Edward Clark.
25th April 1750
Reference Numbert17500425-19
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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315. Edward Clark , was indicted for the murder of Thomas Innes , March 12 .

And likewise standing charged with the same on the Coroner's Inquisition:

William Newman . I was Capt. Innes's servant, and had been so about eight months; he lodged with Mr. Welton, a Painter, in Green street, Leicester-fields. The prisoner came to our house on the 11th of March, about eight in the morning; I heard a great knock at the door, I came down stairs, and met Captain Clark at the dining-room door. He asked me if Capt. Innes was up? I said no, but I would call him, which I did; Capt. Clark staid in the dining-room the time: my master got up very soon; he asked me if it was Capt. Clark, I said it was. After my master got up, and came into the dining-room, he ordered me out of the room. I went into the next room, and when I was there, I heard Capt. Clark say to Capt. Innes, Sir, you have used me very ill. There was some discourse, which I could not distinctly hear; after that I heard somebody speak, insisting on his fighting sword and pistol ( the voice I took to be Capt. Clark's voice;) after that there were some words passed, and Capt. Clark came out of the room ; he was there but a little while; he came down part of the stairs, then he went back again, and went to Capt. Innes, and I understood him to say, he desired him to call on him in the morning; then Capt. Clark came down, and went away directly: After he was gone, I went up to the people of the house, and said to them, Capt Clark has been here, and has challenged my master. I saw Capt. Clark no more till between 6 and 7 o'clock on Monday morning, that was in Hyde-park , and Capt. Innes with him, going down from Grosvenor's-Gate; Capt. Innes was on Capt. Clark's right hand, not a great way from where the Duel was fought; at my first seeing him I believe I was about 500 yards from him, being just got into the park; before I saw him they was going towards the grove, but turned more to the right hand; there was a servant seemed to walk behind him, which I found to be his servant, about twenty or thirty yards from him ; he had not any thing with him as I saw. They walked down to the place where the duel was fought; then I came very near them, I believe within about twenty yards: I had a very clear sight of them, and as they parted, the trees hindered me from seeing the position they were in; but then I moved so as to see them; Capt. Clark was standing with his pistol in his hand, and Capt. Innes was getting himself in a posture to be ready; they were about five or six yards asunder; at the report Capt. Innes was then lifting up his hand; when I first saw the pistol pois'd in Capt. Clark's hand, they were both stock still; as Capt. Innes was reaching out his arm towards Capt. Clark, Capt. Clark fir'd his pistol; there was Capt. Clark's servant at a distance. My master turned round at the explosion of the pistol, and dropt on his left knee. Capt. Innes did not fire at all ( his pistols were produced in court both charged, and the ball that was taken out of Capt. Innes's side,) Capt. Clark's servant took the pistols up, and gave them to me. I attended my master to his death.

He bade me tell every body that should enquire about it, that Capt. Clark behaved very well, but he did not think he behaved very honourable, for he took full aim at him, saying, he fired before he was ready. He died about eleven that night. He several times said, he forgave Capt. Clark, and hoped God would forgive him. These words were spoke about 11 or 12 at noon. When the pistols were delivered to me, the cocks were let down, with the

Pans fallen back. Capt. Clark's pistols were very large screw-barrel pistols.

John Hurdman . I belong to Mr. Abercromby ; I was at Captain Innes 's lodgings, when Captain Clark came there; it was on a Sunday morning about eight o'clock, I heard him desire Captain Innes to call upon him in the morning; he was about two stairs down from the top when he spoke these words; I was standing at the bottom of the stairs; that is all I heard.

Edward Welton . I heard a great knock at the door about eight that morning, and heard somebody go up stairs to the dining room; I heard walking about, and also talking, but knew not what about, when I heard the door clap again. Newman come up stairs in a great fright (my wife and I were in bed ), he told us, Captain Clark had been there, and challenged his master. I said, be sure let me know when it will be; said he, so I will; for my master shall go without shoes, saying, I'll take care of them. At night he came up again, and said his master had ordered him to black his shoes, and set them by him; adding, he believed it would be to-morrow morning. On the morning I heard the captain walking in his room, and heard him go down, and the door clap. I got to the window, and saw him go up Castle-street ; I heard the door shut again, and saw William Newman run towards Leicester-fields. I make haste to the back of Montague-house, and looked about on every spot of high ground I could find; I not finding them, made haste home again, and had not hang up my hat before Newman came running home with his master's sword. This was about nine in the morning. The captain was brought home in a chair wounded ; we got a surgeon, and he was dressed; I held his hands in mine, I believe about six hours; they were cold, seeming almost dead. About eight at night he asked my wife and I how we did, and bid us take notice of what he said, and declare it when asked by any: As he was a dying man, he forgave Captain Clark with all his heart, and all the world; saying, he behaved like a gentleman, but he fired too soon. My wife asked him, how he could go to fight such a gentleman as Captain Clark; he said, God's will must be done, though he strove to take away my life at the Court Martial, it is done now. The reason she had for asking that question, was, that she heard from Captain Innes , and others, that Captain Clark had swore very hard at the Court Martial against him, and also against several other captains.

Jane Welton deposed to the same effect.

Edward Wood . I am a Surgeon, and extracted the ball. It entered close to the false ribs on the right side, about a hand's breadth from the pit of the stomach, and it had broke one of the false ribs on the left side, and there it was taken out. This wound, no doubt, was the occasion of his death. He told me, on my asking him, he got the wound in a duel with Capt. Clark in Hyde-park; saying, he believed they stood about four yards from each other. Said I, that was murder to stand so close; but, said he, I was obliged to do it, because my pistols were small. And in the afternoon, about three of the clock, he said of himself, Capt. Clark, I have no fault to find with, he behaved honourable enough.

Lord Southwell, Admiral Martin, Admiral Byng , Admiral Faukes , Lord Montague Bertie , Capt. West, Capt. Wickham, Colonel Lee, Capt. Dent, Sir John Cross , the Rev. Dr. Hale, the Rev. Mr. Horton, Mr. Stanley, Capt. Forrest, Col. Durand, all, and each of them, gave Capt. Clark an exceeding good character, for that of a gentleman's behaviour, not easily mov'd to passion, willing to reconcile differences, and one of a peaceable disposition.

Guilty, Death .

But recommended to Mercy.

The prisoner being brought into court to receive judgment by himself, and before the rest of the convicts, addressed himself to the court as follows:


I Am very sensible of the great indulgence of your lordships, in this early passing the sentence of the law upon me, though 'tis the last of all human favours I could have hoped to have received from your lordships hands.

As the jury, my lords, were pleased to shew their compassion to the failings of human nature, in recommending me to the royal mercy, I hope there have appeared some circumstances in my case, which may not render me altogether unworthy the recommendations of your lordships also.

N. B. Capt. Clark's were horse pistols, and Ca pt. Innes's very small pocket pistols.

Far, my lords, shall it be from me to endeavour, by the rules of law, to justify the crime I have been convicted of, nor can I express the

affliction I am under for that unfortunate Gentleman whose death has occasioned this trouble to your lordships, and misfortune to myself; but if through the mediation of your lordships, the royal mercy should be extended to me, the remainder of my life shall be employed in preventing other gentlemen from falling into those unhappy circumstances I now appear in.

[As the above trial is obliged to be abridged to make room for the other trials, by permission of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of the City of London, this trial will be published at large, with the prisoner's defence, by itself]

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