Michael Magennis.
16th January 1752
Reference Numbert17520116-28

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110. (M.) Michael Magennis , was indicted for the wilful murder of Richard Shears , November 11 . +

Hannah Shears . The deceased was my husband, he was a Carman : he went between five and six o'clock in the morning, on the 11th of November, with his cart to Tyburn ; it was the last execution but one: he went to let his cart for people to get up upon to see the prisoners die: between twelve and one, I heard he was wounded, and gone to Hyde-Park Infirmary: I went there, and found him all in blood: I saw him everyday: I did not see his wounds till after he was dead. On his dying bed, he said, it was a short thick Irish Milkman, that gave him his death wound, that he was wilfully murdered, and that they ran away with his cart and horses, and that murder will never be hid.

Q. Did he say upon what occasion he was used so?

H. Shears. No, my Lord, he did not.

Michael Munday . I went to Tyburn that day, to see the prisoners die; the deceased was there with his cart and horses: there was a sort of a skirmish, and the deceased was striving to get his horses and cart from the prisoner, and two or three more, who had got them from him: the prisoner would not let him have them, and the man that drove the horses threatened to knock his brains out, if he did not go about his business.

Q. Where was this?

Munday. This was at Tyburn: they took his horses by the head, and drove them where they pleased: they drove them down to Bay's-Water, a place beyond Tyburn, about a quarter of a mile, where they staid and drank, and from thence back by Tyburn quite to Tower Hill, with two of the dead bodies in the cart, which they left on the Hill; I saw them use the horses very bad; the prisoner had a hanger under his coat; I saw him pull it out when the deceased came to him, and cut him over the head.

Q. Where was this done?

Munday. It was after they returned from Bay's Water, about 'ten yards on this side Tyburn; he went bare headed after his cart, with the blood running down his ears; I saw him following his cart almost by Nibs's Pound, that is on this side the Turnpike ; he went to a surgeon to be dressed, and I saw him no more.

Q. Did Shears follow his cart to Bay's Water?

Munday. No, he did not, the mob kept him back.

Q. Who put the bodies into that cart ?

Munday. The prisoner and two or three more did, against Shears's consent.

Q. How near was you when you saw the blow?

Munday. I was standing about a hundred yards off under the wall.

Q. Were there many people between you and them?

Munday. There were not many; and I was upon a bank, I had a full command of the mob, there was a scuffle with other people with sticks, before the hanger was drawn.

Q. Did you know the prisoner before?

Munday. I had seen him many times before.

Cross examined.

Q. Did not you see the prisoner in the Gate-house since?

Munday. I did, I went there to see a young man that was there, the prisoner wanted me to come in, but I would not.

Q. Did not you tell him there, that he was not concerned in this murder, but it was two other people?

Munday. No, I never told him so.

Q. How came it he was not seized at that time ?

Munday. There was such a mob, no body would trouble themselves with him; there were near a quarter of a hundred chairmen and milkmen, seemed to be all concerned in taking away the cart horses, with the bodies.

William Latimore . I saw the prisoner along with the deceased's cart and horses that day, driving them as far as Tower-hill; but I did not see the first beginning of it, I was at the execution and saw the first body put into the cart; there were several concerned in it ; I did not follow the cart to Bay's-water ; I saw the prisoner with the rest coming back from thence ; I saw the cart come back thro' the Turnpike and the deceased came after it with blood running down half inch thick; I saw the prisoner with the rest of the mob, at Tower-hill; I followed them, they put the bodies down on Tower-hill, and the constables came and took hold of the prisoner, also another, named Kit. Williams, they were let to go away again, the prisoner was taken up, which was a fortnight ago, and had before justice Fielding, he denied that he was at Tyburn that day; but when Kitt Williams came there, the prisoner owned he was at Tyburn, but said he had nothing but a stick in his hand.

Cross examined.

Q. Who took the prisoner?

Latimore. I did.

Q. Was he not at large then?

Latimore. He was in the street, I met him by accident.

Edward Hilton . I saw the prisoner, and some more, put two bodies up in the deceased's cart, against the consent of the deceased, who said, gentlemen I hope you will be so good, as not to throw these dead bodies up into my cart; for I am obliged to go home about some business.

Q. Did you see them go towards Bay's-water ?

Hilton. I did not, but I saw them coming from thence; they stopped at the Bridge, there lay one dead body; there was one in his cart before, then the prisoner and others threw that up into the cart, and away they drove; swearing by their Maker very much, how they would serve him if he did not lend them his horses and cart, he called them gentlemen, and begged and prayed to have them; they used him very ill, and called him thief; the prisoner was riding on the top of the copses ; he had a hanger under his cloaths, he drew it out, he swore by G - d, and other bitter oaths, if the deceased did not get away, and let go his horses, he would jump off, and cut him down; then he jump'd off and struck him on the right side of the head, close to his ear; after which the cart went forwards.

Q. Did you know the prisoner before?

Hilton. I have seen him carrying milk about the streets several times; I followed the cart to see what they would do; they drove to Tower-hill; there I saw one constable take the prisoner and anotherman; there were about ten constables after them, for laying the dead bodies on Tower-hill.

Cross examined.

Q. How near was you to the prisoner when the blow was struck ?

Hilton. I was close to the horses head, at the time the deceased begged for mercy, that they would not hurt him more.

Q. How did he walk afterwards ?

Hilton. He went as well as he could, but he could not keep up with the cart.

Q. Was the blow before or after the cart had been to Bay's-water ?

Hilton. It was after.

Christopher Williams . As a man was driving the cart on this side Tyburn, I took the whip out of the hands of a man; said I, I can drive those horses better than you can; there were about forty or fifty men of them ; so they made me drive up one street and down another, just where they pleased; I was charged upon Tower-hill for bringing the dead bodies.

Q. Did you see the blow given?

Williams. No, I did not; I saw the man all bloody; I said go and get your head dressed, I'll drive your horses as well as I can.

George Hale . I am a Surgeon, and dress under Mr. Bromfield, at the Hospital; the deceased was brought there on the eleventh of November, about two o'clock; he said he had received a large wound on his head, (I was present) it has pierced thro' both tables of the scull on the right side, about the temple; it was judged necessary to trepan him, bad symptoms coming on; we found matter lodged between the membranes of the brain; he had several contusions from the wounds made, I suppose with sticks; he was hearty when he came.

Q. What in your opinion was the occasion of his death?

Hale. My opinion is, that the wound on his head was.

Prisoner's Defence.

I know no more of it than the child in its mother's womb.

John Dawling . I was at the execution which was the last but one.

Q. Explain yourself better as to time.

Dawling. I can't tell the time exact, it may be about three weeks or a month ago. I happened to be in the Marshalsea, and the time went swiftly over with me, having nothing to do; when I was out I was obliged to leave my place, people came for some notes, I can't tell the sum; so I followed the cart in the road called Acton road, from Tyburn; to the best of my knowledge there were two horses. There was a boy about 21 years of age, in a livery waistcoat on one of the horses, and a man on the cart, and a tall thin man followed it. He on the fore horse made a stop, he went on again, the tall thin man pursued closely, he brought him too, the man was obliged by the crowd to come out of the cart; either by a stick or a whip, I am sure it was no hanger, I saw several blows given.

Q. Where in the road was this?

Dawling. It was on the other side Tyburn

Q. Did you see a hanger?

Dawling. I did, but the blows were not given with that; I heard them say, they had a dead body in the cart: before they got to Tyburn they got another dead body, that makes two. The cart went down the road, and this man that had been bruised came with the cart all bloody.

Q. How was the man dressed that had the hanger?

Dawling. He had on a blue coat, and a dasz wig; his name is Burk, I know him.

Q. Did you see it made use of ?

Dawling. I did not.

Q. Are you acquainted with the prisoner at the bar?

Dawling. By the virtue of my oath, I never saw him till the night before last.

Mary Callowham . I live servant with the prisoner; I never saw a hanger or cutlass, or any such weapon in his house in my life; I did not hear the man was killed till about a month after he was dead and buried.

To his Character.

Thomas Reed . I am a milkman, I have known the prisoner between five and six years, I never saw any thing amiss of him in my life, he has been a lodger of mine above a year and half.

Q. What business is he of?

Reed. He is a milkman .

Q. What country man is he?

Reed. He is an Irishman.

Mary Palace . I have known him six years, he deals where I deal; I never heard he was quarrelsome in all my life, or to have such arms as he is accused with.

John Jones . I have known him about four or five years; I am not greatly acquainted with his life and conversation, I have had dealings with him.

Tho. Burchell . I have known him about four years, I never saw any thing of him that was like quarrelsome ; he once owed me a debt, and when he was in goal he paid me 3 l. of it.

Owen Jones . I have known him about a year, he used my house; I never heard any thing bad of him.

Tho Richards . I have known him about a year and half, I am little acquainted with his character; I have had dealings with him, he paid me very honestly.

Guilty , Death .

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