James Raven, Sexual Offences > rape, 26th February 1746.

Reference Number: t17460226-32
Offence: Sexual Offences > rape
Verdict: Not Guilty
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122. James Raven of the Parish of Stoke-Newington , not having the Fear of God before his Eyes , on the 31st of July , feloniously committed a Rape on the Body of Mary Irish .

Court. (to Irish) I find the Prisoner at the Bar is charg'd with committing a Rape on your Body.

Irish. I liv'd at Kingsland, at one Mr. Butter's. On the 31st of July I was going to my Master's House. Going on an Errand, this young Man met me, and two more. Two held my Leggs, the other stopp'd my Mouth with his Hand. I was going for my Master's Cows when this young Man met me; I got from him, but he follow'd me and threw me into the Ditch .

Q. How many in Company were there?

Irish. Four. Two held my Legs, one stopp'd my Mouth.

Q. What did the Prisoner do to you?

Irish. The young Man the Prisoner lay with me.

Court. I find you are a marry'd Woman, you understand what is meant by lying with you. Had he Knowledge of your Body, as your Husband has had ?

Irish. Yes.

Q. Had he this Knowledge of you whilst these two People held your Legs and the other stopp'd your Mouth?

Irish. Yes.

Court. This you say was on the 31st of July last.

Irish. Yes.

Q. How happen'd this Prosecution was not commenced before now?

Irish. I could not find the Person out. When I went home to my Master and Mistress, I complain'd sadly that I had been us'd at this Rate.

Court. You say you complain'd to your Master and Mistress at the same Time, the same Evening.

Irish. Yes.

Q. What Time of the Day was this?

Irish. At Eleven o'Clock in the Morning.

Q. Where was this?

Irish. By the Highway between Kingsland and Newington, the Corner of the Fields?

Court. And was this about Eleven o'Clock in the Morning.

Irish. Yes, Sir, Eleven o'Clock in the Morning.

Court. Look upon the Prisoner at the Bar, was he one of the Persons?

Irish. That was the young Man that lay with me.

Q. Was there any Person near that knew any Thing of it?

Irish. There was a young Woman in the Field, pretty near, that spoke to me about it three Weeks after .

Court. You say this Woman in the Field told you of it three Weeks after; when did you come to know that the Prisoner at the Bar was concern'd in it?

Irish. She told me she knew them all. This was Weeks after the Fact.

Q. When did you take up the Prisoner at the Bar?

Irish. Lately.

Q. How happen'd it you did not take him up before ?

Irish. I had never a Friend to stir in it, to take him up.

Q. Where did you find the Prisoner?

Irish. At his own House in Old-Street.

Q. This Woman told you three Weeks after the Fact was committed, that he liv'd with his Father, and that his Father was a Housekeeper in Old-Street. This Person that told you the Prisoner at the Bar was one of the Persons, could she tell you who the others were?

Irish. She only knew the Prisoner at the Bar.

Q. And this Relation you had three Weeks after the Fact.

Irish. Yes.

Q. Has your Father never been about getting some Money of this Man to make it up?

Irish. Not as I know of.

Q. What Highway was this; is it not a publick Road?

Irish. Yes, Sir.

Q. And if this Woman in the Field could see this Fact; if you had scream'd out, all these Pease-pickers must have heard you. What, none of these come to your Assistance? For these Pease-pickers were in Sight as well as this Woman. Did you tell any other Neighbour, or any other Person besides your Master and Mistress, of it? Were you got with Child by this Time?

Irish. Yes, Sir.

Q. (to Anne Price ) What do you know of this Matter?

Price. I was in the Pease-Field , I heard Murder cry'd out. It was of a Tuesday, in the Pease Season. And coming along, who should we see but young Raven run over the Field. And he went to hurl Stones and Dirt at us. There came a Fellow up in a red Waistcoate, and swore, I'll have your Legs open. I saw nothing any farther.

Q. Where is this Pease-Field ?

Price. In the further Side of the Road.

Q. Where were these People?

Price. They were running out of the Room

Q. Therefore you saw him first in the Road, that he run over the Fields, the other Side of the Road: so that the first Sight you had of him was in the Road that parts these two Fields. When did you see that Woman afterwards?

Price. The next Day, and her Mistress was forced to put her to Bed.

Q. You saw him running , and this you told her the very next Day.

Price. Yes.

Q. (to Mary Edwards ) What have you to say of the Prisoner at the Bar , touching this Matter?

Edwards. Please you my Lord, we were in the Pease-Field , and heard Murder cry'd. With that I went out of the Field, I saw the Man in the Ditch, and could see nothing but the Woman's Cap and Sleeve of her Gown.

Q. Did you see the Prisoner at the Bar?

Edwards. Yes, please you my Lord. In some Time after they run over the Fields; and one of them said, the Bitch was not willing, but I help'd to hold her Legs.

Q. Did you see the Prosecutor that Night?

Edwards. I can't say I ever saw her since that Time, before Yesterday.

Q. Then she was gone before the Men came away.

Edwards. She was gone before we got to the Side of the Hedge.

Q. (to the Prisoner) Now is your Time for making your Defence.

Prisoner. Please you my Lord, I was not there that Day this Thing happen'd: Nor ever saw the Woman in the whole Course of my Life, 'till I was taken up.

Q. (to - Turner) Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar? Do you know any Thing of the Prosecutor's Father-in-Law offering to make it up?

Turner. That he had a Warrant to take up Mr. Raven's Son. He said, the Matter would be made up on pretty easy Terms. The Prisoner's Father and I took him into a Room. We put it to him, have you been guilty of such a Thing? He answer'd, no, if he was to be hang'd at the Door.

And after the Prosecutor's Father came to my House, and ask'd what we intended to do. That Warrant we took out is not strong enough, but the second is. The Father did say he tore the first Warrant. I told the Justice it was not tore.

Q. I ask you whether from July to this Time, this young Fellow absconded from his Business.

Turner. No, not at all.

Q. Now I ask you what Character has the young Man borne?

Turner. A very good one. I never knew or saw any such Thing of him.

Q. (to Raven) Do you know the Prisoner at the Bar ?

Raven. Yes, Sir. I am his Uncle. He has work'd with me backwards and forwards for some Years, and quite as honest a Lad as any in England.

Q. You think he is a sober, honest Lad, that would not be guilty with such a Woman.

Raven. No.

Q. Now, I would ask you, from July to this Time has he ever absconded?

Raven. No, never; but carry'd out Beer constantly .

Samuel Gould . I never heard any ill Word out of his Mouth, ever since he has come to my House, he has been publick in Business ever since this Fact is said to have been committed.

Q. Did you take him to be a sober Lad, or a prostigate Lad, that would go to ravish a Woman?

Q. (to John Bury ) How long have you known the Prisoner?

Buoy. I have known him for some Years.

Q. Do you think he is a Lad that would do such a Thing?

Buoy. No, he has not Impudence enough for that. He is quite a modest, sober Lad.

Q. (to - Samson) How long have you known the Prisoner?

Samson. I have known him from a Child.

Q. What Character has he bore ?

Samson. A very modest Character. I never saw him offer to kiss a Girl in my Life.

Q. You think he would not be guilty of such an enormous Crime.

Samson. No, nothing like it. He has been at my House twice a Week. And I think it wrong in the Prisoner's Friends that they did not bring more People to his Character: If they would, they might have brought half the Parish.

Acquitted .


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