Offence: Killing > murder
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404. John Gray , late of St. Paul's Shadwell , was indicted for Felony and Murder, that he, on the 21st of May , on Ann his wife , with a certain knife made of iron and steel, that he held in his right hand, on the throat of the said Ann, did strike and cut, giving the said Ann one mortal wound, length five inches, depth three inches, of which she instantly died . He also stood charged on the Coroner's Inquest for the said murder.
Michael Murray . The prisoner's wife lived a servant with me. On Sunday, the 21st of May, they were at breakfast together (as I suppose) in the kitchen about ten o'clock in the morning; what words passed between them, I know not; but my boy called to me, and said, Mr. Gray had killed his wife, I turned about, and ran to him, she fell just by the bar-door, he stood by her. I saw the wound on her neck, I put my hand upon it, and called for a Doctor or Surgeon; the wind and blood coming out so fast, she died directly. Her throat and wind-pipe were cut a-cross, almost from ear to ear: said I, you rogue, do not stir, she is dead, and you shall be hanged; I got hold of him, and took the knife out of his hand. I was obliged to strike him twice before I could get it out of his hand. [The knife was shewed in Court, a case-knife with a round point.] here is the blood on it, his hands trembled, and he swore and curs'd. He said, he did the thing, and he did not want to go off; saying, he would be hang'd first. He was not at all daunted at the thing. The next day he said he was willing to die for it.
George Potter . I was backwards behind the kitchen, the prisoner and his wife were together, I heard her shrike out; I ran to see, and called my master, who put his hand upon the wound; I ran for a Doctor; the prisoner was standing in the kitchen with the knife in his hand. Just as she fell I past him, who said, Now I have done it. On the day before he beat her, and abused her with bad names, and then he threatened to kill her. This was a little after two o'clock; I was in the kitchen with them.
David Ryon . The Saturday night, betwixt 11 and 12 at night, the night before the prisoner murdered his wife, the prisoner said (before the other two servants and a lodger and I) You whore, I'll see an end of you: no-body shall see you more. This was spoke in the fore-room. Thomas Hide , one of the men that heard this, is now at Bristol. He then struck her three or four times over the face; he went out with a bundle of clothes, when he returned early the next morning, and knock'd at the door, we would not let him in till about 8 o'clock; he went and lay down on a bench at the back-door, and slept. When the door was opened he came in, and went up stairs, and came down again; he did so several times. I went up and told his wife, her husband had been asking for her: she came down and made a fire, and set on the tea-kettle, he came and sat down near her; they had some grumbling words, I cannot tell what. I heard her say, she desired none of his talk, and desired he would let her alone; then I stepped out of the kitchen; I had not been gone half a minute before she came towards me with her throat cut, and beckon'd after me with one of her hands. My master stood at the fore-door, I cried, Master, Master, John Gray has killed his wife. Mr. Murray said, What have you killed your wife with? It is done, said the prisoner, and I cannot help it, it is all I wanted.
Prisoner's Defence. I came home from the West-Indies in a Man of War, I lodged in Mr. Murray's house, my wife came from Bristol to me. I went and took a room, we lived together 8 or 9 weeks; I got a voyage to the Northward, my
Guilty of Wilful Murder .