Man: I assisted to carry the Deceased to the Angel, his Wife taking him by one Arm, and I the other, he being unable to walk; I staid there and saw his Wounds dressed, but the Doctor did not search both Wounds, and the Woman said her Husband was a dead Man.

The Serjeant depos'd. That when he heard what had happened, he sent for Dr. Pringle, who was their own Surgeon, and when the Deceased came to his Speech, he declared he had no Sword with him.

The Prisoner in his Defence said, He did not draw his Sword, but that Toms followed him, assaulted him and beat him, and that Perry gave him several Strokes with a Stick.

Bryan Higgins depos'd. That on Wednesday was a Fortnight the Prisoner and he coming from their Quarters to their Lodgings in Thieving-Lane, Westminster, between 7 and eight o'Clock at Night, they met some Soldiers and pass'd them, and afterwards met the Women, and the Prisoner went to kiss them, and the Man which is dead turned about and struck him cross the Head and Shoulders, and swore D - n his Soul he would see him out, and that he pushed 3 or 4 Times at the Prisoner near Story's-Gate, and that the Prisoner retreated, and that Toms had no Sword, but he had a Stick, and that Perry had a Sword; but this Deponent having neither Sword nor Stick, did not care to go between two drawn Swords, and that they were not long about it.

Thomas Osborn thus depos'd. Coming home from my Quarters with the Prisoner, we met the Deceased and Toms and pass'd them, and afterwards met the Women, but did not know that they belonged to them, Ann Perry called out, and Toms came back and gave Hains a Stroke over the Back with a Stick, then struck him over the Head and made him reel: Hains asked him what that was for, but I saw no Sword drawn on either Side, but Toms said he would see him out.

Corporal Davis depos'd. That the second Night after the Deceased was wounded he went to see him, and asked him how he did, who answer'd but indifferent, and told him he was very weak; then asked his Wife how this Affair happened, she told him the Prisoner took the Woman about the Neck and almost strangled her, and upon that she called to her Husband, who came back, and the Prisoner wounded him in a most barbarous Manner; upon which the

Deceased said, hold your Tongue, for I believe we were all fuddled, and added, that he hoped he should recover for his own Sake and for the young Man's Sake, that he forgave him although he had neither Stick nor Sword.

Serjeant Hare thus depos'd. The Night the Quarrel happened they had pursued the Prisoner home to my House, the Prisoner had a naked Sword in his Hand, and they said he had killed a Man, upon which I took the Sword from him, and carried him to the Tilt-Yard.

The Prisoner had his Regimental Coat on, and there was a Hole in the Right Side of it, and his Thumb was cut and all bloody, and he complained that he got it in a Quarrel with the Deceased; his Sword I delivered to Charles Moody , a Drum in the Company I belong to; the Prisoner has lodged at my House near five Months, in the same Room with Thomas Osborn and Bryan Higgins ; he always kept good Hours, and was not given to Quarrel.

Corporal Smith thus depos'd During the Prisoner's Confinement in the Tilt-Yard I saw his Coat and Wastecoat, which seemed to be run through with a Sword, I likewise saw his Thumb bound up with a Handkerchief, but had not the Curiosity to see in what Manner it was wounded: The Prisoner was 8 Months with me in the Barracks in the Tower, and was always a quiet Fellow, and always declined and avoided Quarrels.

Colonel Williamson thus depos'd. The Prisoner is the Son of an old Soldier that is now disabled, and his Father requested me to do something for his Son, I told him that I could not at present, but recommended him to Colonel Price's Regiment, but advised him to take no Bounty Money, and then when any Thing better offer'd he might the easier get a Discharge; the Prisoner is a pretty good Scholar, and understands Latin, and during his being at the Tower, which was near a Year, he behaved so well that I gave him the liberty to come into my Kitchen, and he always appeared to be a very modest Fellow; and for wearing a Sword it is a standing Order, that no Soldier shall be Seen in the Street without his Sword on, which makes me believe the Deceased might have a Sword.

Some of the Evidences for the Prisoner directly contradicting what had been sworn in favour of the Deceased, the Court thought it necessary to ask the former Evidence some further Questions; upon which Ann Perry declared, She saw no Body with the Prisoner, not any Company pass by, but only stragling or single Persons, and that she neither saw Osborn or Higgins to her Knowledge, and that there was no Violence offer'd to the Prisoner, neither did Toms give any Blow.

Humphrey Toms declared, That he saw no Person with the Prisoner, and that he knew Higgins and Osborn by fight, but they were not there.

Edward Perks said, That he help'd to carry the Deceased to his Lodgings, and that he saw neither Sword nor Stick, nor had the Deceased so much as his Sword Belt on.

The Prisoner's Coat and Wastcoat were produced in Court and shown to the Jury, but upon Examination, the Holes in the Coat and Wastcoat did not correspond, being on contrary sides of the Body. The Jury found the Prisoner guilty of all the Indictments. Death .

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