Thomas Powel.
23rd February 1757
Reference Numbert17570223-32
VerdictGuilty > manslaughter
SentenceMiscellaneous > branding

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127. (L.) Thomas Powel was indicted for the wilful murder of Francis Lenard , January 25 . +

Thomas Edgerton . I am a bricklayer. On the 25th of January there had been a pot of hot brought to a place where we were at work, near Philpot-Lane . The deceased was a labourer, and the prisoner a bricklayer . The person that brought it said it was for me. I said, I would not pay for it, as I had not order'd it. Then the deceased took and drank it with his fellow labourers. When we came into the Cow and Calf alehouse in East-Cheap, at dinner time, there was a dispute among the labourers in the kitchen, who should pay for it. I was sitting in the fore parlour, and heard Powel say, he knew nobody that ought to pay for it more than Lenard, for nobody made themselves so busy about it was he did. I hearing words amongst them went into the kitchen. Just as I got there Lenard was got out at the door into the yard, in order to fight Powel, saying, come out, come out. I stop'd him, and ask'd him whether he was the person that ordered that pot of hot in my name or not. He said, it was not he. Powel was sitting in the kitchen. Then I went into the parlour again, and all was quiet for six or seven minutes.

Q. Did you hear Powel say any thing?

Edgerton. No, I did not at that time. After a little time I was told they were going out into the yard to fight. I went out there, and saw the prisoner and the deceased boxing over a screen. Presently they both, seemingly by consent, laid their hands to the screen, and put it aside. The deceased was in buff as it is called, and Powel with his coat button'd up, and his apron about him. They fought so some time. They closed, and Lenard got Powel's back to the window, and broke several panes of glass. After that they had about two falls. I took Powel up twice while he had his cloaths on. After this Powel drew back, finding Lenard a sufficient match for him, and strip'd into buff. Then there were not I believe above four or five blows past before Lenard drop'd down, which was, I think, from a blow. They were both striking, but I can't say I had my eye on them, so as to see it was from any particular blow. Powel did not fall after he strip'd. Lenard never spake more, but was dead; there seem'd no appearance of life in him. Powel desired he might be got up. The man that went to help him up said, he would not fight any more.

Q. How was the pavement?

Edgerton. It was paved with broad stones.

Q. How did the deceased fall?

Edgerton. He fell side ways, and turn'd himself on his face on the stones.

Q. Where did the blow seem to light?

Edgerton. On his temple. When Powel found the other would fight no more he went to wash himself in the kitchen. Presently he heard he was dead, at which he appeared much concerned.

Q. Might not the fall on the stone, contribute to the blow on the temple?

Edgerton. It might.

Samuel Newton . I was one of the workmen, and was in the tap-house when the prisoner and deceased began to fall out. Lenard began to make a noise in the house. Powel said, you make more noise than all the labourers in the work. Words arose. The deceased got up, and bid Powel turn out. Powel got up. I stop'd him, and Edgerton stop'd the deceased. After that they were at peace five or six minutes. The deceased then said to Powel, '' You are no more a freeman '' than I am, and if you do not take great care '' you shall go and serve your time over again.'' Powel said, '' You had better hold your tongue, '' or worse will come of it.'' Then the deceased got up, flung down his hat, strip'd, and out into the yard he went, and bid Powel follow him. Powel staid behind to tie his handkerchief about his head, then went after him; but I never went out of the house, I only look'd through the window. Sometimes I could see, and sometimes not, the people crouded so. When Powel came in, he ordered Mrs. Ewin to send the deceased a dram of the best gin she had in the house; saying, '' Though I have beat the man I'll send him a '' glass of gin.'' They brought him water to wash himself, and while he was putting his things on, there came word that Lenard was dead. He went out and cried, and came in crying; his heart was too full to speak much. I did not hear him speak all dinner time after.

Elizabeth Godfrey . I was in the house when the quarrel first began, about a pot of hot. The deceased pull'd off his hat and cloaths to fight Powel. Powel first said it was not worth his while to fight with him. Lenard abused him very much, but I did not see them fight; I did not got out.

John Kinerkin . There was a difference between the prisoner and the deceased, about a pot of hot. Lenard pull'd off his cloaths in order to fight. Powel said but little then. They were at peace for some time. Then words arose again. The deceased said, d - n his body, he'd fight him, and would lick him if he could. Then Powel said, if he'd go into the yard, he would follow him. I saw them fight in the yard, but I am but little judge of it. I was not in the yard when Lenard fell the last time.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was at work when Lenard brought a pot of hot upon the scaffold. He set it down and said, d - n the hot and Edgerton too; d - n my eyes if I don't drink it, and pay for it when I have done. Soon after the clock struck twelve, our dinner time. I was the first of the bricklayers that got into the alehouse. The person that keeps it said to me, who is to pay for that pot of hot? I said, Lenard said he'd take and drink it, and I knew none more fit to pay for it, than he that drank it. In the mean time Lenard came in and said, d - n your eyes, you are a liar. Said I, it does not look well of you to give me the lie. He with another wicked expression said he'd fight me. The maid that stood by me said, don't put yourself in a passion. I said, I did not think it worth my while to daub my fingers about him. I had a piece of cold roast pork, and call'd for a pint of beer. As I was eating my dinner he kept bringing my name up, and pull'd off his cloaths to fight me. After I had dined I said, it is a strange thing you can't be quiet, and let me alone. He said, d - n your eyes, I'll fight you. Then I said, I'll have a blow or two with you; so I tied my handkerchief about my head, that he should not lay hold of my hair; I never pull'd off my cloaths. He was naked. We had a great many blows, and two or three falls. The last fall that was given, he gave me. We fell both together. My handkerchief was got off my head. He got his hands in my hair, and beat my head against the stones. I found myself very faint, so immediately drew back, in order to take my cloaths off. We had I believe about four blows after, and I believe with one of the blows that I struck him, he fell down on one side, and turned upon his face. I said to the man that helped him up, what do you let him lie there for? He said, Lenard will not fight any more. Mr. Edgerton said to me go in, and put your cloaths on. I went into the kitchen, and got a bason of water, in order to wash myself before I put my cloaths on. Word was brought that he was dead. I said, God forbid! I went out immediately, and took him up in my arms, and desired, for God sake, they would fetch some doctor, and bring him something to drink. The maid said

there were three or four people gone for a person to bleed him. I held him in my arms, till with grief I was ready to drop. Then somebody took my place, and I went into the house. I made no attempt to go away, knowing there was no animosity on my side.

Guilty, manslaughter .

[Branding. See summary.]

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