George Turner, Killing > murder, 11th September 1734.

Reference Number: t17340911-5
Offence: Killing > murder
Verdict: Not Guilty > accidental death
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5. George Turner , was indicted for the Murder of Ann Croft , by forcing a Horse on which he rode to run against her, by which means the Horse threw her down, and with his Feet kick'd her on the Head, and thereby gave her several mortal Wounds and Bruises in the Head, on the 1st of August last; of which Wounds and Bruises she languish'd till the 8th Day of the same Month, and then dy'd.

He was a second time indicted on the Coroner's inquisition for Manslaughter.

John Corder . On the 1st of August I saw the Prisoner come riding over Fulham-bridge, and turn up Bear-street, which is the High-street in Fulham . He rid a full Gallop as fast as his Horse could well go. In turning the Corner going into Bear-street he had like to have rid over a Maid who was leading two Children. One of the Children fell down, but whether the Horse kick'd the Child or no I can't tell. On the Child's falling he look'd back, and then whipt his Horse forward. I stood then at the King's-Arm Door which faces Bear-street.

Prisoner. Did not the Horse run away with me?

Corder. No, I saw you whip him.

John Goodwin . After the Prisoner turn'd the Corner by the Church-bridge, he whipt his Horse into Bear-street as hard as he could go, for he was presently out of sight, though he came a great pace before he turn'd the Corner.

Robert South . As I was going up the Town with a piece of Timber on my Shoulder, the Deceas'd was crossing the way; and the Prisoner came Riding full speed from the Corner of Bear Street; and at 9 or 10 Yards distance from the Deceas'd, he call'd out to her to get out of the way. She endeavour'd to do so as fast as she could; but instead of that, as it happen'd, she got more in the way, for the Horse jumpt out of the Track; and taking a wheel towards the Posts in the Path-way, ran against the Deceas'd and beat her down; and his Hind-Leg catch'd in her Petticoats and threw him upon his Knees. This was about 20 Yards from the Corner turning out of Bear-Street, and I believe 200 Yards from the Church-bridge - My Face was not towards the Prisoner when he first call'd out.

Peter Osgood . I stood at the King's-Arms Door: The Prisoner rid up Bear-Street, and when he came over against Dr. Dwight's Door, which is about 20 Yards from where I was, he gave the Horse 2 or 3 cuts, though I thought the Horse went as fast as he could before.

Council. How did he hold the Horse?

Osgood. With his left Hand, and cut him softly with right Hand.

Council. Did you apprehend that he endeavour'd to stop the Horse or force him forward?

Osgood. I thought he did not endeavour to stop, but rather to push him forward.

Prisoner to Robert South . Was not I thrown off the Horse when the Deceas'd was beat down?

South. Yes, the Horse's foot hitch'd in her Petticoats, and so he fell on his Knees and you fell over his Head, and then you got up and desir'd me to assist you in helping the Deceas'd up.

John Snow . I keep the King's-Arms. I stood under my Gateway when the Prisoner rid up the Town: He whipt his Horse 2 or 3 times, and said to Osgood, That Fellow ought to be knocked off his Horse to prevent his doing Mischief. I did not see him ride against the Deceased, for I was about 150 Yards off.

John Lovejoy. My Shop's about half way between the Kings-Arms and the Place where the Accident happen'd. The Prisoner whipt his Horse as he rode by my Door, and a Butcher said to him, You Blood of a Bitch! What do you ride so hard for? You'll do some Mischief.

John Cook the Butcher. You Son of a Bitch you, says I, What do you ride so fast along the street for? You'll ride over Somebody by and by. The Prisoner made some answer, but I did not hear what it was, and his Horse run rather faster than before. Indeed I did not see him whip or spur the Horse, but he bore upon his Stirrups and lean'd forward; and I did not observe that he endeavour'd to pull the Horse in.

John Beacham . I was going out of my Father's Yard with a piece of Timber, and was about 10 Yards from the Accident. My Face was towards the Prisoner as he rid by our Gate, and just after he past me, my Partner, Robin South , said, Damn you come out; the Man has rid over the Woman. I look'd, and the Prisoner was beat down, and the Prisoner's left Foot hung in the Stirrup, and part of his Body was on the Ground; but getting up, he raised the Deceas'd, but she fell again in his Lap, For God sake Brother, says he, lend me a Hand to help her up, and so I did. Before the Prisoner came to our Gate I heard Somebody call out, Get out of the way, but am not sure it was he that spoke.

Court. Did the Horse stand still after he was disentangled?

Beacham. No; he run down Sow gilders-Lane.

- Wilkins. After the Accident, the Prisoner was carried to the King's-Arms. He was looking out of the Window as I was going by, and I said to him, It's a sad Misfortune that you have been guilty of, and it's strange that you could not stop your Horse. He answer'd, I bid her get out of the way - But if it cost me 50 or 60 l. I shan't value that.

William Hassam . I was in the Room where the Prisoner was detain'd 2 or 3 Hours. He struck his whip upon the Table, and said, God Damn it, here I am detain'd for killing one old Woman, and I might have kill'd half a dozen in London - and then he turn'd about and look'd out of the Window.

William Ward . I heard him say, God Damn it, I am contain'd here for nothing. What signifies killing an old Woman or two? If I had been in London I might have killed 5 or 6 in the time.

Robert Price , Surgeon. The Deceas'd past by my Door, and spoke to me a little before the Accident. In half an Hour I was sent for, and found her in the Road Speechless, and to all appearance Dead. She had a large contused Wound in her Head, a little above the Temporal Muscle, and her Skull was laid bare. She had likewise another contused Wound on her Nose. She died on the 8th of August, about 11 at Night.

The Prisoner's Defence.

Prisoner. I was coming from Petersham to London; I paid the Turnpike at Putney-gate, and as I was going over the Bridge, about the middle of it, a Knife Grinder set down his Barrow, at which the Horse started, and had like to have thrown me over the Rails into the Thames; and then he ran forward with such force, that the Fulham Turnpike keeper perceiving it, he threw open the Gate for fear I should fall upon the Spikes. My Horse got the Bitt out of his Mouth, so that I could not manage him. I call'd to the Woman to get out of the way; and told her I could not stop the Horse. And if I gave him a Cut or two it was to prevent his running against a Post.

William Hart . I am a Servant to Mr. Toriana. I was with the Prisoner when he paid the Turnpike at Putney, and going over the Bridge, a Knife-grinder coming from Fulham, set down his Barrow, at which the Prisoner's Horse took such a Fright, that I thought he would have leap'd over the Rails. The Turnpike Man at Fulham threw open the Gate, and let him through; and he ran as fast as he could go, till I lost sight of him.

Ann Throp . I heard the Prisoner call to the Deceas'd to get out of the way, and presently the Horse jump'd out of the Track, and the Prisoner fell over his Head.

Martha Butler . I stood up for fear of the Horse. The Prisoner call'd 3 or 4 times to the Deceas'd to get out of the way, and he held his Horse as much as he could; but the Horse ran against the Deceas'd, and threw her down in Sow-gelders-lane.

Court. Sow-gelders-lane? I apprehend (by what the other Witnesses swore) that it was in Bear-street?

Butler. Sow-gelders-lane turns out of Bear-street - The Corner goes by a sort of around, and it was a little way down this Lane that she was kill'd - It is not much farther than to yonders Spikes - So that the Prisoner could not see the Deceas'd before he came to this turning.

Robin South , again. Yes, it was in Sowgelders-lane about 25 Yards down from the Corner of Bear-street.

Elizabeth Piggot . My Master's Door is at the End of Bear-street at the Corner of the turning, and the Prisoner coming to the Corner, cry'd, Hollo! Get out of the way, I can't stop my Horse.

Cornelius Matthews. I stood at the End of Sow-gelders-lane. I heard the Prisoner cry out before I saw him, and I did not see him till he turn'd the Corner, and then he lean'd back with his Hands to the Reins, and in a Minute's time the Horse was down, and the Rider too.

William Warren . I was just by where the Accident happen'd. The Prisoner cry'd Hallo! Have a care, I can't stop my Horse. The Deceas'd led a Child in her Hand, but the Child got loose.

Mr. Wailwright. The Day after the Misfortune the Prisoner came to me, and exprest a great deal of concern, and desired me to Visit the Deceas'd, which I did - I never saw him disguis'd in Liquor, I believe he is as sober a Man as any in the World; and I don't think he would hurt a Worm.

The Prisoner's Master. The Prisoner was a very sober Man - I know the Horse was apt to start; and when he did, there was Nobody could stop; him for the more he was pull'd back the worse he would be, and the Prisoner was not used to ride him.

Mr. Horn. I knew it was a run-away Horse - I have known the Prisoner a great many Years; a very sober, civil, and obliging Servant ; and if he was out of Place to Morrow, I would take him before any other.

Mr. Ingram. The Prisoner was Servant to my Nieces upwards of 13 Years, and always behav'd himself very sedately I never saw him inclin'd to be Mischievous, ill-natur'd, and don't think him capable of so rash an Action, as wilfully riding full speed through a Town - He has appear'd very much dejected since the Misfortune.

The Jury acquitted him, and found that Ann Cross received her Death Accidentally .


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